Robert Todd Lincoln was the third son and fourth child of the marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln and the only one to live into adulthood. Born on August 4, 1843, he attended Philips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1860, and then Harvard, where he received a degree in 1864. As was often the case with young men from prominent families, Robert was able to avoid service in the Union Army until the war was essentially over.
Although not particularly close to his father, Robert arrived at Ford Theater shortly after Abraham Lincoln was shot and was present at his death. Afterwards, his mother`s erratic behavior led Robert to have her committed to an asylum in Batavia, Illinois, in 1875. She was able to return to freedom within a year, and Robert`s intentions were sometimes questioned.
Although his name was sometimes mentioned with respect to Republican Party nominations for president or vice-president, he refused to let his name be considered. He served as cabinets of James Garfield and Chester A. Arthur as Secretary of War. Later he became the chief counsel for the Pullman Palace Car Company, rising to the position of chairman. From this position, he amassed a substantial personal fortune. He died at his country estate in Vermont on July 26, 1926.