Reagan Is Superstitious but He Puts Old Zero Jinx to Naught
President Reagan, who often has described himself as being superstitious, has broken a jinx.
Despite a brush with cancer and an attempted assassination, the nation’s oldest President left office alive Friday, even though he was elected in a year ending in zero.
For nearly 150 years, every President elected in such a year had died in office until Reagan.
William Henry Harrison, elected in 1840, died of pneumonia at the age of 67 a month after taking office.
Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, was assassinated in 1865 at the age of 56.
James A. Garfield, elected in 1880, was assassinated a few months later at the age of 50.
William McKinley, reelected in 1900, was assassinated in 1901 at the age of 58.
Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920, died of a heart attack in 1923 at the age of 58.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected to his third term in 1940, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945 at the age of 63.
John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960, was assassinated in 1963 at the age of 46.
Reagan, 77, survived an assassination attempt outside a Washington hotel in 1981 and underwent successful surgery for cancer of the colon in 1985.
Reagan often has invoked superstitious beliefs from the world of show business and sports and refused to disavow former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s reliance on astrology.