Abraham Lincoln’s beard and tall, thin frame make him easily recognizable. Dr. John Sotos believes that his extreme height and thinness might be signs of a rare disease. Sotos believes that Lincoln had MEN 28, a genetic disease that causes cancer. Sotos believed that Lincoln would only have lived another six months to a year if he had not been assassinated.
Sotos made his diagnosis based on photographs of the president and reports of ailments he experienced through his life. Lincoln had bumps on his lips, Sotos says, which look like the bumps that MEN 28 patients have. He suffered from severe headaches and cold hands and feet. Three months before he died, Lincoln passed out after standing up quickly. He got thinner in the last years of his life. All of these are symptoms of a certain type of cancer caused by MEN 28.
Sotos says that a DNA test could determine whether his theory is correct. The test is possible, using remains from Lincoln’s autopsy, but Sotos has not received permission to test those remains.
- Lincoln may be first recorded case of rare disease
News article from the Seattle Times that covers Sotos theory. (Source: Seattle Times, November 27, 2007)
- Biography of Abraham Lincoln
Site from the White House that offers a biography of the 16th president.(Source: The White House)
- Library of Congress—Photos of Lincoln
Site provides 35 photos of Abraham Lincoln. (Source: Abraham Lincoln Art Gallery, Library of Congress)