In the United States, rumors begin with the first president. According to allegations that are still debated, George Washington may have fathered a child with a slave. Evidence is stronger that Thomas Jefferson maintained a long-term affair with slave Sally Hemings, and likely fathered all six of her children.
From there, the list of womanizing presidents is lengthy. Grover Cleveland fathered a child out of wedlock before his first term as president in the 1880s.
Beginning in the 1910s, FDR had a longstanding relationship with his wife's social secretary, Lucy Mercer Rutherford, as well as with his own secretary, and it was Rutherford -- not his wife Eleanor -- who was with the president when he died.
Warren Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and George H.W. Bush all had affairs, either confirmed or rumored. And Beardsley was far from JFK's only fling.
Throughout most of our country's history, presidential transgressions were known about by some but not talked about by many and they were well hidden from the majority of the public.