Book Discussion: George Washington’s Teeth


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March 8, 2003, Vroman’s bookstore, Pasadena.

Madeleine Comora discussed the book she co-authored with Deborah Chandra, George Washington’s Teeth, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Through the use of rhyming verses, the book describes the founding father’s dental problems. In the book, the co-authors note that by the time Washington was elected president, he had only two teeth left. An annotated timeline at the end of the book includes factual quotes regarding his teeth from Washington’s letters and diaries, reproduced paintings set at various times during his “dental infirmity” and photographs of a pair of his dentures made from gold and carved hippopotamus ivory. Contrary to legend, Ms. Comora reveals, Washington never had wooden teeth. Following her remarks, Ms. Comora answered questions from members of the audience.