James Madison, the fourth president of the United States and the Father of the Constitution, was born on March 16, 1751 in Port Conway, Virginia. His parents were James and Nelly Conway-Madison and he was the eldest of 12 children. At the age of 18, he entered the College of New Jersey. He took an active interest in politics and was an early member of the American Whig Society. He completed the regular course at the college in two years and graduated in 1771.
Madison entered politics in 1774, when he was elected to the Committee of Safety in Orange County, VA. A committee of this kind dealt with local government issues during the time. From there, he helped draft a new Virginia constitution and the Virginia Declaration of Rights. This was only the start of Madisons political involvement. He served as Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson, served at the Constitutional Convention, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Continental Congress, and served as President for two terms.
He also took part in creating the U.S. Federal System and helped design the checks and balances that operate among Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court. This democratic man was married with no children and led a full life of accomplishments and grievances. He died in 1836 and will always be remembered as an influential member of society and as a wonderful President.