When his family was forced out of their home, he had to work to support them. At age 21, he experienced his first failure in business. Then, at age 22, he ran for state legislature, and lost. He also lost his job. Then he aspired to go to law school, but got rejected. At 24, he borrowed some money from a friend to start another business, and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt. At 26, his first love died, leaving him heart broken. This also resulted in a nervous breakdown at 27. He was defeated when he ran for speaker of his state legislature. He got rejected when he sought to become the elector. He ran for Congress at 34, and lost. He ran for re-election to Congress, and lost. He suffered from clinical depression. He sought the job of land officer in his home state, and got rejected. At 45, he ran for Senate of the United States, and lost. At 47, he sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party's national convention, and got less than 100 votes. He ran for U.S. Senate again at 49, and again he lost. Finally, at 52 years old, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States.
President Lincoln's ability to handle conflict and dance with adversity was unmatched, and scholars now rank him as one of the three greatest presidents ever.