(February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865) The son of a Kentucky farm couple, Abraham Lincoln was a self-educated man. During his childhood, his family moved to Indiana and later to Illinois. Lincoln's unusual height (6 feet 4 inches) and strength gave him an advantage at many physical tasks, from wrestling to wielding an axe. After serving in the Illinois General Assembly and U.S. House of Representatives, Lincoln embarked on a career as a lawyer. He later returned to politics to oppose slavery. In the 1860 Presidential election, he defeated three other candidates, despite not being on the ballot in nine Southern states. Faced with the South's secession shortly after taking office, Lincoln guided the country through war and back to peace again.