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James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 (O.S. March 5) – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman and political theorist, the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817). He is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights. He served as a politician much of his adult life. Like other Virginia statesmen in the slave society, he was a slaveholder and part of the élite; he inherited his plantation known as Montpelier, and owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime to cultivate tobacco and other crops.