Troy's post, below, on worthy second-tier presidents, got me to thinking about Ulysses Grant, which got me to thinking about Grant's memoirs--a really magnificent work, and if you haven't read it, then a joy awaits you--which in turn reminded me of this:
For my money, Grant and Richard Nixon got off the two finest first sentences in the whole field of American autobiographies.
My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral.
--Ulysses S. Grant, Memoirs
I was born in the house my father built.
--Richard M. Nixon, Memoirs
Care to recommend a favorite first sentence or two of your own?