Pictures and Facts About the Presidents of the United States

The first president of the United States was sworn into office on April 30, 1789 and since then the world has seen a long line of American presidents each with their own place of the country's history. Discover the people who have served America's highest office.

Portrait of President George Washington
Portrait of President George Washington. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division LC-USZ62-7585 DLC

George Washington (Feb. 22, 1732, to Dec. 14, 1799) was the first U.S. president, serving from 1789 until 1797. He established a number of the traditions still observed today, including being called "Mr. President." He made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1789 and he signed the first-ever copyright law in 1790. He only vetoed two bills during his entire time in office. Washington holds the record for the shortest-ever inaugural address. It was only 135 words and took less than two minutes.  More »

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U.S. Presidential Portraits John Adams
National Archives / Getty Images

John Adams (Oct. 30, 1735, to Jul. 4, 1826) served from 1797 through 1801. He was the nation's second president and had previously served as George Washington's vice president. Adams was the first to live in the White House; he and his wife Abigail moved into the executive mansion in 1800 before it was fully completed. During his presidency, the Marine Corps was created, as was the Library of Congress. The Alien and Sedition Acts, which limited the right of Americans to criticize the government, were also passed during his administration. Adams also holds the distinction of being the first sitting president to be defeated for a second term.  More »

Image of Thomas Jefferson by Charles Wilson Peale, 1791.
Thomas Jefferson, 1791. Credit: Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson (Apr. 13, 1743, to Jul. 4, 1826) served two terms from 1801 to 1809. He's credited with writing the original draft of the Declaration of Independence. Elections worked a little differently back in 1800. Vice presidents had to run as well, separately and on their own. Jefferson and his running mate, Aaron Burr, both received the exact same number of electoral votes. The House of Representatives had to vote to decide the election. Jefferson won. During his time in office, the Louisiana Purchase was completed, which nearly doubled the size of the young nation.  More »

James Madison, Fourth President of the United States
James Madison, Fourth President of the United States. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13004

James Madison (Mar. 16, 1751, to Jun. 28, 1836) ran the country from 1809 through 1817. He was diminutive, only 5 feet 4 inches tall, short even by 19th century standards. Despite his stature, he was one of only two American presidents to actively take up weapons and wade into battle; Abraham Lincoln was the other. Madison participated in the War of 1812 and had to borrow the two pistols he took with him. During his two terms, Madison had two vice presidents, both of whom died in office. He declined to name a third after the second death.   More »

James Monroe, Fifth President of the United States
James Monroe, Fifth President of the United States. Painted by C.B. King ; engraved by Goodman & Piggot. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-16956

James Monroe (Apr. 28, 1758, to Jul. 4, 1831) served from 1817 through 1825. He has the distinction of having run unopposed for his second term in office in 1820. He did not receive 100 percent of the electoral votes, however, because a New Hampshire elector just didn't like him and refused to vote for him. He died on the Fourth of July, as did Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, ​and Zachary Taylor.  More »

John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States, Painted by T. Sully. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-7574 DLC

John Quincy Adams (Jul. 11, 1767, to Feb. 23, 1848) has the distinction of being the first son of a president (in this case, John Adams) to be elected president himself. He served from 1825 until 1829. A Harvard graduate, he was a lawyer before he took office, although he never actually attended law school. Four men ran for president in 1824, and none garnered enough electoral votes to take the presidency, casting the election into the House of Representatives, which gave the presidency to Adams. After leaving office, Adams went on to serve in the House of Representatives, the only president ever to do so.  More »

Andrew Jackson, Seventh President of the United States
Andrew Jackson, Seventh President of the United States. Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty Images

Andrew Jackson (Mar. 15, 1767, to June 8, 1845) was one of those who lost to John Quincy Adams in the 1824 election, despite earning the most popular votes in that election. Four years later, Jackson had the last laugh, foiling Adams' quest for a second term. Jackson went on to serve two terms from 1829 until 1837. Nicknamed "Old Hickory," people of Jackson's era tended to either love or hate his populist style. Jackson was quick to grab his pistols when he felt someone had offended him and he engaged in numerous duels over the years. He was shot twice in the process and killed an opponent as well.  More »

Martin Van Buren, Eighth President of the United States
Martin Van Buren, Eighth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-BH82401-5239 DLC

Martin Van Buren (Dec. 5, 1782, to Jul. 24, 1862) served from 1837 through 1841. He was the first "real" American to hold the office because he was the first to have been born after the American Revolution. Van Buren is credited with introducing the term "OK" into the English language. His nickname was "Old Kinderhook," coined from the New York village in which he was born. When he ran for reelection in 1840, his supporters rallied for him with signs that read "OK!" He lost to William Henry Harrison nonetheless, resoundingly so – 234 electoral votes to just 60.  More »

William Henry Harrison, Ninth President of the United States
William Henry Harrison, Ninth President of the United States. FPG / Getty Images

William Henry Harrison (Feb. 9, 1773, to Apr. 4, 1841) He holds the dubious distinction of being the first president to die while in office. It was a brief term, too; Harrison died of pneumonia just one month after giving his inaugural address in 1841. As a younger man, Harrison earned acclaim fighting Native Americans at the ​Battle of Tippecanoe. He also served as the first governor of Indiana Territory.  More »

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John Tyler, Tenth President of the United States
John Tyler, Tenth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13010 DLC

John Tyler (Mar. 29, 1790, to Jan. 18, 1862) served from 1841 through 1845 after William Henry Harrison died in office. Tyler had been elected vice president as a member of the Whig Party, but as president, he clashed repeatedly with party leaders in Congress. The Whigs later expelled him from the party. Due in part to this discord, Tyler was the first president to have a veto of his overriden. A southern sympathizer and a staunch supporter of states' rights, Tyler later voted in favor of Virginia's secession from the union and served in the Confederate congress.  More »

President James K. Polk
President James K. Polk. Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

James K. Polk (Nov. 2, 1795, to Jun. 15, 1849) took office in 1845 and served until 1849. He was the first president to have his photo taken shortly before he left office and the first to be introduced with the song "Hail to the Chief." He took office at age 49, the youngest president ever to serve at that time. But his White House parties weren't all that popular: Polk forbade alcohol and dancing. During his presidency, the U.S. issued its first postage stamp. Polk died of cholera just three months after leaving office.  More »

Zachary Taylor, Twelfth President of the United States
Zachary Taylor, Twelfth President of the United States, Portrait by Mathew Brady. Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13012 DLC

Zachary Taylor (Nov. 24, 1784, to July 9, 1850) took over in 1849, but his was another short-lived presidency. He was distantly related to James Madison, the country's fourth president, and he was a direct descendant of the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower. He was wealthy and he was a slave owner. But he didn't take an extreme pro-slavery stance when he was in office, declining to push legislation that would have made slavery legal in additional states. Taylor was the second president to die in office. He died of gastroenteritis during his second year in office.  More »

Millard Fillmore - Thirteenth President of the United States
Millard Fillmore - Thirteenth President of the United States. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs

Millard Fillmore (Jan. 7, 1800, to Mar. 8, 1874) was Taylor's vice president and served as president from 1850 until 1853. He never bothered to appoint his own vice president, going it alone. With the Civil War brewing on the horizon, Fillmore tried to keep the union together by seeking passage of the Compromise of 1850, which banned slavery in the new state of California but also strengthened laws on the return of escaped slaves. Northern abolitionists in Fillmore's Whig Party did not look favorably upon this and he was not nominated for a second term. Fillmore then sought re-election on the Know-Nothing Party ticket, but lost.  More »

Franklin Pierce, Fourteenth President of the United States
Franklin Pierce, Fourteenth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-BH8201-5118 DLC

Franklin Pierce (Nov. 23, 1804, to Oct. 8, 1869) served from 1853 through 1857. Like his predecessor, Pierce was a northerner with southern sympathies. In the lingo of the time, this made him a "doughface." During Pierce's presidency, the U.S. acquired territory in present-day Arizona and New Mexico for $10 million from Mexico in a transaction called the Gadsden Purchase. Pierce expected the Democrats to nominate him for a second term, something that did not occur. He supported the South in the Civil War and corresponded regularly with Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. More »

James Buchanan - Fifteenth President of the United States
James Buchanan - Fifteenth President of the United States. Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty Images

James Buchanan (Apr. 23, 1791, to June 1, 1868) served from 1857 to 1861. He holds four distinctions as president. First, he was the only president who was single; during his presidency, Buchanan's niece Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston filled the ceremonial role normally occupied by the first lady. Second, Buchanan is the only Pennsylvanian to be elected president. Third, he was the last of the nation's leaders to have been born in the 18th century. Finally, Buchanan's presidency was the last before the outbreak of ​​the Civil WarMore »

Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the United States
Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the United States. Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USP6-2415-A DLC

Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12, 1809, to Apr. 15, 1865) served from 1861 to 1865. The Civil War broke out just weeks after he was inaugurated and would dominate his time in office. He was the first Republican to hold the office of president. Lincoln is perhaps best known for signing the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, which freed the slaves of the Confederacy. Less well known is the fact that he personally observed Civil War combat during the Battle of Fort Stevens in 1864, where he came under fire. Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865.  More »

Andrew Johnson - Seventeenth President of the United States
Andrew Johnson - Seventeenth President of the United States. Print Collector / Getty Images

Andrew Johnson (Dec. 29, 1808, to Jul. 31, 1875) served as president from 1865 until 1869. As Abraham Lincoln's vice president, Johnson came to power after Lincoln was assassinated. Johnson holds the dubious distinction of being the first president to be impeached. A Democrat from Tennessee, Johnson resisted the Republican-dominated Congress' Reconstruction policy, and he clashed repeatedly with lawmakers. After Johnson fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, he was impeached in 1868, although he was acquitted in the Senate by a single vote. More »

Ulysses Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was among the youngest U.S. presidents in history. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

Ulysses S. Grant (Apr. 27, 1822, to July 23, 1885) served from 1869 to 1877. As the general who led the Union Army to victory in the Civil War, Grant was immensely popular and won his first presidential election in a landslide. Despite a reputation for corruption—a number of Grant's appointees and friends were caught up in political scandals during his two terms in office—Grant also initiated true reforms that helped African Americans and Native Americans. The "S" in his name was the mistake of a congressman who wrote it wrong—his real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant.  More »

Rutherford B Hayes, Nineteenth President of the United States
Rutherford B Hayes, Nineteenth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13019 DLC

Rutherford B. Hayes (Oct. 4, 1822, to Jan. 17, 1893) served from 1877 through 1881. His election was one of the most controversial because Hayes not only lost the popular vote, he was voted into office by an electoral commission. Hayes has the distinction of being the first president to use a telephone – Alexander Graham Bell personally installed one in the White House in 1879. Hayes is also responsible for beginning the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn.  More »

James Garfield, Twentieth President of the United States
James Garfield, Twentieth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-BH82601-1484-B DLC

James Garfield (Nov. 19, 1831, to Sept. 19, 1881) was inaugurated in 1881, but he would not serve for long. He was assassinated on July 2, 1881, while waiting for a train in Washington. He was shot but survived only to die from blood poisoning a few months later. Physicians couldn't recover the bullet, and it's believed that all their searching for it with unclean instruments finally killed him. He was the last U.S. president to have been born in a log cabin.  More »

President Chester A. Arthur
Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

Chester A. Arthur (Oct. 5, 1829, to Nov. 18, 1886) served from 1881 until 1885. He was James Garfield's vice president. This makes him one of three presidents who served in 1881, the only time three people held office in the same year. Hayes left office in March and Garfield took over then died in September. President Arthur assumed office the next day. Arthur was reportedly a snappy dresser, owning at least 80 pairs of trousers, and he hired his own personal valet to tend to his wardrobe.  More »

Grover Cleveland - Twenty-Second and Twenty-Fourth President of the United States
Grover Cleveland - Twenty-Second and Twenty-Fourth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-7618 DLC

Grover Cleveland (Mar. 18, 1837, to June 24, 1908) served two terms, beginning in 1885, but he's the only president whose terms weren't consecutive. After losing re-election, he ran again in 1893 and won; he would be the last Democrat to hold the presidency until Woodrow Wilson in 1914. His first name was actually Stephen, but he preferred his middle name, Grover. At more than 250 pounds, he was the second-heaviest president to ever serve; only William Taft was heavier.   More »

Benjamin Harrison, Twenty-Third President of the United States
Benjamin Harrison, Twenty-Third President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ61-480 DLC

Benjamin Harrison (Aug. 20, 1833, to Mar. 13, 1901) served from 1889 to 1893. He is the only grandson of a president (William Henry Harrison) to also hold the office. Harrison also is noteworthy for having lost the popular vote. During Harrison's term, which was sandwiched between Grover Cleveland's two terms, federal spending hit $1 billion annually for the first time. The White House was first wired for electricity while he was in residence, but it's said that he and his wife refused to touch the light switches for fear they'd be electrocuted.  More »

William McKinley, Twenty-Fifth President of the United States
William McKinley, Twenty-Fifth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-8198 DLC

William McKinley (Jan. 29, 1843, to Sept. 14, 1901) served from 1897 through 1901. He was the first president to ride in an automobile, the first to campaign by telephone and the first to have his inauguration recorded on film. During his term, the U.S. invaded Cuba and the Phillippines as part of the Spanish-American War. Hawaii also became a U.S. territory during his administration. McKinley was assassinated on Sept. 5, 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He lingered until Sept. 14, when he succumbed to gangrene caused by the wound.  More »

Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-Sixth President of the United States
Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-Sixth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13026 DLC

Theodore Roosevelt (Oct. 27, 1858, to Jan. 6, 1919) served from 1901 to 1909. He was William McKinley's vice president. He was the first president to leave U.S. soil while in office when he traveled to Panama in 1906, and he became the first American to win the Nobel Prize that same year. Like his predecessor, Roosevelt was the target of an assassination attempt. On Oct. 14, 1912, in Milwaukee, a man shot at the president. The bullet lodged in Roosevelt's chest, but it was slowed considerably by the thick speech he had in his breast pocket. Undeterred, Roosevelt insisted on delivering the speech before seeking medical treatment. More »

William Howard Taft, Sixteenth President of the United States
William Howard Taft, Sixteenth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13027 DLC

William Henry Taft (Sept. 15, 1857, to March 8, 1930) served from 1909 to 1913 and was Theodore Roosevelt's vice president and hand-picked successor. Taft once called the White House "the loneliest place in the world" and was defeated for re-election when Roosevelt ran on a third-party ticket and split the Republican vote. In 1921, Taft was appointed chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, making him the only president to also serve on the nation's highest court. He was the first president to own an automobile in office and the first to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a professional baseball game. At 330 pounds, Taft was also the heaviest president. More »

US President Woodrow Wilson
US President Woodrow Wilson. Library of Congress

Woodrow Wilson (Dec. 28, 1856, to Feb. 3, 1924) served from 1913 to 1920. He was the first Democrat to hold the office of president since Grover Cleveland and the first to be re-elected since Andrew Jackson. During his first term in office, Wilson instituted the income tax. Although he spent much of his administration vowing to keep the U.S. out of World War I, he asked Congress to declare war on Germany in 1917. Wilson's first wife, Ellen, died in 1914. Wilson remarried a year later to Edith Bolling Gault. He's credited with appointing the first Jewish justice to the Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis. More »

Warren G Harding, Twenty-Ninth President of the United States
Warren G Harding, Twenty-Ninth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13029 DLC

Warren G. Harding (Nov. 2, 1865, to Aug. 2, 1923) held office from 1923 to 1925. His tenure is considered by historians to be one of the most scandal-plagued presidencies. Harding's interior secretary was convicted of selling national oil reserves for personal gain in the Teapot Dome scandal, which also forced the resignation of Harding's attorney general. Harding died of a heart attack on Aug. 2, 1923, while visiting San Francisco.  More »

Calvin Coolidge, Thirtieth President of the United States
Calvin Coolidge, Thirtieth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13030 DLC

Calvin Coolidge (July 4, 1872, to Jan. 5, 1933) served from 1923 until 1929. He was the first president to be sworn in by his father: John Coolidge, a notary public, administered the oath at the family farmhouse in Vermont, where the vice president was staying at the time of Warren Harding's death. After being elected in 1925, Coolidge became the first president to be sworn in by a chief justice: William Taft. During an address to Congress on Dec. 6, 1923, Coolidge became the first sitting president to be broadcast on the radio, somewhat ironic given that he was known as "Silent Cal" for his tight-lipped personality.  More »

Herbert Hoover, Thirty-First President of the United States
Herbert Hoover, Thirty-First President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-24155 DLC

Herbert Hoover (Aug. 10, 1874, to Oct. 20, 1964) held office from 1929 to 1933. He'd been in office only eight months when the stock market crashed, ushering in the beginning of the Great Depression. A noted engineer who earned acclaim for his role as head of the U.S. Food Administration during World War I, Hoover never held elected office prior to winning the presidency. Hoover Dam on Nevada-Arizona border was built during his administration and is named after him. He once said that the whole concept of campaigning filled him with "complete revulsion."  More »

Franklin D Roosevelt, Thirty-Second President of the United States
Franklin D Roosevelt, Thirty-Second President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-26759 DLC

Franklin D. Roosevelt (Jan. 30, 1882, to Apr. 12, 1945) served from 1933 to 1945. Widely known by his initials, FDR served longer than any other president in U.S. history, dying shortly after being inaugurated for his fourth term. It was his unprecedented tenure that led to the passage of the 22nd Amendment in 1951, which limited presidents to serving two terms.

Generally considered to be one of the country's best presidents, he came into office as the U.S. was mired in the Great Depression and was in his third term when the U.S. entered World War II in 1941. Roosevelt, who had been stricken with polio in 1921, was largely confined to a wheelchair or leg braces as president, a fact rarely shared with the public. He holds the distinction of being the first president to travel in an airplane. More »

Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-88849 DLC

Harry S Truman (May 8, 1884, to Dec. 26, 1972) served from 1945 to 1953; he was Franklin Roosevelt's vice president during FDR's brief final term. During his time in office, the White House was extensively renovated, and the Trumans had to live in nearby Blair House for two years. Truman made the decision to atomic weapons against Japan, which led to the conclusion of World War II. Elected to a second, full term in 1948 by the barest of margins, Truman's inauguration was the first to be broadcast on TV. During his second term, the Korean War began when communist North Korea invaded South Korea, which the U.S. supported. Truman didn't have a middle name; the S was just an initial chosen by his parents when they named him. More »

Dwight D Eisenhower, Thirty-Fourth President of the United States
Dwight D Eisenhower, Thirty-Fourth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-117123 DLC

Dwight D. Eisenhower (Oct. 14, 1890, to Mar. 28, 1969) served from 1953 until 1961. Eisenhower was a military man, having served as a five-star general in the Army and as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in World War II. During his administration, he created NASA in response to Russia's achievements with its own space program. Eisenhower loved to golf and reportedly banned squirrels from the White House after they began digging up and destroying the putting green he'd had installed. Eisenhower, nicknamed "Ike," was the first president to ride in a helicopter. More »

John F Kennedy, Thirty-Fifth President of the United States
John F Kennedy, Thirty-Fifth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-117124 DLC

John F. Kennedy (May 19, 1917, to Nov. 22, 1963) was inaugurated in 1961 and served until his assassination two years later. Kennedy, who was just 43 when elected, was the country's second-youngest president after Theodore Roosevelt. His short tenure was filled with historical significance: the Berlin Wall was erected, then there was the Cuban missile crisis and the beginnings of the Vietnam War. Kennedy suffered from Addison's Disease and had severe back problems for much of his life, Despite these health issues, he served with distinction in World War II in the Navy. Kennedy is the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize prize; he received the honor for his 1957 bestseller "Profiles in Courage." More »

Lyndon Johnson, Thirty-Sixth President of the United States
Lyndon Johnson, Thirty-Sixth President of the United States. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-21755 DLC

Lyndon B. Johnson (Aug. 27, 1908, to Jan. 22, 1973) served from 1963 to 1969. As John Kennedy's vice president, Johnson was sworn in as president aboard Air Force One the night of Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. Johnson, who was known as LBJ, stood 6 feet 4 inches tall; he and Abraham Lincoln were the nation's tallest presidents. During his time in office, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law and Medicare was created. The Vietnam War also rapidly escalated, and its growing unpopularity led Johnson to turn down an opportunity to seek re-election to a second full term in 1968.  More »

Richard Nixon, Thirty-Seventh President of the United States
Richard Nixon, Thirty-Seventh President of the United States. Public Domain Image from the NARA ARC Holdings

Richard Nixon (Jan. 9, 1913, to Apr. 22, 1994) held office from 1969 until 1974. He holds the dubious distinction of being the only American president ever to resign from office. During his time in office, Nixon achieved some notable accomplishments including normalizing relations with China and bringing the Vietnam War to a conclusion. He loved bowling and football and could play five musical instruments: piano, saxophone, clarinet, accordion, and violin.

Nixon's achievements as presidents are tarnished by the Watergate scandal, which began when men involved in his reelection efforts broke into and wiretapped the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in June 1972. During the subsequent federal investigation, it was revealed that Nixon was at least aware, if not complicit, in the goings-on. He resigned when Congress began gathering its forces to impeach him. More »

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Gerald Ford, Thirty-Eighth President of the United States
Gerald Ford, Thirty-Eighth President of the United States. Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

Gerald Ford (July 14, 1913, to Dec. 26, 2006) served from 1974 to 1977. Ford was Richard Nixon's vice president and is the only person to be appointed to that office. He was appointed, in accord with the 25th Amendment, after Spiro Agnew, Nixon's first vice president, was charged with income tax evasion and resigned from office. Ford is perhaps best known for pre-emptively pardoning Richard Nixon for his role in Watergate. Despite a reputation for clumsiness after stumbling both literally and politically while president, Gerald Ford was fairly athletic. He played football for the University of Michigan before entering politics, and both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions tried to recruit him.  More »

Jimmy Carter - 39th President of the United States
Jimmy Carter - 39th President of the United States. Bettmann / Getty Images

Jimmy Carter (born Oct. 1, 1924) served from 1977 to 1981. He received a Nobel Prize while in office for his role in brokering peace between Egypt and Israel, known as the Camp David Accords of 1978. He is also the only president to have served aboard a submarine while in the Navy. While in office, Carter created the Department of Energy as well as the Department of Education. He dealt with the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant mishap, as well as the Iran hostage crisis. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was the first of his father's family to graduate from high school.  More »

Ronald Reagan, Fortieth President of the United States
Ronald Reagan, Fortieth President of the United States. Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

Ronald Reagan (Feb. 16, 1911, to June 5, 2004) served two terms from 1981 until 1989. A former movie actor and radio broadcaster, he was a skilled orator who first became involved in politics in the 1950s. As president, Reagan was known for his love of jelly beans, a jar of which was always on his desk. Friends sometimes called him "Dutch," which was Reagan's childhood nickname. He was the first divorced person to be elected president and the first president to appoint a woman, Sandra Day O'Connor, to the Supreme Court. Two months into his first term, John Hinkley Jr., attempted to assassinate Reagan; the president was wounded but survived.  More »

George H W Bush, Forty-First President of the United States
George H W Bush, Forty-First President of the United States. Public Domain from NARA

George H. W. Bush (born June 12, 1924) held office from 1989 to 1993. He first earned acclaim during World War II as a pilot. He flew 58 combat missions and was awarded three Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Bush was the first sitting vice president since Martin Van Buren to be elected president. During his presidency, Bush sent U.S. troops to Panama to oust its leader, Gen. Manuel Noriega, in 1989. Two years later, in Operation Desert Storm, Bush sent troops to Iraq after that nation invaded Kuwait. In 2009, Bush had an aircraft carrier named in his honor. More »

Bill Clinton, Forty-Second President of the United States
Bill Clinton, Forty-Second President of the United States. Public Domain Image from NARA

Bill Clinton (born Aug. 19, 1946) served from 1993 to 2001. He was 46 when he was inaugurated, making him the third-youngest president to serve. A Yale graduate, Clinton was the first Democrat to be elected to a second term since Franklin Roosevelt. He was the second president to be impeached, but like Andrew Johnson, he was acquitted. Clinton's relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which led to his impeachment, was just one of several political scandals during his tenure. Yet Clinton left office with the highest approval rating of any president since World War II. As a teen, Bill Clinton met President John Kennedy when Clinton was a delegate to Boys Nation.  More »

George W Bush, Forty-Third President of the United States
George W Bush, Forty-Third President of the United States. Courtesy: National Park Service

George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946) served from 2001 to 2009. He was the first president to lose the popular vote but win the electoral vote since Benjamin Harrison, and his election was further marred by a partial recount of the Florida vote that was later halted by the U.S. Supreme Court. Bush was in office during the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, which led to the U.S. military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush is only the second son of a president to be elected president himself; John Quincy Adams was the other. He is also the only president to be the father of twin girls. More »

Barack Obama, Forty-Fourth President of the United States
Barack Obama, Forty-Fourth President of the United States. Courtesy: White House

Barack Obama (born Aug. 4, 1961) served from 2009 to 2016. He is the first African-American to be elected president and the first president from Hawaii. A senator from Illinois before seeking the presidency, Obama was only the third African-American to be elected to the Senate since Reconstruction. He was elected at the beginning of the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the Depression. During his two terms in office, major legislation reforming health care and rescuing the U.S. auto industry was passed. His first name means "one who is blessed" in Swahili. He worked for Baskin-Robbins as a teenager and came away from the experience hating ice cream.  More »

President Trump Welcomes Finnish President Niinisto To White House
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Donald J. Trump (born June 14, 1946) was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2017. He is the first person to be elected president since Franklin Roosevelt to hail from New York state and the only president to have been married three times. He made his name as a real estate developer in New York City and later parlayed that into pop culture fame as a reality TV star. He is the first president since Herbert Hoover to have never sought prior elected office. More »