5 Youngest Presidents in American History

No, John F. Kennedy Wasn't the Youngest President in U.S. History

If you want to be president of the United States, you've got to be at least 35 years old. You've also got to be a natural-born citizen, yes, though this constitutional requirement for making it to the White House doesn't necessarily mean you have to be born on American soil

So how many 35-year-olds have become president? None, actually.

All of our presidents have been at least 42 years old at the time they moved into the White House. Some of them have been decades older than that. The Democratic frontrunner in 2016, Hillary Clinton, would be the second-oldest president at the time of her inauguration if she wins. She would be 69 years old; the oldest president ever to take the White House, Ronald Reagan, was almost 70. 

Who were the youngest presidents in U.S. history? Here's a look at the five youngest occupants of the White House.

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt was 42 years old when he became president. Hulton Archive

Theodore Roosevelt was America's youngest president at 42 years old. He ascended to power following the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901.

At the time he took the oath of office, Roosevelt was 42 years, 10 months and 18 days old, according to 20th Century History expert Jennifer Rosenberg.

Interesting fact: Roosevelt had also been a state legislator in New York before working in Washington, D.C. He was elected to the statehouse at age 23, making him the youngest state lawmaker in New York at the time. More »

President John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy. United States Congress

John F. Kennedy is often mentioned as the youngest president ever. He took the presidential Oath of Office in 1961 at age 43. 

While Kennedy isn't the youngest person to occupy the White House, he is the youngest person elected president. Keep in mind that Roosevelt wasn't initially elected president when he moved to the White House at age 42; he was vice president when McKinley was killed.

Kennedy was 43 years, 7 months and 22 days old when he took the oath. More »

President Bill Clinton
President Bill Clinton. The White House

Bill Clinton, a former governor of Arkansas, became the third-youngest president in U.S. history when he took the oath of office for the first of two terms in 1993. Clinton was 46 years old at the time.

A pair of Republicans interested in seeking the presidency in 2016, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, would replace Clinton as third-youngest president if elected.  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 is the fourth-youngest president in U.S. history. He was 46 years, 10 months and five days old when he took the oath of office in 1869. 

Until Roosevelt's ascension to the presidency, Grant had been the youngest president to hold the office. He was inexperienced and his administration plagued by scandal. More »

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama is among the youngest presidents in U.S. history. Pool / Getty Images News

Barack Obama is the fifth-youngest president in U.S. history. He was  47 years, 5 months and 16 days old when he took the oath in 2009.

During the 2008 presidential race, his inexperience was a major issue; he had served only four years in the U.S. Senate before becoming president, and before that had served eight years as a state lawmaker in Illinois. More »