List of Presidents of the United States

The President of the United States is the elected head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. The president is indirectly elected to a four-year term by the people through an Electoral College (or by the House of Representatives, should the Electoral College fail to award an absolute majority of votes to any person).

Since the office was established in 1789, 44 people have served as president. The first, George Washington, won a unanimous vote of the Electoral College. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms in office, and is counted as the nation's 22nd and 24th president. Thus the incumbent, Donald Trump, is the nation's 45th president. There are currently five living former presidents. The most recent death of a former president was on December 26, 2006 with the death of Gerald Ford; the most recently serving president to die was Ronald Reagan on June 5, 2004.

William Henry Harrison spent the shortest time in office, dying 31 days after taking office in 1841. Franklin D. Roosevelt served the longest, over twelve years, before dying early in his fourth term in 1945; he is the only president to have served more than two terms. Since the ratification of the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1951, no person may be elected president more than twice, and no one who has served more than two years of a term to which someone else was elected may be elected more than once.

Of the individuals elected as president, four died in office of natural causes (William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin D. Roosevelt), four were assassinated (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy), and one resigned (Richard Nixon). John Tyler was the first vice president to assume the presidency intra-term, and set the precedent that a vice president who does so becomes the fully functioning president with his own presidency, as opposed to a caretaker president. The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution put Tyler's precedent into law in 1967. It also established a mechanism by which an intra-term vacancy in the vice presidency could be filled. Richard Nixon was the first president to fill a vacancy under this Provision when he appointed Gerald Ford to the office. Later, Ford became the second to do so when he appointed Nelson Rockefeller to succeed him. Previously, an intra-term vacancy was left unfilled.

Throughout most of its history, politics of the United States have been dominated by political parties. The Constitution is silent on the issue of political parties, and at the time it came into force in 1789, there were no parties. Soon after the 1st Congress convened, factions began rallying around dominant Washington Administration officials, such as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Greatly concerned about the very real capacity of political parties to destroy the fragile unity holding the nation together, Washington remained unaffiliated with any political faction or party throughout his eight-year presidency. He was, and remains, the only U.S. president never to be affiliated with a political party. Since Washington, every president has been affiliated with a political party at the time they assumed office.

Greater coat of arms of the United States.svg
Greater coat of arms of the United States.svg

List of presidents

Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg
Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg
Official Presidential portrait of John Adams (by John Trumbull, circa 1792).jpg
Official Presidential portrait of John Adams (by John Trumbull, circa 1792).jpg
Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800.jpg
Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800.jpg
James Madison.jpg
James Madison.jpg
James Monroe White House portrait 1819.gif
James Monroe White House portrait 1819.gif
Andrew Jackson Daguerrotype-crop.jpg
Andrew Jackson Daguerrotype-crop.jpg
Martin Van Buren edit.jpg
Martin Van Buren edit.jpg
William Henry Harrison daguerreotype edit.jpg
William Henry Harrison daguerreotype edit.jpg
Tyler Daguerreotype crop (restoration).jpg
Tyler Daguerreotype crop (restoration).jpg
Zachary Taylor restored and cropped.png
Zachary Taylor restored and cropped.png
Millard Fillmore by Brady Studio 1855-65-crop.jpg
Millard Fillmore by Brady Studio 1855-65-crop.jpg
Franklin Pierce - 1.jpg
Franklin Pierce - 1.jpg
James Buchanan.jpg
James Buchanan.jpg
Abraham Lincoln O-77 matte collodion print.jpg
Abraham Lincoln O-77 matte collodion print.jpg
Andrew Johnson photo portrait head and shoulders, c1870-1880-Edit1.jpg
Andrew Johnson photo portrait head and shoulders, c1870-1880-Edit1.jpg
Ulysses S. Grant 1870-1880.jpg
Ulysses S. Grant 1870-1880.jpg
President Rutherford Hayes 1870 - 1880 Restored.jpg
President Rutherford Hayes 1870 - 1880 Restored.jpg
James Abram Garfield, photo portrait seated.jpg
James Abram Garfield, photo portrait seated.jpg
Chester Alan Arthur.jpg
Chester Alan Arthur.jpg
Grover Cleveland - NARA - 518139 (cropped).jpg
Grover Cleveland - NARA - 518139 (cropped).jpg
Benjamin Harrison, head and shoulders bw photo, 1896.jpg
Benjamin Harrison, head and shoulders bw photo, 1896.jpg
Grover Cleveland - NARA - 518139 (cropped).jpg
Grover Cleveland - NARA - 518139 (cropped).jpg
Mckinley.jpg
Mckinley.jpg
Woodrow Wilson-H%26E.jpg
Woodrow Wilson-H&E.jpg
Warren G Harding-Harris %26 Ewing.jpg
Warren G Harding-Harris & Ewing.jpg
Calvin Coolidge, bw head and shoulders photo portrait seated, 1919.jpg
Calvin Coolidge, bw head and shoulders photo portrait seated, 1919.jpg
Truman 58-766-09.jpg
Truman 58-766-09.jpg
John F. Kennedy, White House color photo portrait.jpg
John F. Kennedy, White House color photo portrait.jpg
37 Lyndon Johnson 3x4.jpg
37 Lyndon Johnson 3x4.jpg
JimmyCarterPortrait2.jpg
JimmyCarterPortrait2.jpg
Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg
Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg
George H. W. Bush, President of the United States, 1989 official portrait cropped.jpg
George H. W. Bush, President of the United States, 1989 official portrait cropped.jpg
Bill Clinton.jpg
Bill Clinton.jpg
George-W-Bush.jpeg
George-W-Bush.jpeg
Obama portrait crop.jpg
Obama portrait crop.jpg
Donald Trump official portrait (cropped).jpg
Donald Trump official portrait (cropped).jpg

Subsequent public service

Four presidents held other high U.S. federal offices after leaving the presidency.

President Presidency Subsequent service
John Quincy Adams 6 1825–1829 U.S. Representative from Massachusetts (1831–1848)
Andrew Johnson 17 1865–1869 U.S. Senator from Tennessee (1875)
Grover Cleveland 22 1885–1889 24th President of the United States (1893–1897)
William Howard Taft 27 1909–1913 10th Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930)

Several presidents campaigned unsuccessfully for other U.S. state or federal elective offices after leaving the presidency.

President Presidency Office sought unsuccessfully
John Quincy Adams 6 1825–1829 Governor of Massachusetts (1833)
Martin Van Buren 8 1837–1841 President of the United States (1844)
President of the United States (1848)
Millard Fillmore 13 1850–1853 President of the United States (1856)
Andrew Johnson 17 1865–1869 U.S. Senator from Tennessee (1870)
U.S. Representative from Tennessee (1872)
Ulysses S. Grant 18 1869–1877 President of the United States (1880)
Theodore Roosevelt 26 1901–1909 President of the United States (1912)
Herbert Hoover 31 1929–1933 President of the United States (1940)

Additionally, one former president, John Tyler, served in the government of the Confederate States during the American Civil War. Tyler served in the Provisional Confederate Congress from 1861 to 1862. He was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives in November 1861, but died before he could take his seat.

See also

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