How old was every US President when they entered office (and when they left)?

Should age have an impact on Presidential candidacy? It's a big question, but maybe it can be answered by how old most Presidents have been when they entered and left office.
Donald Trump And Joe Biden Participate In Final Debate Before 2020 Presidential Election
Donald Trump And Joe Biden Participate In Final Debate Before 2020 Presidential Election / Pool/GettyImages

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about whether Presidential candidates' ages should be relevant to their campaign. In the 2020 election, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden were set to become the oldest Presidents in US history if they won. Four years later, the question has only become more important.

For the most part, the government has only concerned itself with age when it comes to the younger end of the spectrum. Per the Constitution, a person is only able to become President if they are 35 years or older. However, some Americans have discussed the idea of adding an age ceiling, due to concerns about the candidates' ability to successfully perform their job responsibilities.

With this in mind, it might be useful to consider what age range is most common for the last 46 Presidents of the United States. While the average life expectancy has gone up since the mid-1800s, there hasn't been much of a shift in the Presidential age range until the last decade. With this in mind, it's actually pretty easy to see trends in what age range has historically been considered appropriate.

Donald J. Trump, Melania Trump, Barack Obama
State Funeral Held For George H.W. Bush At The Washington National Cathedral / Pool/GettyImages

Presidential age fast facts

Presidential age range: 42-81

  • Incoming age range: 42-78 (46-65 without outliers)
  • Outgoing age range: 46-81 (49-69 without outliers)

Average age of incoming Presidents: 55.5

  • Average age of incoming inherited Presidents: 53

Most common age of incoming Presidents: 51 and 54 (each have five Presidents)

Average age of outgoing Presidents (not including Joe Biden): 60.09

Most common age of outgoing Presidents: 65 (five Presidents)

How many Presidents died in office?

Eight. Of these, four (William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding, Franklin Roosevelt) are considered to have died by natural causes, while four (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, John F. Kennedy) are considered to have been assassinated.

However, some think Zachary Taylor was actually poisoned, and James Garfield died from infection—not the bullet wounds themselves.

What is the average age that a President died (in-office)?


What is the average age for a President to be assassinated?


First six presidents of the United State
First six presidents of the United State / Culture Club/GettyImages

Every President's age

1. George Washington: 57 years old

George Washington was 57 years and 67 days old when he came into office in 1789. As the first President, people weren't sure whether he would stay for just a few years or for life. Washington decided that it would be best if he only stayed in office for two terms, leaving at age 65.

2. John Adams: 61 years old

As the second President, John Adams had big shoes to fill. He was a little bit older than Washington had been when he'd become President, at 61 years and 125 days old. This theoretically gave him more experience, especially since he had been Washington's vice president. However, he only held office for one term, leaving at age 65.

3. Thomas Jefferson: 57 years old

Thomas Jefferson had to fight for the Presidency in the Election of 1800, with both him and Aaron Burr earning 73 electoral college votes. He was 57 years and 325 days old when he came into office in 1801. After staying for two terms, he followed Washington's lead by leaving after his second term at age 65.


John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day: July 4, 1826. Adams's last words are reported to be "Thomas Jefferson survives," not knowing that his friend/opponent had passed away just hours earlier.

4. James Madison: 57 years old

After Thomas Jefferson finished his eight years, James Madison was inaugurated when he was 57 years and 353 days old. During his time in office, Madison had to manage the strains of one of the country's first wars: The War of 1812. He served two terms, leaving office at age 65 like his three predecessors.

5. James Monroe: 58 years old

James Monroe was 58 years and 310 days old when he entered office in 1817. Thanks to the relative peace that had finally been established, his time as President marked the beginning of the "Era of Good Feelings." He also continued the two-term tradition, leaving office at age 66. This made him the first President to stay in office past the age of 65.

6. John Quincy Adams: 57 years old

John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, was 57 years and 236 days old when he entered office in 1825. While his predecessors had all been sworn in on a Bible, Quincy Adams chose to use a book of constitutional law. Despite having gained a good understanding of critical political affairs as Monroe's Secretary of State, he only served one term, leaving office at age 61.

7. Andrew Jackson: 61 years old

Despite winning the Election of 1828, Andrew Jackson entered office as a somber man. His wife Rachel had died shortly after the election, which Jackson blamed on his political opponents. Andrew Jackson was 61 years and 354 days old when he entered office in 1829, which made him older than most of his colleagues. Despite an assassination attempt in 1835, he did complete two full terms, leaving office at age 69.

8. Martin Van Buren: 54 years old

Martin Van Buren was the youngest President thus far, entering office at 54 years and 89 days old in 1837. Prior to his Presidency, he had served as both Secretary of State and Vice President for Andrew Jackson. Despite this, major economic crashes meant that he only served one term before leaving office at age 58.

9. William Henry Harrison: 68 years old

William Henry Harrison was the oldest President-elect by far when he entered office in 1841, at 68 years and 23 days old. He was also the first President to die in office, only having been President for 31 days. The common theory was that he had become ill after being caught in bad weather during his inauguration.

10. John Tyler: 51 years old

John Tyler was never elected President. Instead, he took on the office after his predecessor died in 1841. At the time, Tyler was 51 years and 6 days old. He faced the country's first impeachment proceedings, thanks to an unprecedented number of presidential vetoes, but managed to finish out Harrison's original term. After a contentious attempt to run for office himself, Tyler left the Presidency at age 54.

11. James K. Polk: 49 years old

James K. Polk came into office in 1845, as the first President to enter office under the age of 50. He was 49 years and 122 days old when he was inaugurated, only serving one term before leaving office at age 53.


James K. Polk survived the shortest length of time after leaving office. He suffered from various illnesses for much of his time after leaving office, passing only 103 days after Taylor's inauguration.

12. Zachary Taylor: 64 years old

Zachary Taylor was another short-term President, dying while in office on July 9, 1850. He entered office at 64 years and 100 days old in 1849, dying after just a year and a few months. Although his cause of death is unknown, many historians tie it back to a fundraising event he had attended a few days before. He suffered from severe intestinal distress, which some speculated might have been due to poisoning.

13. Millard Fillmore: 50 years old

Millard Fillmore took over the Presidency after his predecessor's death, entering office at 50 years and 183 days old. He finished Taylor's original term, but did not actively seek his own in the Election of 1852. Fillmore left office at age 53.

14. Franklin Pierce: 48 years old

Franklin Pierce came into office in 1853 at only 48 years and 101 days old. Despite expecting an easy victory at the 1856 Democratic National Convention, however, Pierce became the first and only elected President not to earn his party's nomination for a second term. He left office at age 52, at that point still younger than 10 out of the 13 Presidents preceding him when they first took office.

15. James Buchanan: 65 years old

James Buchanan became President in 1857 at the age of 65 years and 315 days. This made him one of the oldest President-elects in the country's history. In his inaugural address, he announced that he would not be seeking re-election, a promise that he kept by leaving office after only one term, at age 69.

16. Abraham Lincoln: 52 years old

Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President in US history, and it helped that he was a relatively young candidate with a clear image of himself as an everyman figure. He was 52 years and 20 days old when he entered office in 1861. Notably, he was the first President to win reelection since Andrew Jackson, a fact no doubt helped by the fact that the Southern states did not participate. However, he was assassinated just over a month into his second term, dying at age 56.

17. Andrew Johnson: 56 years old

Andrew Jackson became President on April 15, 1865 after the death of Abraham Lincoln. At the time, he was 56 years and 107 days old. Though he attempted to win the Election of 1864, the Democratic Party chose to nominate Horatio Seymour instead. He left office at age 60, as the third Vice President-turned-President to not be chosen to serve his own term.

18. Ulysses S. Grant: 46 years old

Ulysses S. Grant became the youngest President when he was inaugurated in 1869, two years younger than the previous record-setter, Franklin Pierce. Grant was 46 years and 311 days old when he entered office, which made it easy to imagine him running again. He ended up being the first President to serve a full eight years since Andrew Jackson in 1829-1837, eventually leaving office at age 54.

19. Rutherford B. Hayes: 54 years old

When Rutherford B. Hayes came into office in 1877, he was 54 years and 151 days old. Following James Buchanan's lead, Hayes promised not to seek re-election. This led to him leaving office at age 58.

20. James Garfield: 49 years old

James Garfield became President at the age of 49 years, 105 days. However, he did not last long in the role. On July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau. He actually recovered remarkably well, with his doctor reportedly telling him his odds of survival were 100%. Unfortunately, medical science was not advanced enough to understand the needs of sterile treatment, which caused Garfield to develop a terrible infection that eventually killed him two and a half months later. He was still only 49.

21. Chester A. Arthur: 51 years old

Chester A. Arthur entered office in 1881 when he was 51 years and 349 days old. He was open to a second term, but the fractured Republican Party didn't have enough faith in him to make much of an effort at campaigning. Because of that, he left four years later at age 55.

22. Grover Cleveland: 47 years old

Grover Cleveland falls on the younger end of incoming Presidents, but don't worry: he'll fall into the general trend in a few years. Cleveland entered office in 1885 when he was 47 years and 351 days old. Despite earning the Democratic nomination for the Election of 1888, Cleveland lost to Benjamin Harrison and returned to civilian life at age 51.

23. Benjamin Harrison: 55 years old

Benjamin Harrison won out over Grover Cleveland in 1888, returning the White House to the Republican Party which had largely dominated politically since the end of the Civil War. When he was inaugurated, Harrison was 55 years and 196 days old. Due to economic struggles, Harrison lost popular approval and left office after only one term at 59 years old.

24. Grover Cleveland (Again): 55 years old

Despite losing in 1888, Grover Cleveland made history by winning in 1892 and becoming the first (and, so far, only) President to serve two non-consecutive terms. He returned to the White House when he was 55 years and 351 days old, falling into the standard age range of Presidents up to that point. He then left office at age 59.

25. William McKinley: 54 years old

William McKinley took over after Grover Cleveland, entering office at 54 years and 34 days old. He won both the Election of 1896 and the Election of 1900, but he was shot by a man named Leon Czolgosz on September 6, 1901. Though his doctors were optimistic about his condition, he succumbed to gangrene on September 14.

26. Theodore Roosevelt: 42 years old

Teddy Roosevelt came into office just six months into McKinley's second term, which gave him three years in office to establish himself. When he took to oath of office, he was only 42 years and 322 days old. This makes him the youngest ever President—not John F. Kennedy, who often earns the title. Roosevelt is also the first President to inherit the role and then be elected for his own term. By the time he left office, Roosevelt was 50 years old, still younger than many incoming Presidents.

27. William Howard Taft: 51 years old

William Howard Taft came into office at 51 years and 170 days old. As his first term neared an end, however, he had a very public feud with his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt. This split the Republican Party, leading the way for a Democratic win in 1912. When Taft left office, he was still only 55. He lived for another 17 years, during which he became the only President in history to also serve on the Supreme Court.

28. Woodrow Wilson: 56 years old

Woodrow Wilson benefited greatly from the split in the Republican Party, winning 40 of the then-48 states in the Election of 1912. When he was sworn in, he was 56 years and 66 days old. He won two elections and intended to go for a fourth in the Election of 1920, but he had a severe stroke that ended his third-term ambitions. He was 64 years old when he left office.

29. Warren G. Harding: 55 years old

Warren G. Harding was 55 years and 122 days old when he took over from Woodrow Wilson in 1921. After only two years, however, reporters found that Harding was excessively exhausted by his duties. Although he was found to have heart trouble and pneumonia, everyone assumed he would be fine, especially when he responded well to treatment. However, he then suffered a heart attack and died on August 2, 1923 to the shock of the country. He passed at only age 57.

30. Calvin Coolidge: 51 years old

Calvin Coolidge took over as President from Harding in 1923, when he was 51 years and 29 days old. Despite grieving his son, who died in July, Coolidge easily won the 1924 Election to earn his own term in office. However, he suffered from severe depression throughout his own Presidency and chose not to run again. He left the White House at age 56.

31. Herbert Hoover: 54 years old

Herbert Hoover took over for Calvin Coolidge in 1929, when he was 54 years and 206 days old. Though he was viewed as competent when he went into office, his tenure was marred by the Great Depression. Although he earned the Republican nomination, he was only able to carry six states in the 1932 Election. He left office at age 58.

32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: 51 years old

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is going to be one of the more complicated Presidents when it comes to age since he is the only President to ever serve more than two elected terms. Roosevelt overwhelmingly won the Election of 1932, being inaugurated when he was 51 years and 33 days old.

FDR then went on to win three more elections, breaking the tradition of only holding office for eight years. However, his health began to fail him around the time of the 1944 election. He suffered a massive stroke and died on April 12, 1945, at 63 years old.

33. Harry S. Truman: 60 years old

Prior to Harry Truman, there had only been five Presidents who had been in their 60s when they were inaugurated, and two of them had died in office. This made it so Truman's age was a focus when he stepped into Roosevelt's shoes at 60 years and 339 days old. However, he soon attracted attention for swiftly ending World War 2 instead. He went on to win the 1948 Election, leaving office at age 68.

34. Dwight D. Eisenhower: 62 years old

Although it was rare to have incoming Presidents in their 60s through most of the United States's history, it didn't seem to bother anyone in the 40s and 50s. Following Truman was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was 62 years and 98 days old when he was inaugurated. Eisenhower was bound by the newly-ratified 22nd Amendment, which prevented him from seeking a third term. Instead, he endorsed Richard Nixon in the Election of 1960, which he lost to John F. Kennedy.


President Eisenhower was the first person to ever hold the Presidency at or over the age of 70. Only one other man (Ronald Reagan) would end his Presidency in his 70s, excluding Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

35. John F. Kennedy: 43 years old

John F. Kennedy is often called the youngest President ever, but that is not true. He was, however, the youngest elected President, being inaugurated in 1961 at 43 years and 236 days old. Despite having a massive impact on the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War, Kennedy was not beloved by everyone. While driving through Dallas in the presidential limo, Kennedy was shot in the back and the head. He was only 46 when he died, by far the youngest President at the end of his time in office.

36. Lyndon B. Johnson: 55 years old

Lyndon B. Johnson was 55 years and 87 days old when he became President after Kennedy's assassination. He swore to follow the path that Kennedy had promised, which helped him get elected for his own term in 1964. Because of a combination of public disapproval of the Vietnam War and his own failing health, Johnson decided not to run for a second full term, leaving the White House at age 60.

37. Richard Nixon: 56 years old

Richard Nixon had attempted to claim the Presidency as early as 1960, but he wasn't successful until 1968, when he was 56 years and 11 days old. As President, he focused on promoting peace internally and abroad, policies which helped him win the 1972 Election by the biggest landslide since 1820 (96.65% of the electoral college votes). However, he was nearly impeached due to the Watergate scandal, ultimately resigning in 1974 at age 61.


Richard Nixon is the only President in US History to resign from office.

38. Gerald Ford: 61 years old

Gerald Ford took over from Richard Nixon after his resignation in 1974, when Ford was 61 years and 26 days old. However, he had a strange path to the position, as he had been selected by Congress to take on the position of Vice President after Spiro Agnew's resignation. He is the only person to ever become President without being voted into either that position or the Vice Presidency.

Despite two assassination attempts, Ford did run for his own term in 1976. However, he lost a close race to Jimmy Carter and headed home at age 63. Though he considered running for office again, he ultimately decided to guide others instead of trying to claim the Presidency once more.

39. Jimmy Carter: 52 years old

Jimmy Carter became President when he was 52 years and 111 days old. However, he only served one term before being absolutely crushed in the 1980 Election by Ronald Reagan. He left the White House at age 56, but that was only one chapter of his story. He is widely-known for his humanitarian efforts, and has won numerous awards including the Nobel Peace Prize.

He is currently the oldest living former President, as well as holding the record as the longest-living former President.

40. Ronald Reagan: 69 years old

Ronald Reagan was the oldest incoming President in American history until the 2020s. He was 69 years and 349 days old on his inauguration date. After an assassination attempt just two months into his Presidency, Reagan gained a lot of public approval. This, combined with his economic policies, earned him a second term. By the time he left office, he was 77 years old.

41. George H. W. Bush: 64 years old

George H. W. Bush took on the Presidency in 1989, when the political landscape seemed to be less volatile than it had been for much of the last 150 years. Though he was already 64 years and 222 days old when he took office, he was still more than ten years younger than his predecessor. However, he had lost some of his party's good will because of some of his fiscal policies. He only stayed in office for four years, leaving at age 68.

42. Bill Clinton: 46 years old

Swinging back from two of the oldest Presidents, Bill Clinton was only 46 years and 154 days old when he took office in 1993. He was relatively popular during his first term, soundly beating Bob Dole in the 1996 Election. However, scandal struck in his second term, with Clinton being impeached on was impeached on December 19, 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice. However, the Senate couldn't get the necessary 2/3 vote to remove him from office, letting him finish out his term and leave at age 54.

43. George W. Bush: 54 years old

George W. Bush took office eight years after his father in 2001, after a tight race with Al Gore. Bush was 54 years and 198 days old when he assumed the Presidency. While many Americans thought of him as buffoonish, his response to 9/11 helped earn him a second term, allowing him to stay in the role until he was 62.

44. Barack Obama: 47 years old

Barack Obama was a surprise favorite in the 2008 election, where he managed to overtake former First Lady Hillary Clinton. He was the fifth-youngest incoming President in history, at 47 years and 169 days old. Despite losing some popularity, Obama was the first Democrat to win a majority of the popular vote twice since FDR. This gave him another four years in office, which he held until he turned 55.

45. Donald J. Trump: 70 years old

After a contentious election, with 26 major candidates across the two parties, Donald Trump came into office in 2017, as the oldest President in US History. He just barely beat Reagan at 70 years and 220 days. Despite many controversies, he lost his attempt at re-election, leaving office at age 74.

46. Joe Biden: 78 years old

The 2020 Election focused more on age than ever before, with both candidates set to become the oldest President. Joe Biden was inaugurated in 2021, when he was 78 years and 61 days old. With every day that passes, he raises the record for oldest sitting President in the United States.

Assuming a surprise candidate or a change in election law, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are expected to rematch this year. Whichever wins will be the oldest President for as long as they live. With this in mind, many voters have their sights focused on the vice presidential candidates, as the odds have not historically been great for Presidents over the age of 60.

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