Article

Timeline: Guide to U.S. Presidents

Information on every president's birthplace, political party, term of office, and more

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

This special guide to the presidents highlights vital information about the men who have led our country.

1. George Washington

Born: February 22, 1732; Westmoreland County, Virginia.
Died: December 14, 1799
Party: None
Term: 1789-1797
Age when inaugurated: 57
Famous Facts:

The first President unified the new nation and shaped the chief executive's duties. He refused to run for a third term. 

On their wedding day, Martha Washington gave him a miniature portrait of herself. He wore it on a chain around his neck until his death 40 years later.

Find out more about George Washington.

 

2. John Adams

Born: October 30, 1735; Braintree, Massachusetts
Died: July 4, 1826
Party: Federalist
Term: 1797-1801
Age when inaugurated: 61
Famous Facts:

Adams was the first President to live in the White House. 

Adams had a tough job filling Washington's shoes. His advocacy of the Alien and Sedition Acts allowed him to silence critics, but made him unpopular. He lost reelection to Thomas Jefferson.

Find out more about John Adams.

 

3. Thomas Jefferson

Born: April 13, 1743; Albemarle County, Virginia
Died: July 4, 1826
Party: Democratic-Republican
Term: 1801-1809
Age when inaugurated: 57
Famous Facts:

Considered the most brilliant President, he wrote the Declaration of Independence, founded the University of Virginia, and was an architect, a farmer, and a scientist. 

Jefferson approved the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, which nearly doubled the size of the U.S.

Find out more about Thomas Jefferson. 

 

4. James Madison

Born: March 16, 1751; Port Conway, Virginia
Died: June 28, 1836
Party: Democratic-Republican
Term: 1809-1817
Age when inaugurated: 57
Famous Facts:

Madison is considered the father of the Bill of Rights. 

Madison presided over the War of 1812 with Britain, during which the White House was burned. The war ended in a draw.

Find out more about James Madison. 

 

5. James Monroe

Born: April 28, 1758; Westmoreland County, Virginia
Died: July 4, 1831
Party: Democratic-Republican
Term: 1817-1825
Age when inaugurated: 58
Famous Facts:

Monroe lived out his retirement in poverty. 

His term is called the "Era of Good Feeling" because there was little partisan fighting. He formulated the Monroe Doctrine, which declared the Americas off-limits to European meddling.

Find out more about James Monroe.

 

6. John Quincy Adams

Born: July 11, 1767; Braintree, Massachusetts
Died: February 23, 1848
Party: Democratic-Republican
Term: 1825-1829
Age when inaugurated: 57
Famous Facts:

John Adams and John Quincy Adams were the first father and son to have served as Presidents. 

Accused of winning the White House through corruption, he was plagued by accusations of misdeeds throughout his presidency. 

After his presidency, Adams served nine terms in the House of Representatives, until his death in 1848.

Find out more about John Quincy Adams.

 

7. Andrew Jackson

Born: March 15, 1767; Waxhaw settlement, South Carolina
Died: June 8, 1845
Party: Democratic
Term: 1829-1837
Age when inaugurated: 61
Famous Facts:

Jackson was the first President to ride on a train.

Though he was a rich planter, Jackson was considered the common people's friend. Dubbed "Old Hickory" because he was so tough, Jackson greatly expanded the powers of the Presidency.

Find out more about Andrew Jackson.

 

8. Martin Van Buren

Born: December 5, 1782; Kinderhook, New York
Died: July 24, 1862. Party: Democratic
Party: Democrat
Term: 1837-1841
Age when inaugurated: 54
Famous Facts:

Van Buren was the first President to be born an American citizen, rather than a British subject. 

Van Buren's Presidency was marred by an economic depression that led to bank failures and food riots. He was easily defeated for reelection.

Find out more about Martin Van Buren. 

 

9. William Henry Harrison

Born: February 9, 1773; Berkeley, Virginia
Died: April 4, 1841
Party: Whig
Term: 1841
Age when inaugurated: 68
Famous Facts:

Harrison delivered a marathon inaugural speech during which he caught a cold. He died a month later. 

Harrison was the first President to die in office and he served the briefest term.

Find out more about William Henry Harrison. 

 

10. John Tyler

Born: March 29, 1790; Greenway, Virginia
Died: January 18, 1862
Party: Whig
Term: 1841-1845
Age when inaugurated: 51
Famous Facts:

Tyler had 15 children, more than any President.

Tyler was expected to be a passive "acting President" while he finished Harrison's term. But he refused to be passive. He made enemies in Congress and was the first President to be threatened with impeachment. The effort failed.

Find out more about John Tyler. 

 

11. James K. Polk

Born: November 2, 1795; near Pineville, North Carolina
Died: June 15, 1849
Party: Democratic
Term: 1845-1849
Age when inaugurated: 49
Famous Facts:

Polk is the only President to have served as Speaker of the House. 

Polk was the first "dark horse" or little-known nominee to become President. He presided over the Mexican War, which added Texas, California, and other territory to the U.S.

Find out more about James K. Polk

 

12. Zachary Taylor

Born: November 24, 1784; Orange County, Virginia
Died: July 9, 1850
Party: Whig
Term: 1849-1850
Age when inaugurated: 64
Famous Facts:

Taylor won fame as a general in the Mexican War. His soldiers called him "Old Rough and Ready."

Taylor threatened to use force to keep the South from leaving the Union. After his death, a compromise allowed slavery to continue in the South.

Find out more about Zachary Taylor. 

 

13. Millard Fillmore

Born: January 7, 1800; Locke, New York
Died: March 8, 1874
Party: Whig
Term: 1850-1853
Age when inaugurated: 50
Famous Facts:

Fillmore approved the Compromise of 1850, allowing slavery in the South. But neither North nor South was happy with it, and Fillmore was blamed for the law's failure.

In 1856, Fillmore ran for President on the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party ticket.

Find out more about Millard Fillmore.

 

14. Franklin Pierce

Born: November 23, 1804; Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Died: October 8, 1869
Party: Democratic
Term: 1853-1857
Age when inaugurated: 48
Famous Facts:

Pierce's wife hated Washington, D.C., so much, that she fainted when she found out he had been nominated for President. 

Pierce supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which gutted the Compromise of 1850.

Find out more about Franklin Pierce.

 

15. James Buchanan

Born: April 23, 1791; near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Died: June 1, 1868
Party: Democratic
Term: 1857-1861
Age when inaugurated: 65
Famous Facts:

Buchanan was the only bachelor to ever serve in the White House. 

Buchanan tried in vain to find a compromise to keep the South from seceding from the Union, but failed.

Find out more about James Buchanan. 

 

16. Abraham Lincoln

Born: February 12, 1809; near Hodgenville, Kentucky
Died: April 15, 1865
Party: Republican
Term: 1861-1865
Age when inaugurated: 52
Famous Facts:

Lincoln led the Union into the Civil War to preserve the nation and end slavery. He was assassinated just five days after the Confederate armies surrendered. 

Polls show that Lincoln is the most admired President.

Find out more about Abraham Lincoln.

 

17. Andrew Johnson

Born: December 29, 1808; Raleigh, North Carolina
Died: July 31, 1875
Party: National Union
Term: 1865-1869
Age when inaugurated: 56
Famous Facts:

Succeeding Lincoln, Johnson found himself in bitter battles with Congress over Reconstruction. He was impeached and tried by the Senate, but was acquitted by one vote. 

Johnson was the only southern Senator to stay loyal to the Union.

Find out more about Andrew Johnson. 

 

18. Ulysses S. Grant

Born: April 27, 1822; Point Pleasant, Ohio
Died: July 23, 1885
Party: Republican
Term: 1869-1877
Age when inaugurated: 46
Famous Facts:

Grant was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, but an error on his application to West Point changed his name to Ulysses Simpson Grant. He liked the initials so much that he kept the name. 

Grant was the top Union military hero of the Civil War. His two terms were marred by scandals.

Find out more about Ulysses S. Grant. 

 

19. Rutherford B. Hayes

Born: October 4, 1822; Delaware, Ohio
Died: January 17, 1893
Party: Republican
Term: 1877-1881
Age when inaugurated: 54
Famous Facts:

Hayes is one of only three Presidents to lose the popular vote but win the office. He won the election by one electoral vote. 

Hayes's wife, Lucy, was the first First Lady to graduate from college.

Find out more about Rutherford B. Hayes.

 

20. James A. Garfield

Born: November 19, 1831; Orange, Ohio
Died: September 19, 1881
Party: Republican
Term: 1881
Age when inaugurated: 49
Famous Facts:

Garfield set out to reform the "spoils system" by which politicians gave their friends low-level political offices. He was assassinated by a disappointed office seeker.

Garfield was the first left-handed President.

Find out more about James A. Garfield. 

 

21. Chester A. Arthur

Born: October 5, 1829; Fairfield, Vermont
Died: November 18, 1886
Party: Republican
Term: 1881-1885
Age when inaugurated: 51
Famous Facts:

Arthur was unknown before being elected, but surprised people by being honest and responsible. He helped create the Civil Service. 

As a lawyer, Arthur defended a black woman who had been abused on a streetcar. He won the case, which led the streetcar companies to integrate.

Find out more about Chester A. Arthur. 

 

22. Grover Cleveland

Born: March 18, 1837; Caldwell, New Jersey
Died: June 24, 1908
Party: Democratic
Terms: 1885-1889; 1893-1897
Ages when inaugurated: 47; 55
Famous Facts:

Cleveland is the only President to be elected to two non consecutive terms. 

Cleveland expanded the Civil Service and ended wasteful government programs. But an economic depression wrecked his second term.

Find out more about Grover Cleveland.

 

23. Benjamin Harrison

Born: August 20, 1833; North Bend, Ohio
Died: March 13, 1901
Party: Republican
Term: 1889-1893
Age when inaugurated: 55
Famous Facts:

Harrison was caught between reformers who were fighting the spoils system and those who wanted to continue it, and was defeated after one term.

Harrison's grandfather was President William Henry Harrison.

Find out more about Benjamin Harrison. 

 

24. Grover Cleveland

Born: March 18, 1837; Caldwell, New Jersey
Died: June 24, 1908
Party: Democratic
Terms: 1885-1889; 1893-1897
Ages when inaugurated: 47; 55
Famous Facts:

Cleveland expanded the Civil Service and ended wasteful government programs. But an economic depression wrecked his second term.

Cleveland is the only President to be elected to two non consecutive terms.

Find out more about Grover Cleveland.

 

25. William McKinley

Born: January 29, 1843; Niles, Ohio
Died: September 14, 1901
Party: Republican
Term: 1897-1901
Age when inaugurated: 54
Famous Facts:

McKinley led the U.S. during the Spanish-American War. The U.S. won several important overseas colonies. 

Only moments after handing a girl his "lucky" red carnation, McKinley was assassinated.

Find out more about William McKinley. 

 

26. Theodore Roosevelt

Born: October 27, 1858; New York, New York
Died: January 6, 1919
Party: Republican
Term: 1901-1909
Age when inaugurated: 42
Famous Facts:

Roosevelt was one of the most activist Presidents. His many accomplishments included the building of the Panama Canal, cracking down on business monopolies, and creating many national parks. 

Roosevelt was the first President to visit a foreign country while in office.

Find out more about Theodore Roosevelt.

 

27. William Howard Taft

Born: September 15, 1857; Cincinnati, Ohio
Died: March 8, 1930
Party: Republican
Term: 1909-1913
Age when inaugurated: 51
Famous Facts:

Taft continued many of Roosevelt's policies. A conservative, he alienated the progressive wing of his party and lost reelection. 

Taft is the only President who became a Supreme Court Justice.

Find out more about William Howard Taft.

 

28. Woodrow Wilson

Born: December 29, 1856; Staunton, Virginia
Died: February 3, 1924
Party: Democratic
Term: 1913-1921
Age when inaugurated: 56
Famous Facts:

After initially opposing World War I (1914-1918), Wilson led the U.S. into the war and drafted the peace plan that ended it. Wilson then fought to create the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations. 

Wilson was the first President to hold a news conference.

Find out more about Woodrow Wilson. 

 

29. Warren G. Harding

Born: November 2, 1865; near Blooming Grove, Ohio
Died: August 2, 1923
Party: Republican
Term: 1921-1923
Age when inaugurated: 55
Famous Facts:

Harding died in office, just as massive corruption in the Teapot Dome scandal was about to become public. Because of these scandals, Harding is regarded as the worst President. 

Harding's election was the first in which women voted.

Find out more about Warren G. Harding. 

 

30. Calvin Coolidge

Born: July 4, 1872; Plymouth Notch, Vermont
Died: January 5, 1933
Party: Republican
Term: 1923-1929
Age when inaugurated: 51
Famous Facts:

Coolidge's term was marked by economic prosperity. However, he ignored signs that the stock market was likely to collapse. 

Coolidge was known as "Silent Cal." Once a reporter said to him, "I bet my editor I could get more than two words out of you." Coolidge replied: "You lose."

Find out more about Calvin Coolidge. 

 

31. Herbert C. Hoover

Born: August 10, 1874; West Branch, Iowa
Died: October 20, 1964
Party: Republican
Term: 1919-1933
Age when inaugurated: 54
Famous Facts:

The stock market crashed a few months into Hoover's term. The Great Depression that followed was widely and some say unfairly blamed on Hoover. 

Hoover organized relief efforts in Europe after both World Wars.

Find out more about Herbert C. Hoover. 

 

32. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Born: January 30, 1882; Hyde Park, New York
Died: April 12, 1945
Party: Democratic
Term: 1933-1945
Age when inaugurated: 51
Famous Facts:

Roosevelt led the nation out of the Great Depression of the 1930s and to victory in World War II (1941–1945). He also greatly expanded the size and role of the federal government through his New Deal social programs. 

Roosevelt is the only President elected four times.

Find out more about Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 

33. Harry S. Truman

Born: May 8, 1884; Lamar, Missouri
Died: December 26, 1972
Party: Democratic
Term: 1945-1953
Age when inaugurated: 60
Famous Facts:

Truman made the fateful decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. World War II ended days later. Truman also led the U.S. during the Korean War (1950-1953).

On his desk, Truman had a plaque that said "The Buck Stops Here."

Find out more about Harry S. Truman. 

 

34. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Born: October 14, 1890; Denison, Texas
Died: March 28, 1969
Party: Republican
Term: 1953-1961
Age when inaugurated: 62
Famous Facts:

A former World War II general and hero, Eisenhower helped end the Korean War and steered a moderate course during the Cold War. 

One of America's most famous soldiers, "Ike" had wanted to go to the Naval Academy instead of West Point. He was turned down for being too old.

Find out more about Dwight D. Eisenhower.

 

35. John F. Kennedy

Born: May 29, 1917; Brookline, Massachusetts
Died: November 22, 1963
Party: Democratic
Term: 1961-1963
Age when inaugurated: 43
Famous Facts:

In 1962, the U.S. and the Soviet Union hovered on the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy eventually forced the Soviets to back down. He was assassinated in the third year of his term. 

Kennedy is the only Roman Catholic to become President.

Find out more about John F. Kennedy.

 

36. Lyndon B. Johnson

Born: August 27, 1908; near Stonewall, Texas
Died: January 22, 1973
Party: Democratic
Term: 1963-1969
Age when inaugurated: 55
Famous Facts:

Johnson passed sweeping antipoverty and civil rights programs. However, he also involved the U.S. in the unpopular Vietnam War. Antiwar protests caused him to drop a reelection bid. 

Johnson was sworn into office on an airplane after the Kennedy assassination.

Find out more about Lyndon B. Johnson.

 

37. Richard M. Nixon

Born: January 9, 1913; Yorba Linda, California
Died: April 22, 1994
Party: Republican
Term: 1969-1974
Age when inaugurated: 56
Famous Facts:

During Nixon's first term, he improved relations with the Soviet Union and China and wound down the Vietnam War. But the Watergate scandal forced Nixon to resign before Congress could impeach him. 

Nixon is the only U.S. President in history to resign his office.

Find out more about Richard M. Nixon.

 

38. Gerald R. Ford

Born: July 14, 1913; Omaha, Nebraska
Died: December 26, 2006
Party: Republican
Term: 1974-1977
Age when inaugurated: 61
Famous Facts:

Ford became Vice President after Nixon's Vice President resigned in disgrace, and President after Nixon resigned. His pardon of Nixon was unpopular, probably costing him reelection.

Ford is the only President never elected President or Vice President.

Find out more about Gerald R. Ford.

 

39. James E. (Jimmy) Carter

Born: October 1, 1924; Plains, Georgia
Party: Democratic
Term: 1977-1981
Age when inaugurated: 52
Famous Facts:

Carter had success promoting Middle East peace. But soaring oil prices, high inflation, and the Iran hostage crisis made him look weak and ineffectual.

Since leaving office, Carter has traveled the world doing charity work.

Find out more about Jimmy Carter. 

 

40. Ronald W. Reagan

Born: February 6, 1911; Tampico, Illinois
Died: June 5, 2004
Party: Republican
Term: 1981-1989
Age when inaugurated: 69
Famous Facts:

Reagan is credited with reviving national pride after the turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s. He enjoyed great popularity, though his conservative policies were controversial.

Reagan is the only President to survive after being wounded by a would-be assassin.

Find out more about Ronald W. Reagan.

 

41. George H. W. Bush

Born: June 12, 1924; Milton, Massachusetts
Party: Republican
Term: 1989-1993
Age when inaugurated: 64
Famous Fact:

During Bush's term, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended. He also led the U.S. in the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. But economic troubles at home cost him his reelection bid.

Bush was the first sitting Vice President to be elected President since Martin Van Buren.

Find out more about George H. W. Bush. 

 

42. William J. (Bill) Clinton

Born: August 19, 1946; Hope, Arkansas
Party: Democratic
Term: 1993-2000
Age when inaugurated: 46
Famous Facts:

Clinton achieved goals such as passage of the NAFTA trade agreement and cuts in the budget deficit. But his popularity was uneven and his second term was marred by scandal.

When he was 16, Clinton met President Kennedy at the White House. The experience inspired his interest in politics.

Find out more about Bill Clinton.

 

43. George W. Bush

Born: July 6, 1946; New Haven, Connecticut
Party: Republican.
Term: 2001-2008
Age when inaugurated: 54
Famous Facts:

Just eight months after being sworn in, President Bush had to unite a mournful country after the September 11th terrorist attacks. A self-proclaimed wartime commander-in-chief, President Bush, like his father, led the United States into war against Iraq.

Before focusing on national politics, George Bush was the managing partner and part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team from 1989-1998.

Find out more about George W. Bush. 

 

44. Barack Obama

Born: August 4, 1961; Honolulu, Hawaii
Party: Democrat
Terms: 2009-2013; 2013-2017
Age when inaugurated: 47
Famous Facts:

Barack Obama gained national recognition after he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. He was a US Senator from Illinois at the time. 

Barack Obama is the first African American president of the United States.

Find out more about Barack Obama.

top