P is for Presidents

Since Presidents’ Day is just around the corner, it seems a reasonable time to take a look at the men who have filled the position for the past 223 years. Of course, there are some who are household names – I doubt there’s anyone in America who can’t name at least 5 – but there are a few who are definitely less well-known (quick – tell me about Chester Arthur).

Still, it is interesting to see the different qualities we Americans have looked for in our leaders over time. At times we’ve wanted executives who are steadfast, yet not afraid to be unconventional; likeable, yet someone others might fear; strong, yet able to express emotion. With such elaborate expectations, is it any wonder it now takes us 3 years to go through the election process?

So, in honor of the day, here are biographies for all 44. Since a few have had more than their fair share of attention (I’m looking at you, Honest Abe), I’ve limited some to just two.

(1) George Washington

(2) John Adams

(3) Thomas Jefferson

(4) James Madison

(5) James Monroe

(6) John Quincy Adams

(7) Andrew Jackson

(8) Martin Van Buren

(9) William Harrison

(10) John Tyler

(11) James K. Polk

(12) Zachary Taylor

(13) Millard Fillmore

(14) Franklin Pierce

(15) James Buchanan

(16) Abraham Lincoln

(17) Andrew Johnson

(18) Ulysses S. Grant

(19) Rutherford B. Hayes

(20) James A. Garfield

(21) Chester A. Arthur

(22, 24) Grover Cleveland

(23) Benjamin Harrison

(25) William McKinley

(26) Theodore Roosevelt

(27) William Taft

(28) Woodrow Wilson

(29) Warren G. Harding

(30) Calvin Coolidge

(31) Herbert Hoover

(32) Franklin Delano Roosevelt

(33) Harry S. Truman

(34) Dwight D. Eisenhower

(35) John F. Kennedy

(36) Lyndon B. Johnson

(37) Richard Nixon

(38) Gerald Ford

(39) Jimmy Carter

(40) Ronald Reagan

(41) George Bush

(42) Bill Clinton

(43) George W. Bush

(44) Barack Obama


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