Who are the 5 Oldest U.S. Presidents of all time?

Oldest U.S. Presidents of all time

On January 20, 2017 Donald J. Trump, 70 at the time, was sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States. At that age (to be precise 70 years, 7 months, 7 days), the former real estate tycoon became the oldest first-term U.S. president.

This article contains the ages of the 5 oldest presidents of the United States at the time they were sworn into office.

  1. George H. W. Bush

George H. W. Bush

Coming in at number 5 on the list of oldest U.S. presidents is George H. W. Bush. The Massachusetts-born business magnate was sworn into office on January 20, 1989 as the 41st president of the United States. At the time of his inauguration, Bush Sr. (as he came to be referred to) was 64 years, 222 days old. The Bush Sr. administration steered the nation through the dying years of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. He also halted the maniacal advance of former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein into the tiny Gulf nation of Kuwait.

After losing a re-election bid to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992, Bush Sr., a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, went on to live to the ripe age of 94 years, 171 days before dying on November 30, 2018.

  1. James Buchanan

James Buchanan

Largely seen as the U.S. president under whose watch the nation tipped over into a bloody civil war, James Buchanan was sworn into office on March 4, 1857. The 15th President of the United States at the time of his inauguration was 65 years, 315 days old, making him the fourth oldest U.S. president in office (so far). After a poor showing and underwhelming performances in White House, Buchanan – a states’ rights advocate – failed to secure a second shot at the presidency.

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As a result of his support of some controversial policies (including the infamous Dred Scott Supreme Court verdict that upheld slavery in the nation) in the lead up to the American Civil War (1861-1965), President Buchanan is frequently seen as one of the worst presidents of the United States.

  1. William Henry Harrison

William H. Harrison

What are the odds that three of the presidents on this historical list served just one-term as commander-in-chief? Was age or simply bad luck a contributory factor? In William Henry Harrison’s case, it was the latter. Sworn into office at the age of 68 years, 23 days, Harrison became the 9th president of the United States. And just 31 days later (on April 4, 1841), the nation swore in another president (in the person of Vice President John Tyler) as William Henry Harrison’s life was cut short by pneumonia. His 31 days in office makes him the shortest-served president in U.S. history. “Old Tippecanoe” (a name he received for his heroics during the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811) is much remembered for his achievements before taking up the White House job.

  1. Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

In all of America history, never has there been a president to surpass President Ronald Reagan’s record as the oldest-serving president. At the time of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, the Tampico, Illinois-born politician was a few days shy of his 70th birthday. At 69 years, 349 days, Reagan comes in second on the list of oldest U.S. presidents at the time of their inauguration.

What is interesting is that: Reagan’s second term of office (1985-1989) firmly placed him as the oldest-serving president in office. In spite of some of the stellar results (some controversial of course) he attained while in the White House, his age was constantly brought up, particularly during his final few years in office. Many commentators at the time believed that the President Reagan’s mental prowess was battered by early stages of Alzheimer’s disease – a disease that he was officially diagnosed with in 1994. In spite of his deteriorating mental health, the former Hollywood actor and 33rd governor of California went on to live to a ripe age of 93 years before dying on June 5, 2004.

Reagan’s conservative administration is best remembered for many modern economic and political initiatives, the most famous being his supply-side economic programs, which came to be called “Reaganomics”. On the foreign policy side of things, Reagan heaped enormous pressure on the Soviet Union, which ultimately resulted in the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.

Click here to read more about Ronald Reagan’s biography and major accomplishments.

  1. Donald J. Trump
Donald J. Trump

Oldest U.S. Presidents of all time | Donald J. Trump – 45th President of the United States

America’s 45th president, Donald John Trump, defied a number of opinion polls and defeated former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Sworn in on January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump – a highly successful television personality – became the oldest person to become president of the United States of America.

At 70 years, 220 days, President Trump entered the White House 8 months older than the age Ronald Reagan took the presidential oath in 1983. The multi-billionaire’s (according to a 2020 Forbes’ estimate) first three years in office saw stellar economic results, although many of them came amidst a horrendous and disjointed foreign policy.

A second term presidency for Donald Trump would see the former host of The Apprentice become America’s oldest serving president in history.

U.S. Presidents’ ages at the the time of their inauguration

The list below contains the ages of all U.S. presidents at the time of their inauguration ceremonies. The nation’s Founding Father and first president George Washington (who was 57 years, 67 days at the time) comes in at 16 on the list of oldest U.S. presidents. However, that could all change with the passage of time.

U.S. President President # Date of Birth President’s age at inauguration 
Donald J. Trump 45 June 14, 1946 70 years, 220 days (Jan 20, 2017)
Ronald Reagan 40 Feb 6, 1911 69 years, 349 days (Jan 20, 1981)
William Henry Harrison 9 Feb 9, 1773 68 years, 23 days (Mar 4, 1841)
James Buchanan 15 Apr 23, 1791 65 years, 315 days (Mar 4, 1857)
George H. W. Bush 41 Jun 12, 1924 64 years, 222 days (Jan 20, 1989)
Zachary Taylor 12 Nov 24, 1784 64 years, 100 days (Mar 4, 1849)
Dwight D. Eisenhower 34 Oct 14, 1890 62 years, 98 days (Jan 20, 1953)
Andrew Jackson 7 Mar 15, 1767 61 years, 354 days (Mar 4, 1829)
John Adams 2 Oct 30, 1735 61 years, 125 days (Mar 4, 1797)
Gerald Ford 38 Jul 14, 1913 61 years, 26 days (Aug 9, 1974)
Harry S. Truman 33 May 8, 1884 60 years, 339 days (Apr 12, 1945)
James Monroe 5 Apr 28, 1758 58 years, 310 days (Mar 4, 1817)
James Madison 4 Mar 16, 1751 57 years, 353 days (Mar 4, 1809)
Thomas Jefferson 3 Apr 13, 1743 57 years, 325 days (Mar 4, 1801)
John Quincy Adams 6 Jul 11, 1767 57 years, 236 days (Mar 4, 1825)
George Washington 1 Feb 22, 1732 57 years, 67 days (Apr 30, 1789)
Andrew Johnson 17 Dec 29, 1808 56 years, 107 days (Apr 15, 1865)
Woodrow Wilson 28 Dec 28, 1856 56 years, 66 days (Mar 4, 1913)
Richard Nixon 37 Jan 9, 1913 56 years, 11 days (Jan 20, 1969)
Grover Cleveland* 24 Mar 18, 1837 55 years, 351 days (Mar 4, 1893)
Benjamin Harrison 23 Aug 20, 1833 55 years, 196 days (Mar 4, 1889)
Warren G. Harding 29 Nov 2, 1865 55 years, 122 days (Mar 4, 1921)
Lyndon B. Johnson 36 Aug 27, 1908 55 years, 87 days (Nov 22, 1963)
Herbert Hoover 31 Aug 10, 1874 54 years, 206 days (Mar 4, 1929)
George W. Bush 43 Jul 6, 1946 54 years, 198 days (Jan 20, 2001)
Rutherford B. Hayes 19 Oct 4, 1822 54 years, 151 days (Mar 4, 1877)
Martin Van Buren 8 Dec 5, 1782 54 years, 89 days (Mar 4, 1837)
William McKinley 25 Jan 29, 1843 54 years, 34 days (Mar 4, 1897)
Jimmy Carter 39 Oct 1, 1924 52 years, 111 days (Jan 20, 1977)
Abraham Lincoln 16 Feb 12, 1809 52 years, 20 days (Mar 4, 1861)
Chester A. Arthur 21 Oct 5, 1829 51 years, 349 days (Sep 19, 1881)
William Howard Taft 27 Sep 15, 1857 51 years, 170 days (Mar 4, 1909)
Franklin D. Roosevelt 32 Jan 30, 1882 51 years, 33 days (Mar 4, 1933)
Calvin Coolidge 30 Jul 4, 1872 51 years, 29 days (Aug 2, 1923)
John Tyler 10 Mar 29, 1790 51 years, 6 days (Apr 4, 1841)
Millard Fillmore 13 Jan 7, 1800 50 years, 183 days (Jul 9, 1850)
James K. Polk 11 Nov 2, 1795 49 years, 122 days (Mar 4, 1845)
James A. Garfield 20 Nov 19, 1831 49 years, 105 days (Mar 4, 1881)
Franklin Pierce 14 Nov 23, 1804 48 years, 101 days (Mar 4, 1853)
Grover Cleveland* 22 Mar 18, 1837 47 years, 351 days (Mar 4, 1885)
Barack Obama 44 Aug 4, 1961 47 years, 169 days (Jan 20, 2009)
Ulysses S. Grant 18 Apr 27, 1822 46 years, 311 days (Mar 4, 1869)
Bill Clinton 42 Aug 19, 1946 46 years, 154 days (Jan 20, 1993)
John F. Kennedy 35 May 29, 1917 43 years, 236 days (Jan 20, 1961)
Theodore Roosevelt 26 Oct 27, 1858 42 years, 322 days (Sep 14, 1901)

* This list captures all 45 tenures, including Grover Cleveland (22nd and 24th President of the U.S.), who had two non-consecutive terms in office

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