The Presidents of the United States


Barack Obama

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Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II ( (listen);[1] born August 4, 1961) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency. He previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois (2005–2008). Obama was born in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, two years after the territory was admitted to the Union as the 50th state. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he became a civil rights attorney and an academic, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He received national attention in 2004 with his March primary win, h ...more...

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George W. Bush

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George W. Bush

George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had previously served as the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and grew up in Texas. After graduating from Yale University in 1968 and Harvard Business School in 1975, he worked in the oil industry.[4] Bush married Laura Welch in 1977 and unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives shortly thereafter. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team before defeating Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. Bush was elected President of the United States in 2000 when he defeated Democratic incumbent Vice President Al Gore after a close and controversial win that involved a stopped recount in Florida. He became the fourth person to be elected president while receiving fewer popular votes than his opponent.[5] Bush is a member of a prominent political family and is the eldest son o ...more...



Ronald Reagan

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Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan (; February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to the presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Reagan was raised in a poor family in small towns of northern Illinois. He graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a sports announcer on several regional radio stations. After moving to California in 1937, he became an actor and starred in a few major productions. Reagan was twice elected President of the Screen Actors Guild—the labor union for actors—where he worked to root out Communist influence. In the 1950s, he moved into television and was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories. Reagan had been a Democrat until 1962, when he became a conservative and switched to the Republican Party. In 1964, Reagan's speech, "A Time for Choosing", supported Barry Goldwater's foundering presidential campai ...more...

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Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (,[1] ;[2] January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. He is often rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York, to a Dutch Ame ...more...

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Bill Clinton

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Bill Clinton

William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1992, and the Attorney General of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat and many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy. Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University, University College, Oxford, and Yale Law School. He met Hillary Rodham at Yale and married her in 1975. After graduating, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as the Attorney General of Arkansas, serving from 1977 to 1979. As Governor of Arkansas, he overhauled the state's education system and served as chairman of the National Governors Association. Clinton was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent Republican opponent George H. W. ...more...

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John F. Kennedy

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John F. Kennedy

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the second child of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Kennedy. He graduated from Harvard University in 1940 and joined the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his service. After the war, Kennedy represented the 11th congressional district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953. He was subsequen ...more...

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George Washington

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George Washington

George Washington (February 22, 1732[b][c] – December 14, 1799) was one of the Founding Fathers and the first President of the United States (1789–1797). He commanded Patriot forces in the new nation's American Revolutionary War and led them to victory over the British. Washington also presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which established the new federal government. For his leadership he has been called the "Father of His Country". Washington was born to a family of white Southern planters and slaveholders in colonial Virginia. He had educational opportunities and at age seventeen launched a successful career as a land surveyor. He then became a leader of the Virginia militia in the French and Indian War. During the Revolutionary War he was a delegate to the Continental Congress, was unanimously appointed commander-in-chief of the Army, and led an allied campaign to victory at the Siege of Yorktown which ended the conflict. Once victory was in hand in 1783, he resigned as commander-in-chief. ...more...

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Abraham Lincoln

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Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 16th President of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis.[2][3] In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the western frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became a lawyer in Illinois. As a Whig Party leader, he served eight years in the legislature and two in Congress, then resumed his law practice. Angered by the success of Democrats in opening the western prairie lands to slavery, he reentered politics in 1854. He was a leader in building in the West the new Republican Party from Whigs and anti-slavery Democrats. He gained national attention in 1858 debating a top national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas. Although he lost ...more...

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Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower ( EYE-zən-how-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front. Born David Dwight Eisenhower in Denison, Texas, he was raised in Kansas in a large family of mostly Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. His family had a strong religious background. His mother was born a Lutheran, married as a River Brethren, and later became a Jehovah's Witness. Even so, Eisenhower did not belong to any organized church until 1952. He cited constant relocation during his military career as one reason.[2] He graduated from West Point in 1915 and later married Mamie ...more...

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George H. W. Bush

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George H. W. Bush

George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018) was an American statesman and Republican Party politician who served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993; he earlier served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He had also been a congressman, ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. During his career in public service, he was known simply as George Bush, but he was referred to as "George H. W. Bush", "Bush 41", or "George Bush Sr." after his son George W. Bush became the 43rd president in 2001. Bush postponed his university studies after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday, and became one of its youngest aviators. He served until September 1945, and then attended Yale University, graduating in 1948. He moved his family to West Texas where he entered the oil business and became a millionaire by the age of 40 in 1964. After founding his own oil company, Bush was defeated in his fir ...more...

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Theodore Roosevelt

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Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ROH-zə-velt;[b] October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was an American statesman and writer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He also served as the 25th Vice President of the United States from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd Governor of New York from 1899 to 1900. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore, alongside those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. In polls of historians and political scientists, Roosevelt is generally ranked as one of the five best presidents.[3] Roosevelt was born a sickly child with debilitating asthma, but he overcame his physical health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle. He integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by robust masculinity. Home-scho ...more...

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Lyndon B. Johnson

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Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon Baines Johnson (; August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was an American politician who served as the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969. Formerly the 37th Vice President of the United States from 1961 to 1963, he assumed the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A Democrat from Texas, Johnson also served as a United States Representative and as the Majority Leader in the United States Senate. Johnson is one of only four people who have served in all four federal elected positions.[b] Born in a farmhouse in Stonewall, Texas, Johnson was a high school teacher and worked as a congressional aide before winning election to the House of Representatives in 1937. He won election to the Senate in 1948 and was appointed to the position of Senate Majority Whip in 1951. He became the Senate Minority Leader in 1953 and the Senate Majority Leader in 1955. He became known for his domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment ...more...

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Jimmy Carter

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Jimmy Carter

James Earl Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981.[1][2] A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia State Senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th Governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. Carter has remained active in public life during his post-presidency, and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center. Raised in a wealthy family of peanut farmers in the southern town of Plains in Georgia, Carter graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree and joined the United States Navy, where he served on submarines. After the death of his father in 1953, Carter left his naval career and returned home to Georgia to take up the reins of his family's peanut-growing business. Despite his father's wealth, Carter inherited comparatively little due to his father's forgiveness of debts and the division of the estate among the children. Nevert ...more...

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Harry S. Truman

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Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman[b] (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953), taking office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. A World War I veteran, he assumed the presidency during the waning months of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. He is known for implementing the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, for establishing the Truman Doctrine and NATO against Soviet and Chinese Communism, and for intervening in the Korean War. In domestic affairs, he was a moderate Democrat whose liberal proposals were a continuation of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, but the conservative-dominated Congress blocked most of them. He used the veto power 180 times, more than any president since, and saw 12 overridden by Congress; only Grover Cleveland and Franklin D. Roosevelt used the veto more often, and only Gerald Ford and Andrew Johnson saw so many veto overrides.[7] He is the only world leader to have used nuclear weapons in war. He desegregated the U.S. ...more...

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Thomas Jefferson

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Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he had been elected the second Vice President of the United States, serving under John Adams from 1797 to 1801. Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level. Jefferson was mainly of English ancestry, born and educated in colonial Virginia. He graduated from the College of William & Mary and briefly practiced law, with the largest number of his cases concerning land ownership claims.[1] During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, and served ...more...



Woodrow Wilson

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Woodrow Wilson

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was an American statesman and academic who served as the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and as Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913, before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933.[1] He also led the United States during World War I, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism." He was one of the three key leaders at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, where he championed a new League of Nations, but he was unable to win Senate approval for U.S. participation in the League. Born in Staunton, Virginia, to a slaveholding family, Wilson spent his early years in Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina. His father was a leading Southern Presbyterian and helped to found the Presbyterian ...more...

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Ulysses S. Grant

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Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant;[b] April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States, Commanding General of the Army, soldier, international statesman, and author. During the American Civil War Grant led the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy with the supervision of President Abraham Lincoln. During the Reconstruction Era President Grant led the Republicans in their efforts to remove the vestiges of Confederate nationalism, racism, and slavery. From early childhood in Ohio, Grant was a skilled equestrian who had a talent for taming horses. He graduated from West Point in 1843 and served with distinction in the Mexican–American War. Upon his return, Grant married Julia Dent, and together they had four children. In 1854, Grant abruptly resigned from the army. He and his family struggled financially in civilian life for seven years. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Grant joined the Union Army and rapidly rose in rank to general. Grant was persistent in his purs ...more...

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Gerald Ford

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Gerald Ford

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was an American politician who served as the 38th President of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977. Before his accession to the presidency, he served as the 40th Vice President of the United States from December 1973 to August 1974. Ford is the only person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected to either office. Ford was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and attended the University of Michigan and Yale Law School. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving from 1942 to 1946; he left as a lieutenant commander. Ford began his political career in 1949 as the U.S. Representative from Michigan's 5th congressional district. He served in this capacity for 25 years, the final nine of them as the House Minority Leader. Following the resignation of Spiro Agnew, he was the first person appointed to the vice presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment ...more...

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Andrew Jackson

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Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Before being elected to the presidency, Jackson gained fame as a general in the United States Army and served in both houses of Congress. As president, Jackson sought to advance the rights of the "common man"[1] against a "corrupt aristocracy"[2] and to preserve the Union. Born in the colonial Carolinas to a Scotch-Irish family in the decade before the American Revolutionary War, Jackson became a frontier lawyer and married Rachel Donelson Robards. He served briefly in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate representing Tennessee. After resigning, he served as a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1798 until 1804. Jackson purchased a property later known as The Hermitage, and became a wealthy, slaveowning planter. In 1801, he was appointed colonel of the Tennessee militia and was elected its commander the following year. He led ...more...

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Herbert Hoover

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Herbert Hoover

Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American engineer, businessman and politician who served as the 31st President of the United States from 1929 to 1933 during the Great Depression. A Republican, as Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s he introduced themes of efficiency in the business community and provided government support for standardization, efficiency and international trade. As president from 1929 to 1933, his domestic programs were overshadowed by the onset of the Great Depression. Hoover was defeated in a landslide election in 1932 by Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt. After this loss, Hoover became staunchly conservative, and advocated against Roosevelt's New Deal policies. A lifelong Quaker, he became a successful mining engineer with a global perspective. He built an international reputation as a humanitarian by leading international relief efforts in Belgium during World War I, 1914-1917. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917 he became "food czar" as head of the U.S. ...more...

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Grover Cleveland

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Grover Cleveland

Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was an American politician and lawyer who was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office (1885–1889 and 1893–1897).[b] He won the popular vote for three presidential elections—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was one of two Democrats (with Woodrow Wilson) to be elected president during the era of Republican political domination dating from 1861 to 1933. Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism, and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans on libertarian philosophical grounds. His crusade for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era.[1] Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism.[2] He fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism. As a reformer, ...more...

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William Howard Taft

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William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for re-election by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position in which he served until a month before his death. Taft was born in Cincinnati in 1857. His father, Alphonso Taft, was a U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of War. Taft attended Yale and, like his father, was a member of Skull and Bones. After becoming a lawyer, he was appointed a judge while still in his twenties. He continued a rapid rise, being named Solicitor General and as a judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1901, President William McKinley appointed Taft civilian governor of ...more...

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John Adams

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John Adams

John Adams (October 30 [O.S. October 19] 1735 – July 4, 1826) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, serving as the first Vice President (1789–1797) and as the second President of the United States (1797–1801). He was a lawyer, diplomat, and leader of American independence from Great Britain. Adams was a dedicated diarist, and correspondent with his wife and advisor Abigail, and recorded important historical information on the era. A political activist prior to the American Revolution, Adams was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence. He defied anti-British sentiment and successfully defended British soldiers against murder charges arising from the Boston Massacre. Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress and became a principal leader of the Revolution. He assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and was its foremost advocate in Congress. As a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain and secured ...more...

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James Madison

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James Madison

James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836)[2] was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fourth President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Born into a prominent Virginia planting family, Madison served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress during and after the American Revolutionary War. In the late 1780s, he helped organize the Constitutional Convention, which produced a new constitution to supplant the ineffective Articles of Confederation. After the Convention, Madison became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution, and his collaboration with Alexander Hamilton produced The Federalist Papers, among the most important treatises in support of the Constitution. After the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, Madison won election to the United States House of Re ...more...

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William McKinley

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William McKinley

William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901)[b] was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry and kept the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of free silver (effectively, expansionary monetary policy). McKinley was the last president to have served in the American Civil War and the only one to have started the war as an enlisted soldier, beginning as a private in the Union Army and ending as a brevet major. After the war, he settled in Canton, Ohio, where he practiced law and married Ida Saxton. In 1876, he was elected to Congress, where he became the Republican Party's expert on the protective tariff, which he promised would bring prosperity. His 1890 McKinley Tariff was highly controversial, which together with a Democratic redistricting aimed at gerrymandering him out of office led to h ...more...

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Calvin Coolidge

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Calvin Coolidge

John Calvin Coolidge Jr. (; July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) was an American politician and the 30th President of the United States (1923–1929). A Republican lawyer from New England, born in Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor. His response to the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. Soon after, he was elected Vice President of the United States in 1920, and succeeded to the presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small government conservative and also as a man who said very little, although having a rather dry sense of humor. Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity.[1] As a Coolidge biographer wrote: "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, ...more...

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Warren G. Harding

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Warren G. Harding

Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States from 1921 until his death in 1923, a member of the Republican Party. At that time, he was one of the most popular U.S. Presidents, but the subsequent exposure of scandals that took place under his administration such as Teapot Dome eroded his popular regard, as did revelations of an affair by Nan Britton, one of his mistresses. In historical rankings of the U.S. Presidents, Harding is often rated among the worst. Harding lived in rural Ohio all his life, except when political service took him elsewhere. As a young man, he bought The Marion Star, building it into a successful newspaper. In 1899, he was elected to the Ohio State Senate and after four years there successfully ran for lieutenant governor. He was defeated for governor in 1910, but was elected to the United States Senate in 1914. When Harding ran for the Republican nomination for president in 1920 he was considered a long shot until after the co ...more...

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Andrew Johnson

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Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the 17th President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson assumed the presidency as he was Vice President of the United States at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves, and he came into conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote. Johnson was born in poverty in Raleigh, North Carolina and never attended school. Apprenticed as a tailor, he worked in several frontier towns before settling in Greeneville, Tennessee. He served as alderman and mayor there before being elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1835. After brief service in the Tennessee Senate, Johnso ...more...

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John Quincy Adams

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John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams ( (listen);[a] July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was an American statesman who served as the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He served as the eighth United States Secretary of State immediately before becoming president. During his long diplomatic and political career, Adams also served as an ambassador, United States Senator, and member of the United States House of Representatives. He was the eldest son of John Adams, who served as president from 1797 to 1801. Initially a Federalist like his father, he won election to the presidency as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, and in the mid-1830s became affiliated with the Whig Party. Born in Braintree, Massachusetts, Adams spent much of his youth in Europe, where his father served as a diplomat. After returning to the United States, Adams established a successful legal practice in Boston. In 1794, President George Washington appointed Adams as the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, and Adams would serve in h ...more...

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James Monroe

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James Monroe

James Monroe (; April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fifth President of the United States from 1817 to 1825. He is perhaps best known for his foreign policy principle, known as the "Monroe Doctrine", disallowing further European colonization of the Americas beginning in 1823. Monroe was the last president of the Virginia dynasty, and his presidency ushered in what is known as the Era of Good Feelings. Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Monroe was of the planter class and fought in the American Revolutionary War. He was wounded in the Battle of Trenton with a musket ball to the shoulder. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served as a delegate in the Continental Congress.[1] As an Anti-Federalist delegate to the Virginia convention that considered ratification of the United States Constitution, Monroe opposed, claiming it gave too much power to the central government. Nonetheless, he took an active part in the new govern ...more...

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Benjamin Harrison

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Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd President of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He was a grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison, creating the only grandfather–grandson duo to have held the office. He was also the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a founding father. Before ascending to the presidency, Harrison established himself as a prominent local attorney, Presbyterian church leader, and politician in Indianapolis, Indiana. During the American Civil War, he served in the Union Army as a colonel, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a brevet brigadier general of volunteers in 1865. Harrison unsuccessfully ran for governor of Indiana in 1876. The Indiana General Assembly elected Harrison to a six-year term in the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1881 to 1887. A Republican, Harrison was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. Hallmarks of Harrison's ad ...more...

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Martin Van Buren

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Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren (born Maarten Van Buren, December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was the eighth President of the United States from 1837 to 1841. A founder of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the ninth Governor of New York, the tenth U.S. Secretary of State, and the eighth Vice President of the United States. He won the 1836 presidential election with the endorsement of popular outgoing President Andrew Jackson and the organizational strength of the Democratic Party. He lost his 1840 reelection bid to Whig Party nominee William Henry Harrison, due in part to the poor economic conditions of the Panic of 1837. Later in his life, Van Buren emerged as an elder statesman and important anti-slavery leader, who led the Free Soil Party ticket in the 1848 presidential election. Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, New York to a family of Dutch Americans; his father was a Patriot during the American Revolution. He was raised speaking Dutch and learned English at school, making him the only U.S. President who spo ...more...

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William Henry Harrison

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William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison Sr. (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was an American military officer, politician, and the ninth President of the United States. He died of pneumonia thirty-one days into his term, thereby serving the shortest tenure in United States presidential history. Because he was the first president to die in office, his death sparked a constitutional crisis and questions and debates about the presidential line of succession. Harrison was a son of Benjamin Harrison V, one of the Founding Fathers and the paternal grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States (1889–1893). He was the last president born as a British royal subject in the original Thirteen Colonies before the American Revolution started in 1775. Harrison was the first member elected to the United States House of Representatives from the Northwest Territory, and later was the first Governor of the Indiana Territory. He famously led U.S. military and state militia forces against Native Americans at the Ba ...more...

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Rutherford B. Hayes

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Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was the 19th President of the United States from 1877 to 1881, having served also as an American representative and governor of Ohio. Hayes was a lawyer and staunch abolitionist who defended refugee slaves in court proceedings in the antebellum years. During the American Civil War, he was seriously wounded fighting in the Union Army. He was nominated as the Republican candidate for the presidency in 1876 and elected through the Compromise of 1877 that officially ended the Reconstruction Era by leaving the South to govern itself. In office he withdrew military troops from the South, ending Army support for Republican state governments in the South and the efforts of African-American freedmen to establish their families as free citizens. He promoted civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War and Reconstruction. Hayes, an attorney in Ohio, served as city solicitor of Cincinnati from 1858 to 1861. Whe ...more...

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James K. Polk

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James K. Polk

James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849). He previously was Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835–1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839–1841). A protégé of Andrew Jackson, he was a member of the Democratic Party and an advocate of Jacksonian democracy. During Polk's presidency, the United States expanded significantly with the annexation of the Republic of Texas, the Oregon Territory, and the Mexican Cession following the American victory in the Mexican–American War. After building a successful law practice in Tennessee, Polk was elected to the state legislature (1823) and then to the United States House of Representatives in 1825, becoming a strong supporter of Jackson. After serving as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, he became Speaker in 1835, the only president to have been Speaker. Polk left Congress to run for governor; he won in 1839, but lost in 1841 and 1843. He was a dark horse candidate for the Democratic nomination ...more...

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Zachary Taylor

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Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Taylor previously was a career officer in the United States Army, rose to the rank of major general and became a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican–American War. As a result, he won election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died sixteen months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress. Taylor was born into a prominent family of planters who migrated westward from Virginia to Kentucky in his youth. He was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army in 1808 and made a name for himself as a Captain in the War of 1812. He climbed the ranks establishing military forts along the Mississippi River and entered the Black Hawk War as a Colonel in 1832. His success in the Second Seminole War att ...more...

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James A. Garfield

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James A. Garfield

James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) was the 20th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881 until his death by assassination six and a half months later. Garfield had served nine terms in the House of Representatives, and had been elected to the Senate before his candidacy for the White House, though he declined the Senate seat once elected president. He was the first sitting member of Congress to be elected to the presidency, and remains the only sitting House member to gain the White House.[1] Garfield was raised by his widowed mother in humble circumstances on an Ohio farm. He worked at various jobs, including on a canal boat, in his youth. Beginning at age 17, he attended several Ohio schools, then studied at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, graduating in 1856. A year later, Garfield entered politics as a Republican. He married Lucretia Rudolph in 1858, and served as a member of the Ohio State Senate (1859–1861). Garfield opposed Confederate seces ...more...

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Franklin Pierce

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Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 – October 8, 1869) was the 14th President of the United States (1853–1857), a northern Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental threat to the unity of the nation. He alienated anti-slavery groups by championing and signing the Kansas–Nebraska Act and enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, yet he failed to stem conflict between North and South, setting the stage for Southern secession and the American Civil War. Pierce was born in New Hampshire, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate until he resigned from the Senate in 1842. His private law practice in New Hampshire was a success, and he was appointed U.S. Attorney for his state in 1845. He took part in the Mexican–American War as a brigadier general in the Army. He was seen by Democrats as a compromise candidate uniting northern and southern interests and was nominated as the party's candidate for president on the 49th ballot at the 1852 Democratic National Convention. He and running m ...more...

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Chester A. Arthur

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Chester A. Arthur

Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) was an American attorney and politician who served as the 21st President of the United States from 1881 to 1885; he was the 20th Vice President of the United States and became president upon the death of President James Garfield in September 1881. Arthur was born in Fairfield, Vermont, grew up in upstate New York, and practiced law in New York City. He served as quartermaster general of the New York Militia during the American Civil War. Following the war, he devoted more time to Republican politics and quickly rose in New York Senator Roscoe Conkling's political machine. Appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant to the lucrative and politically powerful post of Collector of the Port of New York in 1871, Arthur was an important supporter of Conkling and the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party. In 1878, the new president, Rutherford B. Hayes, fired Arthur as part of a plan to reform the federal patronage system in New York. When Garfield won the Rep ...more...

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John Tyler

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John Tyler

John Tyler (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862)[1] was the tenth President of the United States from 1841 to 1845 after briefly being the tenth Vice President (1841); he was elected to the latter office on the 1840 Whig ticket with President William Henry Harrison. Tyler ascended to the presidency after Harrison's death in April 1841, only a month after the start of the new administration. He was a supporter of states' rights, and as president he adopted nationalist policies only when they did not infringe on the powers of the states. His unexpected rise to the presidency, with the resulting threat to the presidential ambitions of Henry Clay and other politicians, left him estranged from both major political parties. Tyler, born to a prominent Virginia family, became a national figure at a time of political upheaval. In the 1820s the nation's only political party, the Democratic-Republicans, split into factions. He was initially a Democrat, but opposed Andrew Jackson during the Nullification Crisis, seeing Ja ...more...

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Millard Fillmore

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Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874) was the 13th President of the United States (1850–1853), the last to be a member of the Whig Party while in the White House. A former U.S. Representative from New York, Fillmore was elected the nation's 12th Vice President in 1848, and was elevated to the presidency by the death of Zachary Taylor. He was instrumental in getting the Compromise of 1850 passed, a bargain that led to a brief truce in the battle over slavery. He failed to win the Whig nomination for president in 1852; he gained the endorsement of the nativist Know Nothing Party four years later, and finished third in that election. Fillmore was born into poverty in the Finger Lakes area of New York state—his parents were tenant farmers during his formative years. He rose from poverty through study, and became a lawyer with little formal schooling. He became prominent in the Buffalo area as an attorney and politician, was elected to the New York Assembly in 1828, and to the U.S. House of Represent ...more...

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Richard Nixon

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Richard Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States from 1969 until 1974 and the only president to resign from the position. He had previously served as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, and prior to that as both a U.S. Representative and Senator from California. Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California. After completing his undergraduate studies at Whittier College, he graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1937 and returned to California to practice law. He and his wife Pat moved to Washington in 1942 to work for the federal government. He subsequently served on active duty in the U.S. Navy Reserve during World War II. Nixon was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 and to the Senate in 1950. His pursuit of the Hiss Case established his reputation as a leading anti-communist and elevated him to national prominence. He was the running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party presidential nominee in t ...more...

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