Next month, when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in at age 70, he will officially become the oldest U.S. President to take the oath of office. Article two, section one, clause five of the U.S. Constitution states, “…neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of 35 years.”
Since 1789, there have been nine U.S. Presidents inaugurated before their 50th birthday, though none as young as 35. Meet the five youngest U.S. Presidents.
Teddy Roosevelt – 42 years, 322 days (1901-1909)
Roosevelt was sworn in just over one month before his 43rd birthday after the assassination of the 25th U.S. President, William McKinley. After the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt became known for ending a period of isolation and placing the U.S. on the world stage.
Trivia: The Roosevelt Room at the White House was created in 1934 in honor of the youngest U.S. President in the exact location of his original 1902 office.
John F. Kennedy – 43 years, 236 days (1961-1963)
Although only serving two years before his assassination in 1963, Kennedy was the youngest U.S. President ever to be elected to the oval office. In 1961, under Kennedy’s administration, Congress established the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency as a separate entity under the U.S. Department of State’s umbrella.
Trivia: Kennedy attended Harvard University. His application to attend was only five sentences long.
Bill Clinton – 46 years, 149 days (1993-2001)
Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993 on the heels of George H.W. Bush’s peaceful resolution to the conflict between the U.S. and Russia. This made Clinton the first president in nearly a century with little urgency to define U.S. foreign policy with the Soviet Union.
Trivia: Clinton has authored numerous books including his 2007 work about the power of volunteering entitled Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.
Ulysses S. Grant – 46 years, 311 days (1869-1877)
Taking the oath just shy of his 47th birthday, Grant is the fourth-youngest U.S. President. As the General accredited for leading the Union to victory during the Civil War, Grant is known more for domestic relations than foreign policy. However, he fought in an international conflict under General Zachary Taylor’s command during the Mexican-American War.
Trivia: Both Grant’s mother and father witnessed his inauguration — a first for any U.S. President.
Barack Obama – 47 years, 169 days (2009-2017)
The U.S. President preceding the oldest President-elect also happens to be one of the five youngest U.S. Presidents. Immediately upon taking office, Obama set out to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. He successfully reduced the total number of troops from 160,000 in 2009 to 150 in 2012. Then, in 2014, he restored diplomatic relations with Cuba. This milestone marked a new beginning toward alleviating economic animosity between the U.S. and its island neighbor.
Trivia: During law school, Obama became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Perhaps this achievement helped set his sights on becoming the first African-American U.S. President.
– Ashley Henyan