The US presidency in numbers
Wednesday 14 January 2009
Number of presidents: 44
Number of men who have been president: 43
(Grover Cleveland is counted as No 22 and No 24)
Living presidents: 5
(George H W Bush, Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter)
Presidents whose children became president: 2
(John Adams, George H W Bush)
Presidents whose grandchildren became president: 1
(William Henry Harrison, grandfather of Benjamin Harrison)
Left-handed presidents: 7
(Herbert Hoover, Harry S Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama)
Ambidextrous presidents: 1
(James A Garfield)
Presidents who died in office: 8
(William Henry Harrison, 1841, Zachary Taylor, 1850, Abraham Lincoln, 1865, James A Garfield, 1881, William McKinley, 1901, Warren G Harding, 1923, Franklin D Roosevelt, 1945, John F Kennedy, 1963)
Presidents who were assassinated: 4
(Abraham Lincoln, 1865, James A Garfield, 1881, William McKinley, 1901, John F Kennedy, 1963)
Presidents who survived assassination attempts: 7 (Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George W Bush)
Presidents who were freemasons: 15
(George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James A Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin D Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B Johnson, Gerald Ford)
Unmarried presidents: 1 (James Buchanan)
Presidents elected in a year ending in "0": 10
Thomas Jefferson (1800); William Henry Harrison (1840; died in office), Abraham Lincoln (1860; assassinated), James A Garfield (1880; assassinated), William McKinley (1900; assassinated), Warren G Harding (1920; died in office), Franklin D Roosevelt (1940; died in office), John F Kennedy (1960; assassinated), Ronald Reagan (1980; survived assassination attempt); George W Bush (2000; survived assassination attempt; alive at time of going to press)
War-time presidents: 13
(James Madison, James Polk, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, John F Kennedy, Lyndon B Johnson, Richard M Nixon, George H W Bush, George W Bush, Barack Obama)
Presidents born in Virginia: 8
(George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, Woodrow Wilson)
US states that have never given birth to a president: 29
Presidents elected to the office despite losing the popular vote: 4(John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George W Bush – in 2000)
Presidents who were not elected at all, either as president or as vice-president: 1
(Gerald Ford became Richard Nixon's vice-president after Spiro Agnew resigned over Watergate, then took over the presidency when Nixon resigned as well)
Presidents who died on 4 July: 3
(John Adams; Thomas Jefferson; James Monroe)
Presidents who were born on 4 July: 1 (Calvin Coolidge)
Presidents who died on 26 December: 2
(Harry S Truman; Gerald Ford)
Presidents with beards: 5
(Abraham Lincoln; Ulysses S Grant; Rutherford B Hayes; James Garfield; Benjamin Harrison)
Tallest president: Abraham Lincoln (6ft 4in)
Shortest president: James Madison (5ft 4in)
Shortest-lived president: John F Kennedy (died at 46)
Longest-lived president: Gerald Ford (93 years, 121 days)
Shortest presidency: William Henry Harrison (31 days)
Longest presidency: Franklin D Roosevelt (12 years, one month and eight days)
Oldest president on taking office: Ronald Reagan (69)
Youngest elected president on taking office: John F Kennedy (43) (Theodore Roosevelt was 42 when he stepped into the shoes of the assassinated William McKinley, but was 46 the first time he was elected.)
Average age on becoming president: 55
Heaviest president: William Howard Taft ( right, 23st 10lb at his peak)
Lightest president: James Madison (7st 1lb)
Presidents who were preceded and succeeded by the same president: 1
Cleverest president: Thomas Jefferson (John F Kennedy, entertaining Nobel laureates in the White House in 1962, told his guests that this was the most distinguished gathering of intellectual ability that had ever graced that dining room – except when Thomas Jefferson dined alone there)
President who sired the most children: John Tyler (15)
Presidents who have had US counties named after them: 24
(Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Madison, Lincoln, Monroe, Polk, Grant, Garfield, Adams [including some that refer to Quincy Adams], Harrison, Pierce, Taylor, Van Buren, Buchanan, Fillmore, Cleveland, Roosevelt [both named for Theodore, not FDR], Tyler, Arthur, Harding, Hayes, McKinley)
Presidents who have had mountains named after them: 14 Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Taylor, Grant, Arthur, Washington, Lincoln, McKinley, Pierce, Roosevelt (FDR; in Canada), Eisenhower (also in Canada – although it reverted to its original name, Castle Mountain, shortly after his death)
The Lincoln/Kennedy Connection
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846; John F Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860; John F Kennedy was elected president in 1960.
Both presidents were shot while in office, in the head, by a Southerner, on a Friday.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808. Lyndon B Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre. The car in which Kennedy was shot was a Lincoln, made by Ford.
Both three-named assassins – John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald – were murdered before they could be tried.
The list goes on, with declining accuracy. Coincidence-obsessives add that Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy (false), while Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln (true); and that John Wilkes Booth was born in 1839 (false), while Lee Harvey Oswald was born in 1939 (true); and that, Lincoln, a week before he was shot, was in Monroe, Maryland (true), whereas Kennedy, a week before he was shot, was with – and possibly in – Marilyn Monroe (false). But you try explaining such niceties in a pub quiz...
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