Here are the oldest US presidents to ever hold office

Story at a glance

  • President Biden turned 80 on Sunday.  

  • Should Biden run for re-election in 2024 and win, he would be 86 years old at the end of his second term. 

  •  Donald Trump, who already announced his 2024 bid for office, would be 82 years old at the end of his second term if he were to become president again.

President Biden celebrated his 80th birthday on November 20th, becoming the first person in his 80s to be a U.S. president.

Biden was already the oldest president in U.S. history. He made that mark upon his inauguration in 2021, when he was 78.

Republicans regularly attack Biden over his age, and questions have loomed over whether Biden will choose to run for reelection in 2024 largely because of his age.

Biden for most of 2021 has said he plans to run for reelection, though after a midterm election that strengthened him politically, he said a decision would come after consultations with his family.

The leading candidate for the GOP’s presidential nomination is former President Donald Trump, who is 76.

That means both parties could have candidates born in the 1940s as their standard bearers in the next presidential election.

Here are the ten oldest presidents in U.S. history. 

Joe Biden

When Joe Biden became president on January 21, 2021, he was 78 years old, making him the oldest president to ever hold the office. Should he decide to run for re-election in 2024 and win, he would be 86 at the end of his second term.

The 46th president is the only one to celebrate his 80th birthday while in office. On average, U.S. presidents are 55 years old when sworn in.

Donald Trump

Trump was 70 years old when he took office in 2017.

During his last stint at the White House, Trump faced questions about his age and health following a bout with COVID-19 which was revealed to be more severe than the current president let on at the time.

 If Trump were to win a second term, he’d be the second oldest president in U.S. history after Biden.

Ronald Reagan 

Reagan took office at the age of 69 in January 1981. He was born in 1911 and went on to survive an assassination attempt during his first term in office.

The Republican who led the “Reagan Revolution,” the 40th president was shot by John Hinkley just two months into his term in office. Reagan survived the assassination attempt but spent 12 days in a hospital.

At the end of his second term when he left office, Reagan was 77 years old.

William Henry Harrison

Harrison was 68 years old when he became the 9th president of the United States in 1841. The former president died just 31 days into the job, marking the shortest presidency in the country’s history.

Harrison was born in 1773 and held the record of the oldest president elected to office for 140 years until Reagan’s election. 

James Buchanan 

The 15th president of the United States was 65 years old when he took office in 1857, just a few years before the Civil War.

A Democrat who denounced the Republican Party, Buchanan said the Congress should not write laws that would determine the status of slavery in the states.

Buchanan promised to not seek reelection and was succeeded by President Lincoln in 1860, a victory that triggered states in the South to secede from the union.

George H.W. Bush

Bush was 64 years and 222 days old when he was sworn into office in 1989 after serving two terms as Reagan’s vice president.

He was defeated in his bid for reelection in 1992 by Democrat Bill Clinton.

Bush’s son, George W. Bush, went on to become the country’s 43rd president at age 54. 

Zachary Taylor 

Taylor was 64 years and 100 days old when he took office in March 1849.

The 12th president died just over a year later in July 1850 after succumbing to a bacterial infection in his small intestine.

Taylor was succeeded by his vice president Millard Fillmore, who was 50 at the time. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower

At age 62, Eisenhower became the 34th president of the United States.

He served two terms in office from 1953 to 1961.

Eisenhower was 70 years old when he left office and was succeeded by John F. Kennedy, the second-youngest president ever elected. Kennedy was elected at age 43, while Theodore Roosevelt took office at age 42.

Andrew Jackson 

Jackson served as the seventh president of the United States from 1829 to 1837.

He was 61 years and 354 days old when he took the oath of office. He was 69 years old at the end of his second term.  

John Adams 

The second president of the United States, John Adams, was 61 years and 125 days old when he was sworn in.

Adams served as president from 1797 to 1781 after defeating Thomas Jefferson in the 1796 election.

Adams was born in 1735 and passed away on July 4, 1826, the same day as Jefferson and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

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