Before I dive into anything, I admit, the title of this article is what it is, I’m not going to dwell on it, I’m not going to change it, so let’s move past it together, shall we.
That said, this article isn’t about calling out any political figure or political party, instead, I wanted to touch on a bit of history. If you’ve watched any news regarding former Vice President Joe Biden choosing Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, you’ve probably heard over and over just how “historic” choosing her was. Now, I’m not saying that Joe or Kamala are good candidates (they aren’t), but the pick is historic as is Joe Biden’s nomination and President Trump’s re-nomination as well. In this article, I’ll touch on a little history, history that centers around Presidential elections from the standpoint of age with some added trivia tossed in. So, as you’re reading, you’ll notice that I may start with President Ronald Reagan and end up talking about President John Tyler, trust me, there’s a correlation to everything here.
The “Age” of Trump and Biden
The age of both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden alone makes the 2020 Presidential elections historic. Heck, President Trump’s age at the time of his 2016 election and subsequent 2017 inauguration is historic. In 2016, when President Trump was first elected, he became the oldest person to be elected and inaugurated to a first term. However, President Reagan still holds the record of being the oldest person to be elected and to serve as President, but it took him being re-elected in 1984 to claim this title.
President Donald J. Trump
Donald J. Trump was born on June 14th, 1946 and as I mentioned, is the oldest first-term U.S. President in history. By the time President Trump leaves office at the end of his second term, he will have surpassed President Reagan as the oldest person to serve as President by a little more than 7 months.
- Age when nominated in 2016: 70 years, 1 month, and 7 days
- Age when elected in 2016: 70 years, 4 months, and 25 days
- Age when inaugurated in 2017: 70 years, 7 months, and 6 days
- Age when nominated in 2020: 74 years, 2 months, and 13 days
- Age he’ll be on election day 2020: 74 years, 4 months, and 20 days
- Age he’ll be on inauguration day 2021: 74 years, 7 months, and 6 days
- Age he would be upon leaving office in 2025: 78 years, 7 months, and 6 days
Vice President Joseph R. Biden
Joe Biden was born on November 20th, 1942, making him 77 years and 8 months to the day when he accepted the Democrat Party nomination for President. When he accepted the nomination, he became the oldest Presidential nominee in history. In addition to being the oldest nominee for President in history, Biden is the sixth-youngest U.S. Senator in U.S. history and one of only 18 individuals who took office before turning 31. He was elected to the United States Senate at the age of 29 years, 11 Months, and 18 Days and sworn into the Senate at the age of 30 years, 1 month, and 14 days as a member of the 93rd Congress January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975.
- Age when nominated in 2020: 77 years and 8 Months
- Age he’ll be on election day 2020: 77 years, 11 months
- Age he’ll be on inauguration day 2021: 78 years and 2 Months
Other Presidential History
While writing this article, I decided to delve a little deeper into Presidential election history based on the age of Presidential candidates. Below, you’ll see a bit of information regarding the four oldest Presidential candidates, in history, besides Trump and Biden. You’ll also see additional Presidential history as it correlates to each of those being discussed.
President Ronald Wilson Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6th, 1911, when he was sworn into office in 1981, he became the second oldest President behind James Buchanan who was 69 years, 10 months, and 9 days when he was inaugurated. Buchanan only served one term, which allowed President Reagan to surpass him in age early into his second term. Buchanan in addition to being the oldest President (until Reagan surpassed him) had as his Vice President the youngest Vice President in history. John C. Breckinridge was 36 years, 1 month, and 26 days when he was sworn in as Vice President. After serving a term as Vice President, Breckinridge was sworn in as a U.S. Senator from Kentucky the day he left the Vice Presidency. He would later serve as a Confederate General and the 5th Confederate Secretary of War, while former President John Tyler served in the Confederate House of Representatives.
- Age when nominated in 1980: 69 years, 5 months, and 11 days
- Age when elected in 1980: 69 years, 8 months, and 29 days
- Age when inaugurated in 1981: 69 years, 11 months
- Age when nominated in 1984: 73 years, 6 months, and 17 days
- Age when elected in 1984: 73 years and 9 months
- Age when inaugurated in 1985: 73 years, 11 months, and 15 days
- Age upon leaving office in 1989: 77 years, 11 months, and 15 days
President George H W Bush (1992)
George H. W. Bush was born on June 12th, 1924, and was 68 years, 4 months, and 22 days when he lost to Governor Bill Clinton. Clinton is historic for being the second President to serve under his adoptive name, President Ford is the first. Also, he’s the third youngest President in history and the second youngest to be elected President, as well as being the second President in history to be impeached. Bush served in many offices before becoming Vice President under President Reagan and would later become known as “41” after his son George W. Bush was elected the 43rd President in 2000, making them the second father/son duo to serve as President, the first being John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Additionally, Governor Jeb Bush ran for the Republican nomination in 2016.
On a side note, William Henry Harrison aka “Tippecanoe” and Benjamin Harrison are the only Grandfather and Grandson to serve as President. At 68 years and 23 days, the elder Harrison was the oldest President in history up to that point, which many people questioned. To prove he was up to the task, he decided not to wear an overcoat and delivered the longest inaugural addresses on the coldest inauguration day in history, which led to him having the distinction of having the shortest Presidency in history. A month after his inauguration, Harrison would become the first President to die in office after having caught pneumonia due to his inauguration day antics. His Vice President John Tyler would assume the Presidency, making his time as Vice President the shortest in history, of course, Tyler, as mentioned, would be the only former President to officially serve in the Confederacy and it’s this reason that Tyler’s portrait hangs in the West Wing of the White House versus the White House itself.
Senator Bob Dole
Bob Dole was born on July 22nd, 1923 which made him 73 years, 3 months, and 14 days when he lost the 1996 Presidential election to President Clinton who had just defeated President Bush “41” in 1992. Senator Dole has the distinction of being the only person to secure a major party nomination for President and Vice President and never winning either, as he was President Gerald Ford’s Vice-Presidential running mate in 1976.
President Ford himself is historical by being the first President to serve under his adoptive name and the fact he’s the only person to serve as President and Vice President to never be elected to either. He was chosen by President Richard Nixon to serve as Vice President after the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew. Nixon of course made history himself by being the only President to resign, while Agnew was the second Vice President in history to resign, the first being Vice President John C. Calhoun. In addition to resigning, Calhoun is historic for being the only Vice President in history to serve as Vice President under two different Presidents (John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson). He’s also the first President or Vice President to serve in other offices after leaving the Vice Presidency, John Quincy Adams is the second. Ford subsequently nominated Nelson Rockefeller to serve as Vice President, making Rockefeller the second unelected Vice President in history.
Senator John McCain
John McCain was born on August 29th, 1936, which made him 72 years, 2 months, and 6 days when he lost to Senator Barrack Obama. Obama is historic for being the first African American to serve as President, and he’s the 5th youngest to serve as President and 4th youngest to be elected President as he was 47 years, 5 months, and 16 days when he was inaugurated.
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