Who Were The Oldest Presidents?

Age is just a number, right? Though perhaps everyone can agree that nobody wants to see a cranky 3-year-old belly up to the bar and offer to thrash anybody in the room while knocking back boilermakers. No question that this is a youth-centered society, no matter what AARP says, seeing how the 18-to-34 age bracket is still considered the ace marketing demographic, according to Marketplace and, well, everybody.

And yet, doesn't wisdom come with age? Knowledge with experience? Do you really want a snarky, hormonal 17-year-old with their hand on The Great Big Button of Nuclear Bye-Bye? Probably not. One of the fail-safes wisely built into the system is the minimum age requirement for American presidents, presently locked in at 35 or older (among other things, they also have to be a natural-born citizen of the country and a resident for at least 14 years, says the Library of Congress). But while there's a minimum age set, there's no maximum age set, either.

The present President sets a record for age

Records are made to be broken. So it is with the glass ceiling that is age for a presidential wannabe. George Washington was the first President, and therefore not only the oldest President, but also the Youngest. After a time he had successors, of course, of various age ranges: John F. Kennedy was the youngest elected President, at 43, and Theodore Roosevelt the youngest to become president, which he did at age 42 when, as vice president, he assumed the presidency upon the death of assassination of William McKinley.

As far as older presidents go, according to a helpful list offered by the White House itself, for many years, William Henry Harrison, elected in 1841, held the record, at 68. Harry Truman was 60. John Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Gerald Ford were all 61 when they became president. Dwight Eisenhower was 62, while Zachary Taylor and George H.W. Bush were 64. James Buchanan was 65.

Ronald Reagan topped everyone when he was elected President at the age of 69. He served for two full terms, too. That record was broken in 2016, with the election of President Donald Trump, born June 14, 1946, and taking office at age 70. In 2023, Joe Biden broke the record when was inaugurated at age 78.