Presidents: Key Dates and Various Trivia

This is meant to be a handy source for readers who are interested in such things as the age of a president upon taking office, the length of time lived after leaving office, place of birth, religious affiliation, and more. There are three sets of tables. The first set — which is split into three parts for ease of reading — lists the presidents by the order in which they held office. The second set consists of two tables: one arranged by order of birth, the other arranged by order of death. The third set consists of trivial facts ranging from the recurrence of names to heights.

SET 1 — IN 3 PARTS, ARRANGED BY ORDER OF ASCENSION TO THE PRESIDENCY

presidents-born-took-office-left-office-died

presdients-age-on-taking-office-etc

presidents-birthplace-state-religion

SET 2 — ARRANGED BY ORDER OF BIRTH AND ORDER OF DEATH

The numbers in the left column of each table correspond to the order of ascension to the presidency.

presidents-by-birth-year

In the following table, living persons are listed in birth order.

presidents-by-death-year

Sources: U.S. Presidents at infoplease.com; List of Presidents of the United States and List of Presidents of the United States by date of birth at Wikipedia.

SET 3 — TRIVIA

Recurring First Names

Eight different first names appear more than once in the list of presidents. Here are the names (listed in order of first appearance), with the middle and last names of the presidents to which the names are attached:

Presidents-repeated first names

Stephen counts as a multiple entry because, officially, Cleveland is the 22nd and 24th president. (Note that I carefully opened this section with the statement that “Eight different first names appear more than once in the list of presidents.”

The unique first names (unique to a president, that is) are Martin, Zachary, Millard, Abraham, Ulysses (born Hiram), Rutherford, Chester, Benjamin, Theodore, Warren, Harry, Dwight (born David), Lyndon, Richard, Gerald (born Leslie), Ronald, Barack, and Donald. Fashions change, but given the current trend, the most likely names to recur are Martin, Zachary, Abraham, Chester, Benjamin, and Theodore.

First Letter of Last Name — Number of Occurrences of Each

Counting Cleveland only once, and assigning V to Van Buren and M to McKinley (à l’américaine), here’s how many times each letter of he alphabet occurs as the first letter of a president’s last name:

presidents-by-first-letter-of-last-name

You will note that several letters are as yet unused: D, I, Q, S, U, X, Y, and Z.

Gaps between Presidents’ Deaths

This table lists the presidents in the order in which they died and gives the gap (in years) between their deaths:

Presidents-death dates and gaps

The gap between the deaths of Washington and Jefferson is 26.55 years, and so on down the list. It happens that the first gap is the longest one. The next longest gap is the 21.25 years between the deaths of Nixon and Reagan.

Deaths During the Administrations of Sitting Presidents

The chart below depicts the death years of presidents. The years are plotted in a saw-tooth pattern, from left to right — row 1, row 2, row 3, row 4, row 5, row 1, row 2, etc. The vertical green and white bands delineate presidential administrations. Washington’s is the first green band, followed by a white band for John Adams, and so on.

presidents-death-years-graphic

Many administrations didn’t experience any presidential deaths. Those administrations with more than one presidential death are as follows:

  • John Quincy Adams — Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
  • Andrew Jackson — James Monroe and James Madison
  • Abraham Lincoln — John Tyler, Martin Van Buren, and Abraham Lincoln (I consider the death of a sitting president to have occurred during his administration.)
  • Ulysses S. Grant — Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, and Andrew Johnson
  • Grover Cleveland (first administration) — Ulysses S. Grant and Chester Alan Arthur
  • William McKinley — Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley
  • Herbert C. Hoover — William Howard Taft and Calvin Coolidge
  • Richard M. Nixon — Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson
  • George W. Bush — Ronald W. Reagan and Gerald R. Ford.

Living Ex-Presidents During Each Administration

Lincoln, Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Trump are tied for the most living ex-presidents (5 each):

presidents-living-ex-presidents

Heights

No one has yet equaled or surpassed Lincoln’s 6’4″, and only LBJ has surpassed Washington’s 6’2″ and Jefferson’s 6’2-1/2″.

presidents-heights