President of the United States

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President of the
United States of America
Seal Of The President Of The United States Of America.svg
Flag of the President of the United States of America.svg
Joe Biden presidential portrait.jpg
Joe Biden

since January 20, 2021
Member of
ResidenceWhite House
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerElectoral College
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the United States
FormationTemplate:Date and age[6][7]
First holderGeorge Washington[8]
Salary$400,000 annually

Template:Politics of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America and the commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces. The president is the head of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States and is the chairman of the US cabinet.

Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms in office, and is counted as the nation's 22nd and 24th president. There are currently five living former presidents. The most recent death of a former president was the death of George H. W. Bush on November 30, 2018. He was also the most recently serving president to die.

On November 7, 2020, Joe Biden was elected to be the 46th president of the United States. He was formally inaugurated on January 20, 2021.


Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution sets the requirements to hold office. A president must:

Election process and terms[edit]

The president is indirectly elected by the people through the Electoral College to a four-year term, and is one of only two nationally elected federal officers, the other being the vice president of the United States.[9] A president must receive more than 270 electoral college votes in order to win an election. Ronald Reagan received 525 votes which is the most electoral votes of any president.

A president can only serve two terms as president, which is eight years. Franklin D. Roosevelt served four terms as president. He died shortly after beginning his fourth term. After his death, Congress passed an amendment that limits the number of terms a president can have.

William Henry Harrison served the shortest term, one month, because he died in office from pneumonia.


A president officially becomes president after being inaugurated on January 20th. The president must be given the oath of office by the Chief Justice of the United States. It is traditionally held at the United States Capitol.

Primary functions[edit]

With the agreement of the United States Senate he or she can:

Living presidents (from oldest to youngest)
President Date of birth Presidency
Jimmy Carter (1924-10-01) October 1, 1924 (age 99) 39 1977–1981
Joe Biden (1942-11-20) November 20, 1942 (age 81) 46 2021–
Donald Trump (1946-06-14) June 14, 1946 (age 77) 45 2017–2021
George W. Bush (1946-07-06) July 6, 1946 (age 77) 43 2001–2009
Bill Clinton (1946-08-19) August 19, 1946 (age 77) 42 1993–2001
Barack Obama (1961-08-04) August 4, 1961 (age 62) 44 2009–2017


If the president dies or retires between elections, or is otherwise removed from office, the acting president will become president, who is usually the vice president.

Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy were assassinated while in office. William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor,Warren G. Harding and Franklin Roosevelt died from illness while president. John Tyler was the first vice president of the United States to become president. Calvin Coolidge became president, when Warren G. Harding, the 29th president, died in office.

Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon's vice president, became president after Nixon resigned. Nixon is the only president to have resigned.

Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump are the only presidents to have been impeached.


A president travels by either traveling on Air Force One, Marine One, or by the Presidential state car. At all times, the president is protected by Secret Service agents. Sometimes, the president may travel to Camp David for either relaxation or to do some work in peace.

List of presidents of the United States[edit]

Living former presidents[edit]

The living presidents George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in 2018. Then-former Vice President Joe Biden is pictured as well

Presidential rankings[edit]

By a majority of historical sources by historians or by the American people; Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt , Dwight D. Eisenhower , Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Calvin Coolidge, Bill Clinton and Thomas Jefferson are ranked high on polls.[10]

On the other hand; James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and Franklin Pierce are thought to be the worst.

Presidents who held other offices[edit]

Three former presidents held another U.S. federal office after serving.

President Tenure Subsequent service
John Quincy Adams 6 1825–1829 U.S. representative from Massachusetts (1831–1848)
Andrew Johnson 17 1865–1869 U.S. senator from Tennessee (1875)
William Howard Taft 27 1909–1913 Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930)

Presidential libraries[edit]

Since Herbert Hoover, each president has created a institutional place known as a presidential library for preserving and making available his papers, records, and other documents and materials. There are currently thirteen presidential libraries in the NARA system.

There are also presidential libraries maintained by state governments and private foundations, such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which is run by the State of Illinois.

Several presidential libraries contain the graves of the president such as Richard Nixon at his library in Yorba Linda, California and Ronald Reagan at his library in Simi Valley, California.


  1. "How To Address The President; He Is Not Your Excellency Or Your Honor, But Mr. President". The Washington Star. August 2, 1891 – via The New York Times.
  2. "USGS Correspondence Handbook—Chapter 4". July 18, 2007. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  3. "Models of Address and Salutation". Archived from the original on July 20, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  4. Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Protocol and Liaison Service, United Nations. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  5. The White House Office of the Press Secretary (September 1, 2010). "Remarks by President Obama, President Mubarak, His Majesty King Abdullah, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas Before Working Dinner". Retrieved July 19, 2011 – via National Archives.
  6. Maier, Pauline (2010). Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787–1788. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 433. ISBN 978-0-684-86854-7.
  7. "March 4: A forgotten huge day in American history". Philadelphia: National Constitution Center. March 4, 2013. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  8. "Presidential Election of 1789". Digital Encyclopedia. Mount Vernon, Virginia: Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, George Washington's Mount Vernon. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  9. Our Government • The Executive Branch Archived 2009-01-26 at the Wayback Machine, The White House.
  10. "Truman and Coolidge go up, Jefferson and Jackson go down. How history remembers presidents". Los Angeles Times. 17 February 2020.


  1. Foreign-born American citizens who met the age and residency requirements at the time the Constitution was adopted were also eligible for the presidency. However, this allowance has since become obsolete.

External links[edit]