How Long Do American Presidents Live?

Print Email

The lives — and deaths — of presidents have changed the course of history. Many voters are concerned about the old age of this election’s candidates. The age of the current Republican and Democratic presidential candidates — Donald Trump at 70 and Hillary Clinton at 68 — means the next president may be either the oldest or second-oldest president to ever take office.

24/7 Wall St. researched the age and cause of death of every U.S. president who has passed away.

The highest office in America may also be the most dangerous. Eight out of 44 presidents died in office. The 18.2% death rate could make commander-in-chief the deadliest job in the United States. Four of those presidents — Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy — were assassinated. At least one assassination attempt has been documented during every presidency since that of Lyndon B. Johnson.

Click here to see how long each American president lived.

The normal proceedings of the presidency may also take a toll on health. The presidency is a high-stress job, and many have left the office with significant health issues. James K. Polk, Chester A. Arthur, and Woodrow Wilson decided against running for an additional term either to escape the stresses of the presidency or because of poor health.

The president with the longest life was Gerald Ford, who lived 93 years and 165 days. The president with the shortest life was John F. Kennedy, who was 46 years and 177 days at the time of his assassination.

The president with the longest retirement is Jimmy Carter, whose retirement so far has spanned 35 years. The president with the shortest retirement, excluding those who died in office, was James K. Polk, who died just 103 days after his single term.

Presidents have pursued a wide range of activities after leaving office. Some of the most popular undertakings of former presidents have been writing memoirs, overseeing construction of presidential libraries, and travel.

These are the presidents who lived the longest (and shortest) lives.