Special Report

Here Are the 48 People Who Became Vice President

21. Thomas A. Hendricks
> Presidential administration(s): Grover Cleveland
> Year(s) in office: 1885
> Party affiliation: Democratic

Thomas A. Hendricks was the first vice president to serve in the Grover Cleveland administration. Like many vice presidents who preceded him, Hendricks served in Congress before working in the executive branch, being elected as both a member of the House and the Senate.

Hendricks’s vision for the role of the federal government was often at odds with the views of Cleveland. Hendricks advocated for more government intervention in the economy, while Cleveland was a believer in laissez-faire economics. Hendricks died in his sleep less than one year after being elected vice president.

Source: United States Library of Congress cwpbh.04821 / Wikimedia Commons

22. Levi P. Morton
> Presidential administration(s): Benjamin Harrison
> Year(s) in office: 1889 – 1893
> Party affiliation: Republican

Known for his gracious manners, Morton was allied with the New York GOP machine, who supported President Ulysses S. Grant. He therefore turned down the VP candidacy offered by presidential candidate James A. Garfield, but later accepted the candidacy offered by Benjamin Harrison, who had the support of the GOP.

Morton became Benjamin Harrison’s vice president. Morton was part of Harrison’s “businessman’s cabinet” but did not distinguish himself as vice president. He remained neutral on a bill that would have supported Black civil rights and the right to vote, much to the chagrin of Harrison. Morton was dropped from the ticket in 1892.

Source: Library of Congress LC-BH832- 28953 / Wikimedia Commons

23. Adlai E. Stevenson
> Presidential administration(s): Grover Cleveland
> Year(s) in office: 1893 – 1897
> Party affiliation: Democratic

Adlai E. Stevenson, grandfather of the man who ran for president twice in the 1950s, grew up in Illinois and campaigned for Stephen A. Douglas against Abraham Lincoln in the race for the Senate. Stevenson opposed the nativist platform of the “Know-Nothing” movement and won support among the German and Irish immigrants in Illinois with his storytelling ability and easy-going manner.

Stevenson was chosen as the Democratic VP nominee in 1892 because of his popularity in Illinois, considered a key state for the election hopes of candidate Grover Cleveland. Stevenson’s position on currency reform contrasted with that of Cleveland, who supported the gold standard, and that helped widen the ticket’s appeal. Additionally, his job as assistant postmaster general won him allies in the Democratic Party. Stevenson earned praise for operating his office in a nonpartisan manner.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

24. Garret A. Hobart
> Presidential administration(s): William McKinley
> Year(s) in office: 1897 – 1899
> Party affiliation: Republican

Garret A. Hobart was an unlikely person to be vice president. The scion of a family of clergymen, Hobart became the first person in New Jersey to lead both houses of the state’s legislature. He was known as an agreeable and tactful man who did not seek the spotlight.

Hobart was chosen by the GOP to geographically balance the ticket with the middle westerner William McKinley. The two were alike in their conservative political philosophy and got along well. McKinley regarded Hobart as a friend and confidant, so much so that Hobart was called the “Assistant President.” Hobart had heart problems that led to his death in November 1899.

Source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

25. Theodore Roosevelt
> Presidential administration(s): William McKinley
> Year(s) in office: 1901
> Party affiliation: Republican

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) played different roles over the course of his life — conservationist, naturalist, cowboy, and soldier among others. One role that he did not relish was vice president, saying that “it [the vice-presidency] is not a stepping stone to anything except oblivion.” His good friend, Massachusetts Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, aware of Roosevelt’s ambition, felt differently. He believed the VP position would lead Roosevelt to the White House.

Roosevelt was attractive to the GOP because of his Spanish-American War heroism and dynamic personality. Republican delegates at the party convention overwhelmingly chose him to run with President William McKinley. Roosevelt didn’t have to wait long to become president. After a summer of mostly making speeches and showing little interest in the vice presidential job, Roosevelt became president on Sept. 14, 1901, after McKinley was assassinated.

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