Special Report

22 US Presidents With Irish Heritage

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

16. Richard Nixon (1913-1994)
> Birthplace: Yorba Linda, California
> Party: Republican
> Term: 1969-74 (37th president)

Richard Nixon’s Irish forebears came from County Antrim and have been traced back to the late 17th century. Nixon, the only president to resign from office, traveled to Ireland in October 1970. He visited the homelands of his Quaker ancestors in Kildare and his wife’s forebears in Mayo. Unlike Kennedy seven years earlier, Nixon was met with protestors who opposed America’s war in Vietnam.

Source: Gary Newkirk / Getty Images

17. Gerald Ford (1913-2006)
> Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska
> Party: Republican
> Term: 1974-77 (38th president)

Gerald Ford succeeded Richard Nixon as president following Nixon’s resignation in 1974. He traced his Irish ancestry to two sets of great-great-great-great grandparents who came from counties Armagh and Down. Ford restored faith in the government in the wake of the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon, but he lost the election to Jimmy Carter in 1976.

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18. Jimmy Carter (1924-)
> Birthplace: Plains, Georgia
> Party: Democrat
> Term: 1977-81 (39th president)

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, traces his Irish lineage to a great-great-great-great grandfather from County Antrim who was born in the mid-18th century. Carter’s term was noteworthy for his mediation of the conflict between Israel and Egypt, but his presidency was hampered by the Iranian hostage crisis and an economic downturn.

Source: Rogers / Getty Images

19. Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)
> Birthplace: Tampico, Illinois
> Party: Republican
> Term: 1981-89 (40th president)

Three of Ronald Reagan’s great-grandparents came from Ireland, among them Michael Regan, who was born in Ballyporeen in County Tipperary in 1829. Reagan visited Ballyporeen in 1984, the year he was re-elected as president, and he was met by protestors demonstrating against his administration’s policy on nuclear weapons, support of Israel, and apartheid in South Africa.

Source: John Moore / Getty Images

20. George H.W. Bush (1924-2018)
> Birthplace: Milton, Massachusetts
> Party: Republican
> Term: 1989-93 (41st president)

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, has an Irish great-great-great-great grandfather who was born around 1755 in Rathfriland in County Down. Bush succeeded Reagan as president and led a coalition of nations that expelled Iraq from Kuwait in 1991. However, the U.S. economy tumbled into recession, and he lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton.

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