Special Report

Lincoln Was a Wrestler and Truman Never Went to College: Here Are the Most Surprising Facts About Every American President

Source: Photo by © CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images

41. George H.W. Bush (1924-2018)
> Years served as president: 1989-1993
> Political party: Republican
> Surprising fact: Bush was an 18-year-old naval pilot in World War II.

Before he began his long career in public service, George H.W. Bush became one of the youngest pilots in the Navy in 1943, several days before his 19th birthday. He flew 58 combat missions for the Navy during World War II and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.

Source: Steven Ferdman / Getty Images

42. William J. Clinton (1946-present)
> Years served as president: 1993-2001
> Political party: Democratic
> Surprising fact: Clinton won two Grammys for “Best Spoken Word Album.”

Did you know that presidents have won Grammys? Bill Clinton won a Grammy in 2004 Best Spoken Word Album for Children, narrating the English version of Russian “Wolf Tracks,” and another in 2005 for Best Spoken Word Album for his audiobook, “My Life.”

Source: Pool / Getty Images

43. George W. Bush (1946-present)
> Years served as president: 2001-2009
> Political party: Republican
> Surprising fact: Bush had both the highest and lowest approval ratings.

George W. Bush has the distinction of having received both the highest and lowest approval ratings of any president. The son of the 41st president had a 90% approval rating after the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. But his ratings plunged to 25% just before the 2008 election.

Source: Eric Thayer / Getty Images

44. Barack Obama (1961-present)
> Years served as president: 2009-2017
> Political party: Democratic
> Surprising fact: Obama lost a race for a House seat.

Barack Obama’s astonishing climb to the presidency began as state senator of Illinois, where he served from 1997 to 2005. However, he did experience an election setback in 2000 when he lost to former Black Panther Bobby Rush for a House of Representatives’ seat.

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

45. Donald J. Trump (1946-present)
> Years served as president: 2017-2021
> Political party: Republican
> Surprising fact: Trump doesn’t drink alcohol.

The current president is one of the few commanders in chief to not drink alcohol. He chooses not to indulge in the beverage likely because his brother was an alcoholic and died of his addiction in 1982.

Source: Photo by Drew Angerer / Getty Images

46. Joe Biden (1942-present)
> Years served as president: 2021 – present
> Political party: Democrat
> Surprising fact: He had a stutter

President Joe Biden overcame a childhood stutter. He was bullied as a child growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania because of his speech disorder. “I can think of nothing else that has ever stripped me of my dignity as quickly and as profoundly and as thoroughly as when I stuttered in grade school,” Biden said in a 2008 speech to the American Institute for Stuttering.

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