America’s 10 Longest-Living Presidents
On the day several states held primary elections, former President George H. W. Bush celebrated his 94th birthday, putting him at the top of the list of longest-living presidents.
A list of the longest-living presidents in American history starts with the first President Bush. When he turned 94 years old on Tuesday, he marked a birthday most of us hope we’ll see ourselves someday.
But he also accomplished what no other president has ever done. He’s the first former president to reach that age.
Here are the top 10 longest-living presidents.
1. George H.W. Bush
The 41st president is now officially the longest-living president in history, having turned 94 years old on June 12. Aside from having the longest marriage in presidential history, his military career contains the note that in 1943, Bush was the youngest pilot in the Navy at the time.
2. Jimmy Carter
The 39th president will turn 94 years old in October. He has remained very active in his post-presidential years, working on various philanthropic projects including Habitat For Humanity build events. He had a cancer scare in 2015 after surgery to remove a small mass on his liver, when doctors told him they had discovered melanoma in his brain and liver. However, in December of that year, less than four months after he made his diagnosis public, he said treatment had worked and medical scans no longer showed any sign of cancer.
3. Gerald Ford
When Ford, the 38th president of the United States, died in 2006, he was 93 years and 165 days old. At that time, he was the longest-living former U.S. president. On November 12, 2006, when Ford surpassed Reagan’s lifespan, he released this final public statement:
The length of one’s days matters less than the love of one’s family and friends. I thank God for the gift of every sunrise and, even more, for all the years He has blessed me with Betty and the children; with our extended family and the friends of a lifetime. That includes countless Americans who, in recent months, have remembered me in their prayers. Your kindness touches me deeply. May God bless you all and may God bless America.
4. Ronald Reagan
Reagan, the nation’s 40th president, lost his battle with Alzheimer’s Disease in June 2004. At the time of his death at 93, he was the longest-living former president. Ford would surpass his lifespan by 45 days. But Reagan holds the distinction of being the oldest man elected to the presidency: he was 73 years, 274 days old at the time of his election to a second term.
5. John Adams
When America’s 2nd president died on Jul 4, 1826, he had reached the age of 90 years and 247 days. Adams was known as a prolific writer of letters to friends and family. And his writing made him famous in another way: He was the principal author of the oldest written constitution still in use in the world (for the state of Massachusetts).
6. Herbert Hoover
Hoover, the 31st president died in 1964 at 90 years, 71 days. His was the shortest lifespan of the six presidents who lived to the ripe old age of 90. One of the notable things about Hoover was that he participated in the first long-distance television broadcast. It happened on April 7, 1927, when he gave a speech from Washington, D.C. He looked into a small black box and spoke into a telephone receiver for an experiment conducted by Bell Laboratories. This moving image was beamed more than 200 miles away to Whippany, New Jersey and then on to the AT&T offices in Manhattan.
7. Harry Truman
The 33rd president was 88 years, 232 days old when he died on the day after Christmas in 1972. Most authorities agree that there should be a period after his middle initial, S, although Truman told reporters in 1962 that there shouldn’t be since it didn’t stand for any specific name. Instead, he said, it was a compromise between the names of his two grandfathers. But Truman himself included the period in signatures both before and after that exchange.
8. James Madison
Madison, the 4th president, died on June 28, 1836, having lived 85 years and 104 days. Madison’s likeness appeared on U.S. currency, but there’s a great chance that you’ve never held the bill in question. He appeared on the $5,000 bill, which was discontinued in 1945.
9. Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, who died on the same day as John Adams, was seven years younger than Adams. Jefferson died at 83 years, 82 days. At the age of 33, Jefferson was one of the youngest delegates of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, where he became the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence:
The preamble is regarded as one of the most enduring statements of human rights and the phrase “all men are created equal” is considered one of the most well-known expressions in the English language.
10. Richard Nixon
The president who will be forever remembered by the Watergate scandal died on April 22, 1994, four days after suffering a stroke at his home. He was 81 years, 103 days old. Though the scandal that prompted him to resign is the most well-known part of his story, Nixon ended the war in Vietnam in 1973 by signing the Historic Paris Peace Accords. On May 24, 1973, Nixon hosted the largest dinner ever held at the White House to welcome the American POWs from Vietnam home.