List of Presidents of the United States by other offices held

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This is a list of Presidents of the United States by other offices (either elected or appointive) held. Every President of the United States has served as either:

Federal Government[edit]

Executive Branch[edit]

Vice Presidents[edit]

A timeline graph of Presidents with a highlighting of those who had been Vice Presidents. A gray arrow points to those who became president without having been elected as president. The double arrow indicates Ford becoming president without having been elected as vice president also. (See source image for more info.)
Vice President President served under Year(s) served Notes
John Adams George Washington 1789–1797
Thomas Jefferson John Adams 1797–1801
Martin Van Buren Andrew Jackson 1833–1837
John Tyler William Henry Harrison 1841 Became President after Harrison's death
Millard Fillmore Zachary Taylor 1849–1850 Became President after Taylor's death
Andrew Johnson Abraham Lincoln 1865 Became President after Lincoln's assassination
Chester A. Arthur James A. Garfield 1881 Became President after Garfield's assassination
Theodore Roosevelt William McKinley 1901 Became President after McKinley's assassination
Calvin Coolidge Warren Harding 1921–1923 Became President after Harding's death
Harry Truman Franklin D. Roosevelt 1945 Became President after Roosevelt's death
Richard Nixon Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953–1961 Only former Vice President to become President in a non-immediate fashion
Lyndon B. Johnson John F. Kennedy 1961–1963 Became President after Kennedy's assassination
Gerald Ford Richard Nixon 1973–1974 Became President after Nixon's resignation
George H. W. Bush Ronald Reagan 1981–1989


In addition, both George H. W. Bush and Dick Cheney served as Acting Presidents for brief periods under Reagan and George W. Bush, respectively.

13 former Vice Presidents (R. Johnson, Breckinridge, Morton, Stevenson, Fairbanks, Garner, Wallace, Barkley, Nixon, Humphrey, Mondale, Quayle, and Gore) all made failed runs for the Presidency. Nixon, Humphrey, Mondale, and Gore received their party's nomination. Nixon would later be elected in a second run for the presidency.

Cabinet Secretaries[edit]

Secretary Office President served under Year(s) served Notes
Thomas Jefferson Secretary of State George Washington 1790–1793
James Madison Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson 1801–1809
James Monroe Secretary of State James Madison 1811–1814
Secretary of War 1814–1815
Secretary of State 1815–1817
John Quincy Adams Secretary of State James Monroe 1817–1825
Martin Van Buren Secretary of State Andrew Jackson 1829–1831
James Buchanan Secretary of State James K. Polk 1845–1849
William Howard Taft Secretary of War Theodore Roosevelt 1904–1908
Herbert Hoover Secretary of Commerce Warren G. Harding 1921–1928
Calvin Coolidge

John Adams (as Vice President) and Thomas Jefferson both served in the Cabinet of George Washington.

Both Theodore (from 1897–1898) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (from 1913–1920) served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Presidents McKinley and Wilson, respectively. William Howard Taft served as Solicitor General from 1890 to 1892 under President Harrison.

Ambassadors[edit]

President Position President served under Year(s) served Notes
John Adams Minister to Britain Continental Congress 1785–1788
Thomas Jefferson Minister Plenipotentiary to France Continental Congress 1785–1789
James Monroe Minister Plenipotentiary to France George Washington 1794–1796
Minister to Britain Thomas Jefferson 1803–1807 Served under Secretary of State James Madison
John Quincy Adams Minister to the Netherlands George Washington
John Adams
1794–1797
Minister to Germany John Adams 1797–1801
Minister to Russia James Madison 1809–1814 Served under Secretary of State James Monroe
Minister to Britain James Madison 1815–1817
Martin Van Buren Minister to Britain Andrew Jackson 1831–1832
William Henry Harrison Minister to Gran Colombia John Quincy Adams 1828–1829
James Buchanan Minister to Britain Franklin Pierce 1853–1856
George H. W. Bush Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Nixon 1971–1973
Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing Gerald R. Ford 1974–1975 Ambassador in all but name

Other Federal Appointees[edit]

President Office President appointed by Year(s) served
Chester A. Arthur Collector of the Port of New York Ulysses S. Grant 1871–1878
George H. W. Bush Director of Central Intelligence Gerald Ford 1976–1977

Judicial Branch[edit]

Chief Justice of the United States[edit]

President President nominated by Year(s) served
William Howard Taft Warren G. Harding 1921–1930

Other Federal Judges[edit]

President Court President nominated by Year(s) served
William Howard Taft United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Benjamin Harrison 1892–1900

Legislative Branch[edit]

Senators[edit]

State President Year(s) served Notes
California Richard Nixon 1950–1953
Indiana Benjamin Harrison 1881–1887
Illinois Barack Obama 2005–2008 Third sitting Senator elected to the presidency
Massachusetts John Quincy Adams 1803–1808
John F. Kennedy 1953–1960 Second sitting Senator elected to the presidency
Missouri Harry Truman 1935–1945
New Hampshire Franklin Pierce 1837–1842
New York Martin Van Buren 1821–1828
Ohio William Henry Harrison 1825–1828
Warren Harding 1915–1921 First sitting Senator elected to the presidency
Pennsylvania James Buchanan 1834–1845
Tennessee Andrew Jackson 1797–1798
1823–1825
Andrew Johnson 1857–1862
1875 Only former President in the Senate
Texas Lyndon B. Johnson 1949–1961 Senate Minority Leader 1953-1955
Senate Majority Leader 1955-1961
Virginia James Monroe 1790–1794 First former Senator to become President
John Tyler 1827–1836 Only former President pro tempore to become President

A number of future Presidents served together while in the Senate:

  • Senator Monroe served under Vice President Adams (1790–1794)
  • Senator Jackson served under Vice President Jefferson (1797–1798)
  • Senator Van Buren served with Senators Jackson (1823–1825), Harrison (1825–1828), and Tyler (1827–1828)
  • Senator Buchanan also served with Senator Tyler (1834–1836) and later served with Senator Pierce (1837–1842). Both Buchanan and Tyler served under Vice President Martin Van Buren (1833–1837), while Pierce later served under Vice President Tyler (1841).
  • Senator Harrison briefly served under Vice President Arthur (1881).
  • Senator Johnson served with both Senators Nixon (1950–1953) and Kennedy (1953–1960). Johnson and Kennedy both served under Vice President Nixon (1953–1961).

Members of the House of Representatives[edit]

State President Year(s) served Notes
California Richard Nixon 1947–1950 Later elected to the Senate
Illinois Abraham Lincoln 1847–1849
Massachusetts John Quincy Adams 1831–1848 Only former President in the House of Representatives
John F. Kennedy 1947–1953 Later elected to the Senate
Michigan Gerald Ford 1949–1973 House Minority Leader 1965-1973
New Hampshire Franklin Pierce 1833–1837 Later elected to the Senate
New York Millard Fillmore 1833–1835
1837–1843
Northwest Territory William Henry Harrison 1799–1800 Served as a non-voting delegate
Ohio William Henry Harrison 1816–1819 Later elected to the Senate
Rutherford B. Hayes 1865–1867 Later elected Governor of Ohio
James A. Garfield 1863–1881 Republican Floor Leader
Only sitting Representative elected to the presidency
William McKinley 1877–1883 Later elected Governor of Ohio
1885–1891
Pennsylvania James Buchanan 1821–1831 Later elected to the Senate
Tennessee Andrew Jackson 1796–1797 Later elected to Senate
James K. Polk 1825–1839 Only former Speaker to become President
later elected Governor of Tennessee
Andrew Johnson 1843–1853 Later elected to the Senate
Texas Lyndon B. Johnson 1937–1949 Later elected to the Senate
George H. W. Bush 1967–1971
Virginia James Madison 1789–1797 First former Representative to become President
John Tyler 1816–1821 Later elected to Senate

A number of future Presidents served in the House together:

  • Congressman Jackson served with Congressman Madison (1796–1797)
  • Congressman Harrison served with Congressman Tyler (1816–1819)
  • Congressman Buchanan served with Congressman Polk (1825–1831)
  • Congressman Adams also served with Congressman Polk (1831–1839), and later served with Congressmen Fillmore (1833–1835; 1837–1843), Pierce (1833–1837), Johnson (1843–1848), and Lincoln (1847–1848)
  • Congressman Garfield served with both Congressmen Hayes (1865–1867) and McKinley (1877–1881)
  • Congressman Nixon served with Congressmen Johnson (1947–1949), John F. Kennedy (1947–1950), and Ford (1949–1950). Congressman Ford later served with Congressman Bush (1967–1971).

Continental Congress[edit]

President State Year(s) served Body served
George Washington Virginia 1774–1775 First Continental Congress
John Adams Massachusetts 1774–1778 First Continental Congress, Second Continental Congress
Thomas Jefferson Virginia 1775–1776
1783–1784
Second Continental Congress
Congress of the Confederation
James Madison Virginia 1780–1783 Second Continental Congress, Congress of the Confederation
James Monroe Virginia 1783–1786 Congress of the Confederation

State and territorial government[edit]

Governors[edit]

State President Year(s) served Notes
Arkansas Bill Clinton 1979–1981
1983–1992
California Ronald Reagan 1967–1975
Cuba William Howard Taft 1906 Provisional Governor
Florida Territory Andrew Jackson 1821 Military Governor
Georgia Jimmy Carter 1971–1975
Indiana Territory William Henry Harrison 1801–1813
Louisiana District William Henry Harrison 1804–1805 Interim Authority
Massachusetts Calvin Coolidge 1919–1921
New Jersey Woodrow Wilson 1911–1913
New York Martin Van Buren 1829
Grover Cleveland 1883–1885
Theodore Roosevelt 1899–1901
Franklin D. Roosevelt 1929–1932
Northwest Territory William Henry Harrison 1798–1799 Acting Governor
Ohio Rutherford B. Hayes 1868–1872
1876–1877
William McKinley 1892–1896
Philippines William Howard Taft 1901–1904 Governor-General
Tennessee James K. Polk 1839–1841
Andrew Johnson 1853–1857
1862–1864 Military Governor
Texas George W. Bush 1995–2000
Virginia Thomas Jefferson 1779–1781
James Monroe 1799–1802
1811
John Tyler 1825–1827

State Legislators[edit]

See below for information about pre-1776 colonial offices held.
State Legislature President Year(s)served Notes
Georgia State Senate Jimmy Carter 1963–1967
Illinois House of Representatives Abraham Lincoln 1834–1842
Illinois Senate Barack Obama 1997–2004
Massachusetts House of Representatives Calvin Coolidge 1907–1909
Massachusetts Senate John Quincy Adams 1802
Calvin Coolidge 1912–1915
New Hampshire House of Representatives Franklin Pierce 1829–1833 Speaker of the House 1832-1833
New York Senate Martin Van Buren 1812–1820
Franklin D. Roosevelt 1911–1913
New York State Assembly Millard Fillmore 1829–1831
Theodore Roosevelt 1882–1884 Assembly Minority Leader 1883
Ohio Senate William Henry Harrison 1819–1821
James A. Garfield 1859–1861
Warren G. Harding 1899–1903
Pennsylvania House of Representatives James Buchanan 1814–1816
Tennessee House of Representatives James K. Polk 1823–1825
Andrew Johnson 1835–1837
Tennessee Senate Andrew Johnson 1841–1843
Virginia House of Delegates Thomas Jefferson 1776–1779
James Madison 1776–1777
James Monroe 1782–1783
John Tyler 1811–1816
1823–1825

Other Statewide Offices[edit]

President Office and Jurisdiction Year(s) served
Martin Van Buren Attorney General of New York 1815–1819
Millard Fillmore New York State Comptroller 1847–1849
Warren G. Harding Lieutenant Governor of Ohio 1904–1906
Calvin Coolidge Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts 1916–1919
Bill Clinton Attorney General of Arkansas 1977–1979

Municipal Government[edit]

President Office and jurisdiction Year(s) served
Martin Van Buren Surrogate of Columbia County, New York 1808–1812
Abraham Lincoln Postmaster of New Salem, Illinois 1832–1833
County Surveyor for Sangamon County, Illinois 1833–1834
Andrew Johnson Alderman, Greeneville, Tennessee 1828–1830
Mayor of Greeneville, Tennessee 1830–1833
Grover Cleveland Sheriff of Erie County, New York 1871–1873
Mayor of Buffalo, New York 1882–1883
Theodore Roosevelt Superintendent of the New York Board of Police Commissioners 1895–1897
Calvin Coolidge Mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts 1910–1911
George Washington County surveyor in Mount Vernon 1749-1751?

Presidents without prior political occupation[edit]

President Term of office Notes
Zachary Taylor 1849–1850 Major General in the United States Army
Ulysses S. Grant 1869–1877 General of the Army of the United States (served as Secretary of War ad interim)
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953–1961 General of the Army of the United States

Foreign Governments[edit]

Colonial and Confederate Legislators[edit]

Legislature President Year(s) served Notes
Confederate Congress John Tyler 1861 Delegate to the Provisional Confederate Congress and elected to the House of Representatives of the Confederate Congress of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, but died before entering office
Massachusetts House of Representatives John Adams 1768–1774 All served as regular members of their colonial legislature under the Kingdom of Great Britain before 1776.
Virginia House of Burgesses George Washington 1758–1774
Thomas Jefferson 1769–1774

Lost Races[edit]

Other than immediate re-election to the Presidency

President Office and jurisdiction Year Notes
Thomas Jefferson President of the United States 1796 Won in 1800, 1804
Andrew Jackson President of the United States 1824 Won in 1828, 1832
Martin Van Buren Democratic nomination for
President of the United States
1844 Placed in distant third to James K. Polk
President of the United States 1848 Lost to Zachary Taylor. Candidate of the Free Soil Party.
William Henry Harrison Governor of Ohio 1820 Lost to Ethan Allen Brown
United States Representative 1822 Lost to James W. Gazlay
President of the United States 1836 Won in 1840
Millard Fillmore President of the United States 1856 Placed in distant third to James Buchanan. Candidate of the Know-Nothing Party.
Abraham Lincoln United States Senator from Illinois 1858 Lost to Stephen Douglas
Ulysses S. Grant Republican nomination for
President of the United States
1880 Lost to James Garfield
Grover Cleveland District Attorney for Erie County, New York 1865 Lost to Lyman K. Bass
Theodore Roosevelt Mayor of New York City 1886 Placed in distant third behind Abram S. Hewitt.
Republican nomination for
President of the United States
1912 Lost to William Howard Taft
President of the United States 1912 Placed distant second to Woodrow Wilson. Candidate of the Progressive Party. Only third-party candidate to place second in an election.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Vice President of the United States 1920 Later became Governor of New York (1929–1933)
John F. Kennedy Democratic nomination for
Vice President of the United States
1956 Won presidency in 1960
Lyndon B. Johnson United States Senator from Texas 1941 Later elected Senator in 1948
Richard Nixon President of the United States 1960 Won in 1968, 1972
Governor of California 1962 Lost to Pat Brown by nearly 300,000 votes; in his concession speech, he lashed out at the media, saying "...you don't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference."
Jimmy Carter Governor of Georgia 1966, 1980 Later won the office in 1970, Won presidency in 1976, but lost re-election in 1980.
Ronald Reagan Republican nomination for
President of the United States
1968, 1976 Later won in 1980, 1984
George H.W. Bush United States Senator from Texas 1964, 1970 Lost to Ralph Yarborough in 1964 and Lloyd Bentsen in 1970
Republican nomination for
President of the United States
1980 Won presidency in 1988 but lost re-election in 1992
Bill Clinton United States Representative 1974 Lost to John Paul Hammerschmidt in 1974
Governor of Arkansas (re-election) 1980 Lost to Frank White in 1980; won in 1978, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990
George W. Bush United States Representative 1978 Lost to Kent Hance in 1978
Barack Obama United States Representative 2000 Lost Democratic nomination to Bobby Rush in 2000