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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 appointed) held. Every president of the United States except Donald Trump has served as at least one of the following:

Federal government[edit]

Executive branch[edit]

Vice presidents[edit]

Vice President President served under Year(s) served Notes
John Adams George Washington 1789–1797 Incumbent vice president succeeded Washington after winning the 1796 election
Thomas Jefferson John Adams 1797–1801 Incumbent vice president succeeded Adams after winning the 1800 election
Martin Van Buren Andrew Jackson 1833–1837 Incumbent vice president succeeded Jackson after winning the 1836 election
John Tyler William Henry Harrison 1841 Became president after Harrison's death, ran for election in 1844 as nominee of Democratic Party before dropping out and endorsing Polk, the eventual winner
Millard Fillmore Zachary Taylor 1849–1850 Became president after Taylor's death, lost nomination for Whig Party in 1852 election bid, later also ran unsuccessfully in the 1856 election
Andrew Johnson Abraham Lincoln 1865 Became president after Lincoln's assassination, lost nomination for Democratic Party in 1868 election bid
Chester A. Arthur James A. Garfield 1881 Became president after Garfield's assassination, failed to secure Republican Party nomination in 1884 election bid
Theodore Roosevelt William McKinley 1901 Became president after McKinley's assassination, later elected to own term in 1904.
Calvin Coolidge Warren G. Harding 1921–1923 Became president after Harding's death, later elected to own term in 1924.
Harry S. Truman Franklin D. Roosevelt 1945 Became president after Roosevelt's death, later elected to own term in 1948.
Richard Nixon Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953–1961 Lost as incumbent vice president in the 1960 election, later ran and won the 1968 election as a former vice president.
Lyndon B. Johnson John F. Kennedy 1961–1963 Became president after Kennedy's assassination, later elected to own term in 1964.
Gerald Ford Richard Nixon 1973–1974 Became president after Nixon's resignation, lost 1976 election in bid for own term.
George H. W. Bush Ronald Reagan 1981–1989 Incumbent vice president succeeded Reagan after winning the 1988 election
Joe Biden Barack Obama 2009–2017 Did not run in the 2016 election, later ran and won the 2020 election becoming only the second former vice president to win the presidency.

Fourteen former vice presidents (R. Johnson, Breckinridge, Morton, Stevenson, Fairbanks, Garner, Wallace, Barkley, Nixon, Humphrey, Mondale, Quayle, Gore, and Pence) all made failed runs for the presidency. Breckinridge was nominated by the Southern Democratic Party in 1860 but came in second in the Electoral College. Humphrey, Mondale, and Gore received their party's nominations and Nixon received his party's nomination. Nixon would later be elected in a second run for the presidency becoming the first former vice president to try and win the presidency post-vice presidency. In 1984, Mondale would be the second former vice president to try for the presidency. In 1988, Vice President George H. W. Bush would be elected president. In 2020, Biden was the third former vice president to try for the presidency, and the second to win the presidency post-vice presidency. Both vice presidents Truman and LBJ would become president after a presidential death in office and go onto win their own subsequent elections too.

Cabinet secretaries[edit]

Secretary Office President served under Year(s) served
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 1811–1817
Secretary of War 1814–1815
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
Ulysses S. Grant Acting Secretary of War Andrew Johnson 1867–1868
William Howard Taft Secretary of War Theodore Roosevelt 1904–1908
Herbert Hoover Secretary of Commerce Warren G. Harding 1921–1928
Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge (as the vice president) and Herbert Hoover both served in the Cabinet of Warren G. Harding.


President Position President served under Year(s) served
John Adams Minister to Britain Congress of the Confederation 1785–1788
Thomas Jefferson Minister Plenipotentiary to France Congress of the Confederation 1785–1789
James Monroe Minister Plenipotentiary to France George Washington 1794–1796
Minister to Britain Thomas Jefferson 1803–1807
John Quincy Adams Minister to the Netherlands George Washington
John Adams
Minister to Germany John Adams 1797–1801
Minister to Russia James Madison 1809–1814
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 Ford 1974–1975

Other federal appointees[edit]

President Office President appointed by Year(s) served
Franklin Pierce United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire James K. Polk 1845–1847
Chester A. Arthur Collector of the Port of New York Ulysses S. Grant 1871–1878
Theodore Roosevelt Member, United States Civil Service Commission Benjamin Harrison 1889–1895
Assistant Secretary of the Navy William McKinley 1897–1898
William Howard Taft Solicitor General Benjamin Harrison 1890–1892
Franklin D. Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy Woodrow Wilson 1913–1920
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 Notes
William Howard Taft Warren G. Harding 1921–1930 Only president to serve on the Supreme Court.

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]


State President Year(s) served Notes
California Richard Nixon 1950–1953 Resigned to become vice president
Delaware Joe Biden 1973–2009 Resigned to become vice president
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 S. Truman 1935–1945 Resigned to become vice president
New Hampshire Franklin Pierce 1837–1842
New York Martin Van Buren 1821–1828
Ohio William Henry Harrison 1825–1828
Warren G. Harding 1915–1921 First sitting senator elected to the presidency
Pennsylvania James Buchanan 1834–1845
Tennessee Andrew Jackson 1797–1798
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
Resigned to become vice president
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:

  • Monroe served under Vice President Adams (1790–1794).
  • Jackson served under Vice President Jefferson (1797–1798). Jackson later served with Van Buren (1823–1825). Van Buren also served with W.H. Harrison (1825–1828) and Tyler (1827–1828). Buchanan also served with Tyler (1834–1836) and later served with Pierce (1837–1842). Both Buchanan and Tyler served under Vice President Van Buren (1833–1837), while Buchanan and Pierce later served under Vice President Tyler (1841).
  • B. Harrison briefly served under Vice President Arthur (1881).
  • L. Johnson served with both Nixon (1950–1953) and Kennedy (1953–1960). L. Johnson and Kennedy both served under Vice President Nixon (1953–1961).
  • Biden served under vice presidents Ford (1973–1974) and Bush (1981–1989) and later served with Obama (2005–2008).

James A. Garfield was elected senator for Ohio in 1880, but he did not take up the office due to being elected president later that year.

Seven former senators (Monroe, Adams, Jackson, W.H. Harrison, Pierce, Buchanan, and B. Harrison) were elected to the presidency without ever serving as the vice president between their departure from the Senate and the beginning of their presidencies.

Members of the House of Representatives[edit]

State President Year(s) served Notes
California Richard Nixon 1947–1950
Illinois Abraham Lincoln 1847–1849
Massachusetts John Quincy Adams 1831–1848 Only former president in the House of Representatives
John F. Kennedy 1947–1953
Michigan Gerald Ford 1949–1973 House minority leader 1965–1973
Resigned to become vice president
New Hampshire Franklin Pierce 1833–1837
New York Millard Fillmore 1833–1835
Northwest Territory William Henry Harrison 1799–1800 Served as a non-voting delegate
Ohio William Henry Harrison 1816–1819
Rutherford B. Hayes 1865–1867
James A. Garfield 1863–1880 Republican floor leader 1877–1880
Only sitting representative elected to the presidency
William McKinley 1877–1883
Pennsylvania James Buchanan 1821–1831
Tennessee Andrew Jackson 1796–1797
James K. Polk 1825–1839 Only former speaker to become president
Andrew Johnson 1843–1853
Texas Lyndon B. Johnson 1937–1949
George H. W. Bush 1967–1971
Virginia James Madison 1789–1797 First former representative to become president
John Tyler 1816–1821

A number of future and former presidents served in the House together:

Continental Congress[edit]

President State Year(s) served Body served
George Washington Virginia 1774–1775 First Continental Congress
John Adams Massachusetts 1774–1777 First Continental Congress, Second Continental Congress
Thomas Jefferson Virginia 1775–1776
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]


State / Territory President Year(s) served Notes
American-occupied zone of Germany Dwight Eisenhower 1945 Military Governor
Arkansas Bill Clinton 1979–1981
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 1899–1900
Franklin D. Roosevelt 1929–1932
Northwest Territory William Henry Harrison 1798–1799 Acting Governor
Ohio Rutherford B. Hayes 1868–1872
William McKinley 1892–1896
Philippines William Howard Taft 1901–1904 Governor-General
Tennessee James K. Polk 1839–1841
Andrew Johnson 1853–1857
1862–1865 Military Governor
Texas George W. Bush 1995–2000
Virginia Thomas Jefferson 1779–1781
James Monroe 1799–1802
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

Other statewide offices[edit]

President Office and jurisdiction Year(s) served
Andrew Jackson Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court 1798–1804
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

Local government[edit]

President Office and jurisdiction Year(s) served
George Washington County surveyor in Mount Vernon 1749–1751
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 1834–1835
Grover Cleveland Sheriff of Erie County, New York 1871–1873
Mayor of Buffalo, New York 1882–1883
William Howard Taft Judge on the Superior Court of Cincinnati 1887–1890
Theodore Roosevelt Superintendent of the New York Board of Police Commissioners 1895–1897
Calvin Coolidge Mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts 1910–1911
Harry S. Truman Judge of Jackson County, Missouri's Eastern District 1923–1925
Presiding Judge of Jackson County, Missouri 1927–1935
Joe Biden Member of the New Castle County, Delaware County Council 1970–1972

Presidents who had not previously held elective office[edit]

With previous experience in government[edit]

President Term of office Notes
Ulysses S. Grant 1867–1868 Acting Secretary of War
Herbert Hoover 1929–1933 Secretary of Commerce
Dwight Eisenhower 1945 Military Governor of American-occupied zone of Germany

With previous experience in the military[edit]

President Term of office Position(s)
Major General Zachary Taylor 1849–1850 Major general in the United States Army
General of the Army of the United States Ulysses S. Grant 1869–1877 Commanding General of the United States Army (1864-1869)
General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953–1961 Supreme Allied Commander Europe (1951-1952)

Without previous experience in government or the military[edit]

President Term of office Notes
Donald Trump 2017–2021 Chairman of The Trump Organization

Colonial governments[edit]

Colonial and confederate legislators[edit]

Legislature President Year(s) served Notes
Confederate Congress John Tyler 1861–1862 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

See also[edit]