Presidential Longevity

Amazing Record Of Longevity Of Presidential Nominees And Of Presidential Running Mates For Vice President

With Walter Mondale having reached the age of 90 yesterday, January 5, we have an amazing continuation of a record of age longevity of Presidential nominees, as well as Vice Presidential nominees.

The first such case was Strom Thurmond, the States Rights (Dixiecrat) Presidential nominee in the Presidential Election of 1948, who reached the age of 100 and a half, when he died in 2003. That is a record unlikely to be matched.

But beginning in 1972 and continuing through 1996, either one or both Presidential nominees and in most cases Vice Presidential nominees have reached the age of 90.

In 1972, Democratic Presidential nominee Senator George McGovern, died at the age of 90 in 2012, and Vice Presidential nominee Sargent Shriver died at age 95 in 2011.

In 1976, both Presidential nominees—Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter—reached the age of 90, with Ford dying at age 93 in 2006, and Carter on the way to surpassing Ford on March 15 of this year, but still behind George H. W. Bush, 111 days older than Carter. But also Vice Presidential nominees Walter Mondale and Bob Dole both reached the age of 90, with Dole now 94.

In 1980, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan both reached the age of 90, and Reagan died at age 93 in 2004, and again, Carter on the way to a final age competition with the senior Bush. And Mondale and Vice Presidential running mate George H. W. Bush both have reached the age of 90 plus.

In 1984, Reagan and Walter Mondale both would reach the age of 90 and counting for Mondale, as of yesterday’s 90th birthday, and George H. W. Bush has the all time record of age of Presidents as of now.

In 1988 and in 1992, George H. W. Bush would survive many health issues and is still adding to the all time record of longevity, but again in competition with Jimmy Carter.

Finally, in 1996, Republican Presidential nominee Bob Dole, who was Gerald Ford’s Vice Presidential running mate in 1976, has passed the age of 94 last July, and is still adding to his own longevity.

Harry Truman And Gerald Ford Share Death Date Of December 26 in 1972 And 2006

The day after Christmas is a day shared by two Presidents in death.

The 33rd President, Harry Truman, died on this day in 1972.

The 38th President, Gerald Ford. died on this day in 2006.

These two Presidents, the first a Democrat, the second a Republican, shared many common traits.

Both were from the Midwest–Truman from Missouri, and Ford from Hichigan.

Both faced challenging times and issues–Truman with the end of World War II; the Atomic Bomb issue; the Berlin Blockade and Airlift; the Korean War;-McCarthyism;–and Ford with the pardoning of Richard Nixon; the final end of the Vietnam War; the Mayaguez Affair with Cambodia; the two assassination attempts 17 days apart in September 1975; and the challenge of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Both faced public opinion polls that made their governing difficult, with Truman surprising everyone with his upset victory over Thomas E. Dewey in 1948; and Ford almost winning a full term in 1976, and only losing because of close vote returns in Ohio and Hawaii.

Both had no desire to be President, and had not sought it, with both succeeding to the Presidency when Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945, and Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.

Both died at advanced ages, with Truman seven and a half months past the age of 88; and Ford five and a half months past 93, and the longest lived President until George H. W. Bush passed his age on November 25, a month ago, and also to be surpassed by Jimmy Carter on March 16, 2018.

Both Presidents have gained in stature in death and in retrospect, although Truman is in the top ten Presidents of all time, usually around number five or six in most scholarly polls, while Ford is in the mid to high 20s as an average President.

But both came along, unexpectedly, and performed their responsibilities in an admirable way, and have gained respect that both might not have imagined in their lifetimes.

Seven Living Vice Presidents, Most For Second Time In American History, And Longevity Of Presidents And First Ladies

Here we are near the end of the first year of the Donald Trump Presidency, and we have seven living Vice Presidents of the United States, the second time we have had that number.

The first time was from the inauguration of Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993 to the death of Richard Nixon on April 22, 1994.

At that time, we had seven living Vice Presidents, including Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, and the incumbent Vice President, Al Gore.

So while we have six living Presidents for the fourth time, after 1861-1862, 1993-1994, and 2001-2004, now we have seen seven Vice Presidents for the second time, due to the fact that while Ronald Reagan passed away in 2004, his vice President and his successor as President, George H. W. Bush, is about to break the longevity record held by Gerald Ford. Bush passed Reagan’s age on October 11, and will pass Ford on November 25, just two weeks from today.

The earliest Vice President still alive is Walter Mondale, who has lived 37 years beyond his time in office, as has his boss, Jimmy Carter, an all time record for both. Mondale will be 90 years of age on January 5, making for the second Presidential-Vice Presidential team to reach age 90 after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush is the only one of the living Vice Presidents to have also served as President, while his Vice President, Dan Quayle, is now 70 years old.

Al Gore served under Bill Clinton, and is now 69 years old.

Dick Cheney served under George W. Bush, and is now 76 years old.

Joe Biden served under Barack Obama, and is now 75 years old as of his birthday on November 20.

And the incumbent Vice President, Mike Pence is now 58 years old.

If all seven living Vice Presidents live beyond April 22, 2018, it will be the longest time we have had seven Vice Presidents alive at the same time, and by that time, Jimmy Carter will have passed Gerald Ford as longest lived (on March 16, 2018), but of course still 111 days behind George H. W. Bush, if both former Presidents are still alive then.

Additionally, we have the amazing statistic that four Presidents in a row have lived beyond the age of 90, and all four of their First Ladies have now reached 90 as well, with Rosalyn Carter having reached it in August, and previously the cases of Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush. Finally, Lady Bird Johnson and Bess Truman also reached the age of 90, although their husbands did not do so, although Harry Truman lived beyond the age of 89.

Jimmy Carter Becomes Fourth President In A Row To Hit Age 93! And New Age Records For First Ladies Too!

President Jimmy Carter turns 93 today, and it is a moment to celebrate!

Carter and his Vice President, Walter Mondale, have survived as a combo longer than any Presidential-Vice Presidential team, an amazing 37 years come next January 20.

Mondale will be 90 in early January, so Carter and Mondale will be the second team where both have reached the age of 90, after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Longevity has been an amazing situation in so many ways, as now we have four straight Presidents–Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush–who will have reached 93.

Only two other Presidents reached 90 and died at that age–John Adams and Herbert Hoover.

Additionally, however, two other Presidential-Vice Presidential nominee teams reached the age of 90 for both men—George McGovern and Sargent Shriver, who were the Democratic team in 1972; and Gerald Ford and Bob Dole, who were the Republican team in 1976, with Bob Dole still alive at age 94. And Bob Dole also was the Republican Presidential nominee in 1996.

And only in the Presidential Election of 1980 did we have all four on the ballot—President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale–and nominees Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush—live to the age of 90 and beyond and be in the Presidency and Vice Presidency, if Mondale survives until his 90th birthday on January 5, just three months away.

Amazingly, George H. W. Bush will pass Ronald Reagan in longevity of age on October 11, and Bush will be the longest lived President, beyond the age of Gerald Ford, who outlasted Reagan by 45 days, on November 25.

And Carter, who seems in better health than Bush, despite Carter’s having had brain cancer diagnosis more than two years ago, but being in remission, seems likely to outlive Bush, if he can survive Bush by less than four months, a total of 111 days!

Also, with Rosalyn Carter having reached the age of 90 in August, it is now reality that four straight Presidents who reached 93, also saw or are seeing their First Ladies having accomplished reaching the 90s—Rosalyn Carter now 90; Barbara Bush now 92; and Nancy Reagan who lived to 94, second longest lived First Lady, only behind Bess Truman, who was 97; and Betty Ford who reached 93, fourth longest, with Lady Bird Johnson being 94, but a few months less than Nancy Reagan, so third longest lived. So six First Ladies, all since World War II, have managed to reach the 90s, an amazing fact!

Gerald Ford, The Right Person To Succeed Richard Nixon, But Is Mike Pence The Right Person To Succeed Donald Trump? NO!

On this day in 1974, the nation was fortunate that Richard Nixon resigned, and Gerald Ford became President of the United States.

We needed someone like Gerald Ford to heal the nation after the Watergate Scandal, and Ford fit the situation very well.

A respectable member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, House Minority Leader for the last nine of those years, and Vice President by appointment for eight months under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, we were fortunate that he was next in line for the Presidency, instead of corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew, who would have been a disaster in the Presidency, dividing the nation even more than Richard Nixon.

Ford was controversial for pardoning Nixon one month into his Presidency, and it helped to cause his defeat, along with the strong right wing conservative challenge of former California Governor Ronald Reagan, but he had the right personality and instincts, and as a moderate conservative, was able to work with both parties, considering that the opposition Democrats controlled both houses.

Ford was an honest, decent man, and his wife Betty was arguably the most accessible and decent modern Republican First Lady, sharing her private turmoil with alcohol and breast cancer with the nation.

Gerald Ford lost a very close race to Jimmy Carter in 1976, so was the fifth Vice President not to be elected President, the first since Chester Alan Arthur in 1884, but he came to be admired and loved as he aged, and he ended up as the longest living President, when he died at age 93 years and 165 days on December 26, 2006, the same day of the year as Harry Truman died in 1972.

The longevity of Ford will be surpassed by George H. W. Bush if he lives to November 25, just three and a half months from now, and Jimmy Carter will pass Ford’s age on March 15, 2018, although if Bush continues to be alive, it will not break the record of longevity.

Now, however, Mike Pence would be the successor if Donald Trump is impeached and removed, or resigns from office, but Mike Pence is no Gerald Ford. Pence is much more extreme right wing conservative, unlike Ford, and is a religious extremist, promoting church and state combination in government, which is against the spirit of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The policies and programs under Pence, while certainly likely to be somewhat different than Trump, would be dramatically different from those of Gerald Ford.

So one could wish that Gerald Ford could come back from the dead to be available to succeed Donald Trump, but sadly we are going to have to live with a President Pence at some point in the near future.

We can wish him luck, but be prepared to oppose him vigorously in the promotion of his right wing agenda, with less chaos, anarchy, and craziness, but still out of the mainstream of the American people and what they want the policies of our government to be in the future.

George H. W. Bush 93 Years Old Today, Third President To Reach 93, After Ronald Reagan And Gerald Ford!

President George H. W. Bush is 93 years old today, making him the third President to reach that age, after Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

Ford has the record of longevity, 93 years and 165 days; and Reagan had 93 years and 120 days, so Ford outlasted Reagan by 45 days.

If Bush is still alive on November 25 of this year, he will surpass the Ford longevity record.

On October 1, Jimmy Carter will be 93 years old, and if he survives to March 16 of 2018, he will surpass Ford’s longevity as well.

So we have had three Presidents in office since 1974 who have reached 93, and all four Presidents from 1974 to the beginning of 1993 will have reached that age in the next three and a half months.

That is an amazing record, and only two other Presidents reached the age of 90–John Adams at 90 and 7 months and Herbert Hoover at 90 years and 2 months.

What America Is Losing In 13 Days: The Best, Most Elegant, Most Dignified POTUS And FLOTUS In Modern Times!

In just 13 days, America is losing its best, most elegant, most dignified President of the United States and First Lady of the United States in modern times!

This is not to attack the Presidents and First Ladies who came before Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, as many of them had talents and abilities worthy of commendation, and many contributed in a good way to the nation.

But really, the Obamas are the most glorious couple in the White House since the Kennedys (John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy) in the early 1960s.

There were many times when one had to wonder whether Barack Obama would survive his time in the Presidency, as the number of death threats and plots against the 44th President were the greatest since Abraham Lincoln, and twenty such cases were documented in my chapter on Assassination threats, Chapter 16, of my Assassinations book, which will be out in paperback on March 8, 2017.

The level of hatred and refusal to show respect was greatest under Obama since Lincoln, and many still wish his personal demise, including former NY Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Palladino, as just one example.

The level of hate and disrespect displayed by Donald Trump is unmatched in the relationship between any two Presidents, and yet Obama has done everything possible to cooperate with the transition, or as Michelle Obama has said, “when they go low, we go high!”

Let us wish the Obamas a long, productive, and healthy retirement, and let us hope that they will be with us in their 90s, as four Presidents (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush have reached), along with earlier Presidents John Adams and Herbert Hoover; and also five First Ladies (Bess Truman, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush), with Rosalynn Carter reaching 90 in August of this year.

The Era Of The Elderly Running For President: Possibility Of Three Candidates Past 70 Competing For White House In 2016!

We may be witnessing an event that has never happened in the history of Presidential elections–three candidates, or even if only two candidates, all over the age of 70!

The only two cases of a President serving in his 70s are Ronald Reagan, who came to office 17 days short of age 70 and left office nearly 78 years old; and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who left office at age 70, three months and six days of age.

We also have had Senator John McCain running at age 72 in 2008, and Senator Bob Dole running at age 73 in 1996.

Now we have the potential for Donald Trump, who would be 70 years seven months and six days old on Inauguration Day; Bernie Sanders, who would be 75 years four months and twelve days old on Inauguration Day; and Michael Bloomberg, who would be 74 years 11 months and six days old on Inauguration Day!

And even if Hillary Clinton were to replace Bernie Sanders, she would be 69 years, nine months and six days old on Inauguration Day, so would reach age 70 after less than three months in office!

With two former Presidents alive at age 91 (Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush); four consecutive Presidents having reached age 90 (Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, additionally); and four former First Ladies since 1963 having reached age 90 (Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush); and with the average American living much longer and in better health, it should not be surprising that we have Presidential candidates in good health, running at an older age than ever in American history.

But one requirement is that younger Vice Presidential nominees be available as backups in case fate occurs, and the older Presidential winner dies in office!

Since World War II, many of the Vice Presidents have been older than their President, as with Harry Truman and Alben Barkley; John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; George W. Bush and Dick Cheney; and Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

So now the opposite may likely happen.

New Presidential Record Of Survival In Office, Surpassing 1789-1841!

For the first nearly 52 years of the Republic, every President survived his term of office, from George Washington until William Henry Harrison.

Once Harrison died in office, we had a President die in every generation, with seven of the eight dying, having been elected in a zero election year–Harrison 1841, Abraham Lincoln 1865, James A. Garfield 1881, William McKinley 1901, Warren G. Harding 1923, Franklin D. Roosevelt 1945, and John F. Kennedy 1963, and joined by Zachary Taylor, dying in 1850, a zero year after being elected in 1848.

This became known as the “Zero Election Year Syndrome.”  It occurred seven straight zero election years from 1840 to 1960.  It was finally overcome when Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt in 1981, and when George W. Bush avoided tragedy on September 11 and throughout his Presidency, despite some serious threats.

Since JFK died, we have not had a Presidential death since, almost 52 years, although Richard Nixon did resign from office in 1974, even that being 41 years ago.

The question is how long can this new record of Presidential survival last, in a time of international terrorism and domestic turmoil.

There have been more death threats against Barack Obama than any President since Abraham Lincoln.

The last President to have a serious threat was Ronald Reagan, shot and seriously wounded in 1981, 34 years ago.

But every living President has had death threats, before, during, and after being in office.

A discussion of all these assassinations and threats are covered in my new book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield), out since August 15, and available at the R & L website with a 30 percent discount offer, or at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books A Million websites.

This author has done more than 25 radio interviews, and will be interviewed by C Span Q & A Brian Lamb next week, and the hour long interview will be available to be seen on C Span One a few weeks later at 8 pm, 11 pm on a Sunday night and 6 am the next Monday morning Eastern time, and will become part of the permanent interviews of Brian Lamb at C, available for interviewing anytime!

The Rising Odds Of A President Leaving Office Involuntarily!

When one thinks about it, the odds of a President leaving office involuntarily are growing.

The possibility of a President being impeached, specifically President Obama, has grown by leaps and bounds, at least if one pays attention to the lunatic Tea Party Movement crowd, which infests a portion of the House Republican Conference, and a few United States Senators, headed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz!

But of course, even if Barack Obama were to be impeached, the chance of gaining two thirds of the US Senate ready to convict and remove him, is extremely remote, and basically would never happen!

And yet, death threats are multiplying against President Obama, and the Secret Service monitors an average of 30 threats per day, not all serious, but still threats that have to be investigated, whether by someone in person, on the phone, in mail, or email, or on social media.

The author is finishing a book on Presidential assassinations, attempts, and threats, and has uncovered at least 35 serious enough threats against Barack Obama, in the sense that they have been reported in the news media, but it is clear that many more in multiple numbers, not public knowledge, have occurred!

Thank goodness the Secret Service and other agencies are doing what seems to be a great job in protecting the President and First Family, as well as Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, but all it would take is one breakdown in security, and a dirty deed could be accomplished, creating a national tragedy!

The problem is the level of hate is so intense, that many “religious” people, racists, and right wing nuts, including talk show hosts and politicians, fuel the fires, and incite people by their rhetoric, so that some whacko could get off shots at our leadership, and one can be sure that were something untoward to happen, there would be some elements of the population, which would applaud such a horrible deed!

So the odds of a tragedy, or possibly of a natural death in office grow, particularly when one considers, that we had a President die in office, either naturally or by assassination every generation from the 1840s to the 1960s, about 20 years apart in most cases, followed by the resignation of Richard Nixon forty years ago this summer.

Since the first demise of a President, William Henry Harrison, in 1841, 52 years after the establishment of the Constitution, we have had nine President leave office, four by assassination, four by natural death, and one by resignation.

But the last President to die naturally was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, 69 years ago! The last President to die in office, and by assassination, was John F. Kennedy in 1963, 51 years ago, meaning the longevity of no deaths between 1789 and 1841 is about to be matched next year! And even the last President to leave office, Nixon resigning in 1974, is 40 years ago, double the average time between deaths of Presidents over a period of 122 years from 1841 to 1963!

So one cannot help but have trepidation at the rising odds of a President leaving office involuntarily, as the years tick by! With exactly two years and seven months left in office for Barack Obama, as of today, all decent people, whether supportive or critical of his Presidency, must pray for his continued good health and safety as he faces the challenges of his times with courage and principle!