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President of the United States
|President of the |
United States of America
|Term length||Four years (maximum two terms)|
|Constituting instrument||United States Constitution|
|Formation||March 4, 1789|
|First holder||George Washington|
|Salary||$400,000 annuallyInvalid |
|This article is part of a series on the|
|Politics of the
United States of America
The president of the United States of America (often shortened to P.O.T.U.S.) is the chief executive of the United States. The office of president was created in the United States Constitution in 1788. The first president (George Washington) took office in 1789. The president is in charge of the executive branch of the United States government. The United States Constitution makes the president the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It also lists powers given to the President, though these powers have been expanded through practice over time.
Since the United States began as a slave holding society based on race, every president of the United States has been a white man except for Barack Obama, and at least 12 of the first 18 presidents owned slaves. On November 9, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th president of the United States (Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms in office, and is counted as the nation's 22nd and 24th president). There are currently four living former presidents. The most recent death of a former president was the death of George H. W. Bush on November 30, 2018. He was also the most recently serving president to die. The current president was formally inaugurated on January 20, 2017, succeeding Barack Obama.
- be a natural-born citizen of the United States. [note 1]
- be at least thirty-five years old. Theodore Roosevelt, 42, was the youngest, and Donald Trump, 70, is the oldest.
- be a permanent resident in the United States for at least fourteen years.
Election process and terms
The president is indirectly elected by the people through the Electoral College to a four-year term, and is one of only two nationally elected federal officers, the other being the Vice President of the United States. A president must receive more than 270 electoral college votes in order to win an election. Ronald Reagan received 525 votes which is the most electoral votes of any other president.
A president can only serve two terms as president, which is eight years. Franklin D. Roosevelt served four terms as president. He died shortly after beginning his fourth term. After his death, Congress passed an amendment that limits the number of terms a president can have.
A president officially becomes president after being inaugurated on January 20th. The president must be given the oath of office by the Chief Justice of the United States. It is traditionally held at the United States Capitol.
- Enforcing laws passed by the United States Congress
- Nominating a Cabinet of advisors
- Giving pardons or reprieves
- Make treaties
- Choose ambassadors to foreign countries
- Select Judges, and Justices of the Supreme Court
|President||Date of birth||Presidency|
|Jimmy Carter||October 1, 1924||39||1977–1981|
|Donald Trump||June 14, 1946||45||2017–|
|George W. Bush||July 6, 1946||43||2001–2009|
|Bill Clinton||August 19, 1946||42||1993–2001|
|Barack Obama||August 4, 1961||44||2009–2017|
Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy were assassinated while in office. William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin Roosevelt died from illness while president. John Tyler was the first Vice President of the United States to become president.
A president travels by either traveling on Air Force One, Marine One, or by the Presidential state car. At all times, the president is protected by Secret Service agents. Sometimes, the president may travel to Camp David for either relaxation or to do some work in peace.
List of Presidents of the United States
Living former presidents
(1977 – 1981)
October 1, 1924
(1993 – 2001)
August 19, 1946
George W. Bush
(2001 – 2009)
July 6, 1946
(2009 – 2017)
August 4, 1961
By a majority of historical sources by historians or by the American people; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton are ranked high on polls.
Since Herbert Hoover, each president has created a institutional place known as a presidential library for preserving and making available his papers, records, and other documents and materials. There are currently thirteen presidential libraries in the NARA system.
- "How To Address The President; He Is Not Your Excellency Or Your Honor, But Mr. President". The New York Times. August 2, 1891. https://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9D06E3D9143AE533A25751C0A96E9C94609ED7CF.
- "USGS Correspondence Handbook – Chapter 4". Usgs.gov. July 18, 2007. http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/handbook/hb/431-2-h/chap4.html. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Models of Address and Salutation". Ita.doc.gov. http://www.ita.doc.gov/ita_sec/Address%20and%20Salutation.htm. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Maier, Pauline (2010). Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787–1788. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 433. .
- "March 4: A forgotten huge day in American history". Philadelphia: National Constitution Center. March 4, 2013. https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/march-4-a-forgotten-huge-day-in-american-politics/. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- "Presidential Election of 1789". Mount Vernon, Virginia: Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, George Washington's Mount Vernon. https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/presidential-election-of-1789/. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Tan, Shelly. "Who can be president? According to the movies, it’s still White men" (in en). https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/entertainment/fictional-presidents-in-movies/.
- Andrews, Evan. "How Many U.S. Presidents Owned Enslaved People?" (in en). https://www.history.com/news/how-many-u-s-presidents-owned-slaves.
- Our Government • The Executive Branch, The White House.
- Foreign-born American citizens who met the age and residency requirements at the time the Constitution was adopted were also eligible for the presidency. However, this allowance has since become obsolete.
- "Executive Office of the President". http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/. Retrieved January 21, 2009.
- "White House". http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/. Retrieved October 7, 2005.