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President of the United States

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President of the
United States of America
Flag of the President of the United States.svg
Seal of the President of the United States.svg
Donald Trump official portrait (cropped).jpg
Donald John Trump

since January 20, 2017
Member of
ResidenceWhite House
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerElectoral College
Term lengthTwo four-year terms
Constituting instrumentUnited States Constitution
FormationMarch 4, 1789
(231 years ago)
First holderGeorge Washington[6]
Salary$400,000 annuallyInvalid <ref> tag; refs with no name must have content

The president of the United States of America (often shortened to POTUS) is the head of state, and head of government 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 serves as chief executive and 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.

On November 9, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th president of the United States, not including Grover Clevlend's second non-consecutive term. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms in office, and is counted as the nation's 22nd and 24th president. Thus the incumbent, Donald Trump, is the nation's 45th president. There are currently four living former presidents. The most recent death of a former president was on November 30, 2018 with the death of George H. W. Bush; the most recently serving president to die was also George H. W. Bush on November 30, 2018. The current president was formally inaugurated on January 20, 2017, succeeding Barack Obama.


Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution sets the requirements to hold office. A president must:

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.[7] 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 which limits the number of terms a president can have.

William Henry Harrison served the shortest term, one month, because he died in office from pneumonia.


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.

Primary functions

With the agreement of the United States Senate he or she can:

Living Presidents (from oldest to youngest)
President Date of birth Presidency
Jimmy Carter October 1, 1924 (1924-10-01) (age 96) 39 1977–1981
Donald Trump June 14, 1946 (1946-06-14) (age 74) 45 2017–
George W. Bush July 6, 1946 (1946-07-06) (age 74) 43 2001–2009
Bill Clinton August 19, 1946 (1946-08-19) (age 74) 42 1993–2001
Barack Obama August 4, 1961 (1961-08-04) (age 59) 44 2009–2017


If the president dies or retires between elections, or is otherwise removed from office, the Acting President will become president, who is usually the Vice President.

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.

Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon's vice president, became president after Nixon resigned. Nixon is the only president to have resigned.

Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump are the only presidents to have been impeached.


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

The Living Presidents George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in 2018.

Presidential rankings

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.

On the other hand; James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush are thought to be the worst.

Presidential libraries

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.

There are also presidential libraries maintained by state governments and private foundations, such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which is run by the State of Illinois.

Several presidential libraries contain the graves of the president such as Richard Nixon at his library in Yorba Linda, California and Ronald Reagan at his library in Simi Valley, California.



  1. 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.

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