Oldest Current U.S. Governors

10 Oldest Currently Active U.S. Governors

The average age of the current sitting U.S. governors is 65 years, 2 days. However, all of the oldest governors are in the 70s, with the top spot on this list occupied by a governor who is nearly 80 years old. Almost all of the governors on this list have had decades-long political careers and have served in their state governments as well as U.S. Congress. Some of these old governors are just a few years away from reaching their term limits, while others have just begun their gubernatorial careers.

10. Dan McKee (June 16, 1951 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 70 years, 6 months, 1 day
Start of Term: March 2, 2021
State: Rhode Island
Political Party: Democratic

Dan McKeephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Dan McKee is the only governor on this list who was newly elected in the last election. McKee is now the 76th Governor of Rhode Island and he previously served as 69th Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island from 2015 to 2021. He first became involved in politics in 1992 when he served on the Cumberland, Rhode Island Town Council. McKee then served six terms as Cumberland’s mayor.

After graduating from Cumberland High School, McKee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. McKee was an officer of McKee Brothers, a heating, air conditioning, and home heating oil delivery business founded by his grandfather. He also owned and operated a health and fitness business for more than 30 years.

Did You Know?

For over twenty-five years, Dan McKee has been a member of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Cumberland-Lincoln, serving as past president of the executive board and chairman of the endowment committee.

9. Jim Justice (April 27, 1951 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 70 years, 7 months, 20 days
Start of Term: January 16, 2017
State: West Virginia
Political Party: Republican

Jim Justicephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Jim Justice has served as the 36th Governor of West Virginia since 2017. Although Justice was a registered Republican before running for governor, he ran as a Democrat and defeated the Republican nominee, Bill Cole. After winning, Justice waited just a few months before announcing that he was once again a Republican and supported Donald Trump’s nomination for president.

After earning a bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration from Marshall University, Justice went into the family agriculture business. Justice founded Bluestone Farms in 1977, which now operates 50,000 acres (20,000 ha) of farmland, and is the leading producer of grain on the East Coast of the United States. He also inherited a coal mining business from his father and built a business empire with over 94 companies, including the Greenbrier, a luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs.

Did You Know?

At one point, Jim Justice had an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion, making him the wealthiest person in West Virginia.

8. Jay Inslee (February 9, 1951 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 70 years, 10 months, 8 days
Start of Term: January 16, 2013
State: Washington
Political Party: Democratic

Jay Insleephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Jay Inslee is the 23rd Governor of Washington and he was a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. However, Inslee withdrew from the race in August 2019 after facing poor polling numbers and seeing no path to victory.

Inslee started his political career in 1989 when he was elected to the Washington House of Representatives. He served in the Washington House until 1993 when he became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Inslee was Congressman until he was elected governor in 2012.

Did You Know?

Jay Inslee came to national prominence when he, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and State Solicitor General Noah Purcell sued the Trump administration over Executive Order 13769, aka the “Mulim travel ban.”

7. Asa Hutchinson (December 3, 1950 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 71 years, 14 days
Start of Term: January 13, 2015
State: Arkansas
Political Party: Republican

Asa Hutchinsonphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Asa Hutchinson is currently serving in his second term as the 46th Governor of Arkansas. Hutchinson started his political career way back in 1982 when he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as U.S. Attorney for the United States Western District of Arkansas. He also served as the Chair of the Republican Party of Arkansas, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration under President George W. Bush, and Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security.

After earning his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1975, Hutchinson law in Fort Smith for 21 years and handled more than 100 jury trials. In early 2005, Hutchinson founded a consulting firm, Hutchinson Group, LLC, with partners Betty Guhman and Kirk Tompkins.

Did You Know?

At the age of thirty-one, Asa Hutchinson was the youngest U.S. Attorney in the nation. He made national headlines when he successfully prosecuted The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of the Lord (CSA), a white supremacist organization founded by polygamist James Ellison.

6. Laura Kelly (January 24, 1950 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 71 years, 10 months, 24 days
Start of Term: January 14, 2019
State: Kansas
Political Party: Democratic

Laura Kellyphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Laura Kelly is currently the 48th Governor of Kansas and was elected in 2018 when she defeated Republican nominee, Kris Kobach. Unlike some of the other governors on this list, Kelly began her political career later in life. She entered politics in 2004 when she was elected to the Kansas Senate. During her tenure, she served as Minority Whip and as the Ranking Minority member of the Kansas Ways and Means Committee. Kelly also served as the Assistant Minority Leader of the Kansas Senate.

Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Science in therapeutic recreation. Afterwards, Kelly worked as the executive director of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association.

Did You Know?

As a member of the Kansas Senate, Kelly helped to establish the Early Childhood Development Block Grants program in the State of Kansas.

5. Tom Wolf (November 17, 1948 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 73 years, 1 month
Start of Term: January 20, 2015
State: Pennsylvania
Political Party: Democratic

Tom Wolfphoto source: Wikimedia Commons


Tom Wolf has been the 47th Governor of Pennsylvania since 2015 and his term is set to expire in 2023 because of term limits. Wolf previously served as the Secretary of Revenue of Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2008 under then-governor Ed Rendell. During the administration of Governor Robert P. Casey, Wolf served on an economic development board and on the Pennsylvania Legislative Commission on Urban Schools.

Before politics, Wolf was the owner of the Wolf Organization, a distributor of lumber and other building products. Wolf purchased the company in 1985 and grew the company, eventually more than quintupling the business in size.

Did You Know?

After Tom Wolf earned his Ph.D., his dissertation on the United States House of Representatives was named the best of 1981 by the American Political Science Association.

4. Janet Mills (December 30, 1947 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 73 years, 11 months, 18 days
Start of Term: January 2, 2019
State: Maine
Political Party: Democratic

Janet Millsphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Behind Kay Ivey, Janet Mills is the second oldest female U.S. governor. Mills has served as the 75th Governor of Maine since 2019. Before starting her governorship, Mills was the 57th Attorney General of Maine from 2013 to 2019. She was also attorney general from 2009 to 2011. Mills began her political career in 1980 when she was elected district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, a position to which she was reelected three times. She was the first woman district attorney in New England.

Mills was also a member of the Maine House of Representatives. During her tenure, she served on the judiciary, criminal justice, and appropriations committees. Mills earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

Did You Know?

Janet Mills was Maine’s first female criminal prosecutor after being admitted to the bar in 1976.

3. Henry McMaster (May 27, 1947 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 74 years, 6 months, 21 days
Start of Term: January 24, 2017
State: South Carolina
Political Party: Republican

Henry McMasterphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Henry McMaster has served as the 117th Governor of South Carolina since 2017. Before he was elected governor, McMaster was the 91st Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina from 2015 to 2017. During his early political career, McMaster worked for U.S. senator Strom Thurmond. Through Thrumond’s recommendation, President Ronald Reagan nominated McMaster as United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina in 1981 – this was Reagan’s first nomination for U.S. attorney.

McMaster has also served as Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party and the 50th Attorney General of South Carolina. Outside of politics, McMaster practiced law for almost 29 years, both as a federal prosecutor and in private practice.

Did You Know?

Henry McMaster first gained national attention in the early 1980s when he investigated South Carolina marijuana smugglers in Operation Jackpot, which captured and convicted more than 100 marijuana smugglers from 1983 to 1986 during President Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs.

2. Mike DeWine (January 5, 1947 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 74 years, 11 months, 12 days
Start of Term: January 14, 2019
State: Ohio
Political Party: Republican

Mike DeWinephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Mike DeWine is currently the 70th Governor of Ohio and the second oldest U.S. governor. Like many of the other governors on this list, DeWine has had a very long political career. At age 25, DeWine started working as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Greene County, Ohio, and in 1976 was elected County Prosecutor. DeWine has also served as a member of the Ohio Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, 59th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, and 50th Ohio Attorney General.

DeWine earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University College of Law in 1972.

Did You Know?

Mike DeWine and his family own Minor League Baseball’s Asheville Tourists

1. Kay Ivey (October 15, 1944 – Present)

Current Age (as of December 2021): 77 years, 2 months, 2 days
Start of Term: April 10, 2017
State: Alabama
Political Party: Republican

Kay Iveyphoto source: Wikimedia Commons


At the age of 77 years, 2 months, and 2 days, Kay Ivey is currently the oldest sitting U.S. Governor. Ivey has been serving as the 54th Governor of Alabama since 2017. Ivey became Alabama’s second female governor and the first female Republican governor upon the resignation of her predecessor, Robert J. Bentley. Before her governorship, Ivey was the 30th Lieutenant Governor of Alabama, a position she held from 2011 to 2017.

Ivey has had a very long career in politics and she first served in Alabama’s state cabinet in 1979. She later served as the reading clerk of the Alabama House of Representatives and as Assistant Director of the Alabama Development Office. Ivey’s first elected position was as 38th Treasurer of Alabama from 2003 to 2011.

Did You Know?

Kay Ivey’s term as governor is set to expire in 2023 and if she carries out her full term, she will be nearly 80 years old and one of the oldest governors in U.S. history.



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