Oldest Presidential Candidates in U.S. History

10 Oldest Presidential Candidates in U.S. History

Spread the love

With everything currently going on the world in 2020, the U.S. presidential election is at the top of the minds of many Americans. So far, the election has been hotly contested with numerous Democrats trying to be chosen as the nominee to unseat the incumbent president Donald Trump. An interesting fact about the 2020 presidential election is that it has had some of the oldest presidential candidates in U.S. history. In fact, half of the people on this list were or are running in the current election. In general, presidential candidates have gotten older in recent years, but older presidential candidates have been running since the U.S. was formed.

As of August 2020, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

10. Elizabeth Warren (June 22, 1949 – Present)

Age at Time of Election: 70 years, 8 months, 13 days
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  March 5, 2020 (withdrew)
Political Party: Democratic (formerly Republican)
Other Political Positions: U.S. Senator from Massachusetts; Special Advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel

Elizabeth Warrenphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth Warren is the only woman on this list because women unfortunately do not often run for president. However, in recent elections the number of female candidates has increased and Warren made a strong run for the 2020 Democratic nomination before withdrawing from the race in March.

Before becoming a politician, Warren was a law professor and held various advisory roles for the U.S. government. Before 1995, Warren was a lifelong Republican, but began to vote Democratic as her political views changed. Since 2013, Warren has served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts under the Democratic Party. Warren is the first female Senator from Massachusetts.

Did You Know?

Elizabeth Warren has written or co-written 11 books and has also authored dozens of articles.


9. John McCain (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018)

Age at Time of Election: 72 years, 2 months, 6 days
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  November 4, 2008
Political Party: Republican
Other Political Positions: U.S. Senator from Arizona; U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona

John McCainphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

John McCain is another of the presidential nominees on this list who had a long political career. McCain served as a U.S. Senator from Arizona from 1987 until his death in 2018. Prior to this, McCain served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to serving in politics for several decades, McCain was an officer in the U.S. Navy from the late 1950s until he retired from the military in 1981. After, McCain moved to Arizona and began his political career. McCain first tried to run for president in 2000, but lost the Republican nomination to George W. Bush. In 2008, McCain was selected as the Republican nominee, but he lost the presidential election to Barack Obama.

Did You Know?

While John McCain was in the military, he received several military decorations and awards, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Commendation, and Prisoner of War.


8. Bob Dole (July 22, 1923 – Present)

Age at Time of Election: 73 years, 3 months 14 days
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  November 5, 1996
Political Party: Republican
Other Political Positions: U.S. Senator from Kansas; U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas; County Attorney of Russell County, Kansas; Member of the Kansas House of Representatives

Bob Dolephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Bob Dole, who is now retired from politics, was a long-serving member of Congress in the both the House and Senate. Dole was in the House of Representatives from 1961 – 1969 and the U.S. Senate from 1969 – 1996. Before running for president as the Republican nominee in 1996, Dole was chosen as Gerald Ford’s running mate in 1976. Dole also launched presidential campaigns in 1980 and 1988, but did not win the Republican nomination either time. While Dole finally did become the Republican nominee in 1996, he lost the election to incumbent president Bill Clinton.

Did You Know?

Bob Dole is the last World War II veteran to have been the presidential nominee of a major party.


7. Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004)

Age at Time of Election: 73 years, 9 months
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  November 6, 1984
Political Party: Republican
Other Political Positions: 33rd Governor of California

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. When Reagan ran for reelection in 1984, he was 73 years old. Prior to entering politics, Reagan was a famous actor and entertainer. Then in 1967, Reagan became the 33rd Governor of California, a position he held until 1975.

Reagan first made a bid for the presidency in 1976, but he lost the Republican nomination to Gerald Ford, who was the incumbent president. In 1980 Reagan launched a second presidential campaign and won against incumbent president Jimmy Carter. Reagan went on to serve a second term and left professional politics. For a few years before his Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis in 1994, Reagan was still fairly politically active.

Did You Know?

While Ronald Reagan was still an actor, he served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1947 – 1951 and again in 1959.


6. Donald Trump (June 14, 1946 – Present)

Age at Time of Election: 74 years, 1 month, 23 days (as of August 2020)
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  election will take place on November 3, 2020
Political Party: Republican
Other Political Positions: None

Donald Trumpphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump, who is the currently the oldest President ever in U.S. History (at the time of inauguration), is making a bid for his second term in 2020 presidential election. Previously only known as a New York billionaire and a TV personality, Trump shocked the world when he won the 2016 presidential election, despite losing the popular vote. Since assuming his position, Trump’s presidency has been plagued by controversies, including constant meltdowns on Twitter, making false and misleading statements, and an impeachment from the U.S. House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – Trump was acquitted by the Senate. Despite all of these difficulties, Trump is running for reelection.

Did You Know?

So far, Donald Trump and his businesses have been involved in more than 4,000 state and federal legal actions, including six bankruptcies.


5. Joe Biden (November 20, 1942 – Present)

Age at Time of Election: 77 years, 8 months, 17 days (as of August 2020)
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  election will take place on November 3, 2020
Political Party: Democratic
Other Political Positions: 47th Vice President of the United States; U.S. Senator from Delaware; New Castle County Council Member

Joe Bidenphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee running against the incumbent Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Like almost all of the other people on this list, Biden has had a very long political career. Biden first entered politics in the early 1970s, first as a local councilman and then as a U.S. Senator. In 2009, Biden became the 47th Vice President of the United States under President Barack Obama.

Following the end of Biden and Obama’s second term, Biden no longer held an elected position but remained active in politics. Almost immediately after Trump was elected in 2016, many people mentioned Biden as a likely candidate for president in 2020, despite no announcement from Biden himself. After years of rumors, Biden finally launched his campaign on April 25, 2019.

Did You Know?

Although some people have raised some concerns over Joe Biden’s age, he does come from a long-lived family as his mother died at 92 and his father lived until he was 86.


4. Mike Bloomberg (February 14, 1942 – Present)

Age at Time of Election: 78 years, 19 days
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  March 4, 2020 (withdrew)
Political Party: Democratic (formerly Republican and Independent)
Other Political Positions: 108th Mayor New York City

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Prior to becoming a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, Mike Bloomberg’s only other political office was as the 108th Mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. Bloomberg is better known for his career as a businessman as the owner and co-founder of Bloomberg, L.P. He is also notable for his extreme wealth and in 2020, Forbes ranked Bloomberg as the 16th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $48 billion.

In late 2019, Bloomberg launched his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. Bloomberg stayed in the race until he dropped out in March and announced his support for Joe Biden.

Did You Know?

In 2010, Mike Bloomberg signed The Giving Pledge, whereby the wealthy pledge to give away at least half of their wealth. Since then, Bloomberg has donated $9.5 billion to various causes.


3. Bernie Sanders (September 8, 1941 – Present)

Age at Time of Election: 78 years, 7 months
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  April 8, 2020 (withdrew)
Political Party: Independent (ran on Democratic ticket for presidency)
Other Political Positions: U.S. Senator from Vermont; U.S. House of Representative from Vermont; 37th Mayor of Burlington, Vermont

Bernie Sandersphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Bernie Sanders is the oldest presidential candidate in more recent years and has become the face of the progressive and democratic socialist movements. Sanders has spent his entire adult life in politics as an activist and politician. In 1981, Sanders won his first political office when he became the 37th Mayor of Burlington, Vermont.

Then in 1988, Sanders was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and was the first independent to do so since the 1950s. Since 2007, Sanders has served as a U.S. Senator and he first tried to run for president during the 2016 election. Sanders tried to win the Democratic nomination again in 2020, but dropped out of the race in April, despite doing well in the early Democratic primaries.

Did You Know?

Although Bernie Sanders has a close relationship with the Democratic Party, he has remained an Independent and is the longest-serving Independent politician in U.S. congressional history.


2. William Hope Harvey (August 16, 1851 – February 11, 1936)

Age at Time of Election: 81 years, 2 months, 23 days
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  November 8, 1932
Political Party: Liberty Party
Other Political Positions: None, but was a Populist political activist

William Hope Harveyphoto source: Wikimedia Commons


William Hope Harvey never held any political positions, but was very active in politics throughout his life. Harvey was a lawyer who moved to Chicago in 1879 and after his move to the city he became involved with politics. At this time, Harvey became exposed to the idea that the demonetization of silver through passage of the Coinage Act of 1873 had extremely deleterious economic effects on the American economy.

Harvey became a leading advocate of a return to the unlimited coinage of silver into money and in 1894 authored a popular pamphlet to advance this policy, Coin’s Financial School. Using his popularity and financial theories, Harvey formed the Liberty Party in 1932 and made a bid for the presidency that year.

Did You Know?

In his later life, before running for president, William Hope Harvey built a health resort called Monte Ne and also believed that human civilization was on the verge of collapse.


1. Harold Stassen (April 13, 1907 – March 4, 2001)

Age at Time of Election: 85 years, 1 month, 27 days
Election Year or Date of Withdrawal:  June 9, 1992 (last day of Republican primaries)
Political Party: Republican
Other Political Positions: 25th Governor of Minnesota; Director of the U.S. Foreign Operations Administration; Director of the Mutual Security Agency

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Harold Stassen, who was the 25th Governor of Minnesota, first ran for President of the United States in 1948. Stassen sought the presidential nomination eight more times in 1952, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, and finally in 1992. During his last bid for the Republican nomination, Stassen was 85 years old, making him the oldest presidential candidate ever in U.S. history.

Although Stassen is largely remembered for trying to run for president numerous times, Stassen had a long and distinguished political career. He also resigned as Governor of Minnesota to serve in the Navy during World War II. Following the War, Stassen resumed his political career and remained active until his death in 2001.

Did You Know?

During the 1948 Republican primaries preceding the Republican National Convention, Harold Stassen participated in in the Dewey–Stassen debate, the first recorded debate between presidential candidates.


Spread the love

Related Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *