Tuesday, February 1, 2011

United States Presidents and Facial Hair

President Obama has publicly stated that he can’t grow facial hair. Many of his predecessors were clean-shaven, as well.

It has been almost 100 years since the office of President has been held by a man with facial hair. Of the 44 different presidents we have had, according to images of them only 12 have had some type of facial hair while in office. They are:

#6 John Quincy Adams (side burns) 1825-1829

#8 Martin Van Buren (side burns) 1837-1841

#12 Zachary Taylor (side burns) 1849-1850

#16 Abraham Lincoln (beard) 1861-1865

#18 Ulysses S. Grant (beard, mustache) 1869-1877

#19 Rutherford B. Hayes (beard, mustache) 1877-1881

#20 James A. Garfield (beard, mustache)1881

#21 Chester A. Arthur (mustache, side burns)1881-1885

#22; #24 Grover Cleveland (mustache) 1885-1889; 1893-1897

#23 Benjamin Harrison (beard, mustache) 1889-1893

#26 Theodore Roosevelt (mustache) 1901-1913

#27 William Taft (mustache) 1909-1913

Of the twelve presidents with facial hair, ten were Republican (Adams, Taylor, Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, Roosevelt and Taft) and two were Democrat (Van Buren and Cleveland). Two, Adams and Taylor, are listed under party names some may not be familiar with. John Quincy Adams and Zachary Taylor were members of the party known under various names such as Federalist, Democratic-Republican, or Whig party. This would be the Republican party of today.

Of the candidates currently tossed about as possible nominees in 2012, none have facial hair of any type. This is a shame. There is something to be said for a man with facial hair.


US Presidents (images). Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/US_Presidents

Republican Presidents of the United States. http://www.republicanpresidents.net/

Democrat US Presidents. Maps of World. http://www.mapsofworld.com/us-presidents/democrat-us-presidents.html

American President: An Online Reference Resource. John Quincy Adams. Muller Center of Public Affairs: University of Virginia. http://millercenter.org/president/jqadams

American President: An Online Reference Resource. Zachary Taylor. Muller Center of Public Affairs: University of Virginia. http://millercenter.org/president/taylor

Image Credit: George Bush Presidential Library/US Government. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Five_Presidents.jpg

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