When Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes the oath of office on Wednesday, he will be the oldest person ever sworn in as president. Mr. Biden turned 78 in November.
During the campaign, Mr. Biden addressed his age directly in interviews and presented himself as a “transition candidate” who would help nurture new democratic talent.
"It's a legitimate question to ask about my age," Mr. Biden said about & # 39; The View & # 39 ;, adding, "Hopefully I can show that it is not only with age that wisdom and experience has emerged that can make things a lot better."
According to a historical expert, Mr. Biden used his age as an election force and campaigned on the basis of two key messages.
The first, 'I'm not him,' Trump means, ”said Jeffrey A. Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Wednesday.“ The second was, 'I'm an adult and I will bring back normalcy and I will bring back a sense of decency and show maturity. ""
Here's a look at some of the oldest and youngest presidents to take office.
Who were the oldest presidents?
Until Mr. Biden was sworn in on Wednesday, President Trump holds the record of the country's oldest CEO. He was 70 in January 2017 when he became the 45th president.
For him, President Ronald Reagan was the oldest president. He was 69 in 1981 when he was inaugurated for his first term.
In a debate with Walter Mondale during his re-election campaign in 1984, Mr. Reagan made the issue of age light.
"I want you to know that I will not make age a topic in this campaign", he said. "I am not going to exploit my opponent's youth and inexperience for political ends."
Mr. Reagan was 77 after his second term, the oldest president to step down.
More than a century before him, William Henry Harrison held the distinction of being the oldest president of the time when he was inaugurated in 1841 at the age of 68. Mr. Harrison, who had a cold and developed pneumonia, died after 32 days in office. He became the first president to die in office and to date has served the shortest term in US presidential history.
At 96, Jimmy Carter is the oldest living former president.
Who were the youngest presidents?
Many people may think that John F. Kennedy, inaugurated in 1961 at the age of 43, was the youngest president. But that distinction belongs to Theodore Roosevelt, who was 42 in September 1901, when he assumed the presidency after the assassination of William McKinley.
"I don't think most Americans have ever seen a moving photo of Teddy Roosevelt, especially when he was president," said Professor Engel, explaining why people might consider Kennedy the youngest US president. "They don't have a mental image of a young man in the White House at that age, while John F. Kennedy was all about the image and the moving images."
Other youthful presidents include Ulysses S. Grant, who was 46 when he took office in 1869; Bill Clinton, who was also 46 at his first inauguration, in 1993; and Barack Obama, who was 47 at his first inauguration in 2009. Three of the five youngest presidents were Democrats; Roosevelt and Grant were Republicans.
What are the requirements to be president?
As dictated by the Constitution of the United Statesthe president must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years of age and a resident of 14 years of age.
Qualifications for president haven't changed since George Washington first took office at 57 in 1789, according to the Library of Congress. He was sworn in on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, then the capital of the United States.
Average age of a president at inauguration: 55
A JAMA article from 2011 on the aging of the president, to which Mr. Trump does not belong, noted that the average age of a US president at inauguration was 55.1 years.
A similar ranking showed that on average presidents are sworn in at the age of 55 potus.com, a project created by Bob Summers in 1996 as part of a graduate school project at the University of Michigan School of Information.
“Most people who become president usually have to build a body of work to prove to voters what they stand for and how they will get things done,” said Mr. Summers.
“That usually rules out a lot of younger presidents,” he added. "And with the shorter life expectancy in the early days of the US, there weren't as many people who would run as older candidates."
How many father-son couples are in office?
There have been two father-and-son presidents, and both were the same age when they first took office.
John Adams was 61 when he became the second president in 1797. His son John Quincy Adams was sworn in as the sixth president in 1825 at the age of 57.
Alain Delaquérière contributed research.