Download our fact sheet on presidents as YELs here.
Presidents as Young Elected Leaders
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” – F.D.R.
The Young Elected Leaders Project (YELP) studies and works with young people who run for public office. YELP research reveals that over one half of American Presidents serving since the turn of the 20th Century began their public careers as young elected leaders. Beginning with William McKinley, the data below charts the Presidents who were 35 years or younger when elected to their first public office.
Six of the thirteen Presidents serving since the start of the 20th Century were elected into their first public office at the age of 30 or younger. At 25 years of age, Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest future President. America’s 44th president, Barack H. Obama, began his public life as a State Senator at the age of 35.
|U.S. President||Elected Office||State||Age|
|William McKinley||U.S. House of Rep.||OH||34|
|Theodore Roosevelt||State Assembly||NY||24|
|William H. Taf||Superior Court Judge||OH||31|
|William G. Harding||State Senate||OH||35|
|Calvin Coolidge||Councilman||Northampton, MA||26|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt||State Senate||NY||28|
|John F. Kennedy||U.S. House of Rep.||MA||30|
|Lyndon B. Johnson||U.S. House of Rep.||TX||29|
|Richard M. Nixon||U.S. House of Rep.||CA||34|
|Gerald Ford||U.S. House of Rep.||MI||35|
|Jimmy Carter||Board of Education||Sumter County, GA||32|
|William J. Clinton||Attorney General||AR||30|
|Barack H. Obama||State Senate||IL||35|