When Jimmy Carter left office in January 1981, many observers remarked how much he had aged in those 4 long years. Perhaps it was age, or simply his trademark smile being wiped off his face during the Iran Hostage Crisis.
Recent thoughts of that made us want to go back and see how other recent presidents looked at the beginning and end of their terms. We found that being president seemed age some men more than others.
Comparison of Presidents Aging
Below is a comparison of some modern presidents, early in their terms (or during their initial campaigns), and as they were leaving office, with a look at Jimmy Carter first.
Richard Nixon coasted to a historic landslide in 1972, only to resign in disgrace two years later. He was consumed by the scandal and it took quote a toll on him.
President Reagan preferred to delegate and leave the stressful details to subordinates. Despite the Iran Contra scandal in his second term, he left the office largely unaffected by the pressures of the office.
George H. W. Bush was a career Washington politician. The pressures of office were old hat to him. He left office after 4 years in relatively good physical shape.
Bill Clinton’s positive public persona hid his infamous need to for micromanage, and his quick temper. He also became only the second president to be impeached (history 101 – being “impeached” doesn’t mean being removed from office… it just means impeachment proceedings were brought against him). He also had the Monica Lewinsky scandal to deal with and deny. He left office a bit weathered.
George W. Bush had 9/11 and two wars to wage, not to mention the wars he had to wage at home against an army of detractors. He looks 20 years older in his last year in office than he did in his first.
Different presidents aged differently during their time in office.