Before & After Photos Of U.S. Presidents

Being President of the United States definitely has its perks. However, the executive position takes a serious toll on one’s physical appearance. In the history of the United States, we’ve seen 44 Presidents come and go, walking into the Oval Office as young lads and leaving as established old men. The Roosevelts, Truman, and especially Woodrow Wilson aged significantly during their time in the White House. If you haven’t seen what being POTUS does to these American servicemen, you’re seriously missing out!

Before: Barack Obama

2008: If you don’t mind, we’d like to get right down to business and talk about our dearly departed Barack Obama. During his presidency, Obama was a valuable LGBT advocate, ended military participation in the Iraq War, and issued the Budget Control Act of 2011. Under his administration, the nation saw same-sex marriage legalized and the return of countless overseas soldiers. Obamacare remains a controversial subject matter but the intention to mandate universal healthcare is a noble one. In 2008, we saw a younger looking Obama and today, we see something slightly different.


After: Barack Obama

2016: Michelle Obama often refers to her former Presidential hubby as a “silver fox.” In 2017, he handed over the Presidency to his successor and bid farewell to the White House after 8 years of service. Before the end of Obama’s second term, he negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran, issued sanctions against Russia, and eased tensions with longtime “frenemy,” neighbor-nation, Cuba. In 2009, Obama became the 2nd President in United States history to be rewarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”


Before: Bill Clinton

1993: Bill Clinton is one of the most polarizing Presidents in U.S. history. From a political perspective, Clinton successfully resided over the longest period of peacetime, economic expansion. One of Clinton’s primary goals as President was to pass a national health care form but failed to do so during his first term. He was, however, able to pass a welfare reform, provide statewide healthcare insurance for children, and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into action. The initial 4 years of Clinton’s Presidency locked him in for a landslide win in the 1996 election.


After: Bill Clinton

2001: With the second term of the Clinton Presidency, came the most infamous scandal of 20th Century politics. Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for having extra-marital relations with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. In 1999, after strenuous investigation and televised hearings, Clinton was acquitted and resumed his responsibilities as Commander in Chief. In the final 3 years of his Presidency, Bill produced staggering changes within the working government; he opposed Saddam Hussein by signing the Iraq Liberation Act, joined the Camp David Summit to negotiate the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and intervened in the Bosnia-Kosovo Wars.


Before: John F. Kennedy

1961: John F. Kennedy served as President of the United States for only 3 years but managed to make a dent in the political system before his assassination in 1963. During his Presidency, Kennedy oversaw the Bay of Pigs invasion, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. He is also responsible for the establishment of the Peace Corps and motivated significant developments in the international Space Race against Russia. JFK is also regarded as one of the best looking Presidents ever elected into office. Yeah, we’re not shocked either.


After: John F. Kennedy

1963: Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd, 1963. Since his death, it has been discussed (and to an extent, believed) that JFK’s death was a conspiracy executed by the government and developed shortly after the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs Invasion. The assumption that Oswald was the lone shooter on the day of Kennedy’s death has been contested on several occasions; witness testimonies, witness deaths, confiscated photographs, and medical inconsistencies have all been referenced to argue the conspiracy against the late President.


Before: Franklin D. Roosevelt

1933: Franklin Delano Roosevelt may be one of the most resilient government officials to serve the United States. After overcoming his personal struggle with polio, FDR successfully ran for President and immediately initiated an onset of executive orders that would reform the nation’s most distressed aspects; these including unemployment reforms, the regulation of Wall Street, labor union growth, and the appeal of prohibition. With the exception of a one-year relapse, the economy thrived and the unemployment rate dropped to 2%. It wasn’t until War War ll that Roosevelt needed to supply other countries with foreign aid.


After: Franklin D. Roosevelt

1945: At the beginning of World War ll, FDR maintained an “Arsenal of Democracy” and remained neutral in the escalating conflict. It wasn’t until Pearl Harbor in 1941, that the United States had declared war on Japan and then followed with Germany a few days later. The United States banded together with the Allies to fight the Axis, this directly contributing America’s decreased rate of unemployment, the rise of the industrial economy, and the cease of once useful relief programs. Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only President in U.S. to be elected for 4 consecutive terms. Unfortunately, he passed away 3 months after he was elected for the 4th time.


Before: George W. Bush

2001: George W. Bush served as one of the most controversial Presidents of the 21st Century. 8 months after he took office, the 9/11 Attacks occurred and Bush launched a “War on Terror.” This led to the war in Afghanistan in 2011 and the Iraq War in 2003. During his first term as President, he also amended the constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, and admitted broad tax cuts under the law. Issues of immigration, torture tactics, and national security were widely discussed during Bush’s first 4 years in the Oval Office.


After: George W. Bush

2008: Bush Jr. was no stranger to criticism during his second term as President. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina had a devastating effect on the Southern region of the country and the majority of the American people disapproved of Bush’s behavior following the disaster. The Iraq War had reached great heights, with military expenditures plummeting the nation into debt and soldiers touring overseas for extended periods of time. This era of economic instability and rising debt is now referred to as the “Great Recession,” a legacy George W. Bush didn’t plan on creating for himself before departing from his executive decision.


Before: Ronald Reagan

1981: Ronald Reagan was the first Republican President in United States history to align conservative values with the general public in an undivisive manner. His first term was dedicated to “Reaganomics,” his supply-side economics policies that regulated that country’s curb inflation, government spending, and tax rates. Reagan had introduced stable finances back into the lives of the American people and in doing so, won his second term as President without struggle, achieving the highest electoral college vote in American history.


After: Ronald Reagan

1989: Reagan’s Presidency made a jump from economic priority to foreign relations. During his second term, the bombing of Libya, the Iran-Contra Affair, and the Cold War dominated a majority of his executive goals. In an attempt to bring down the Soviet Union, Reagan engaged in an “arms race” that distracted the Soviet General as they created the INF Treaty, which reduced both America’s and the USSR’s nuclear weapons possession. Almost 1 year after Reagan left office, the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union continued to collapse. Reagan’s approval rating after his second Presidential term is one of the highest ratings given to a departed President.


Before: Abraham Lincoln

1861: We’re not sure if you’ve heard, but Abraham Lincoln is the most popular American President to have ever taken office. Through the power of his infamous Gettysburg Address, his astounding ability to unite a Union with conflicting values, and his defeat over the Confederate States of America in the Civil War, Abe Lincoln certainly earned his high-ranking title. Lincoln fought to abolish slavery and did so with the use of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1963 and installed the 13th Amendment in the Constitution which outlawed slavery as a legality.


After: Abraham Lincoln

1865: Towards the end of the Civil War, Lincoln managed his own re-election campaign. He saw fit to embellish hope within the divided nation and his center platform was the effort of reconstruction underneath moderate Republicans. Honest Abe diffused British intervention during the war to avoid setting a precedent that the South would not be welcome back into the North’s version of the American Union. On April 15th, 1965, 5 days after the Confederate States surrendered to the North, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.


Before: Richard Nixon

1969: Richard Nixon is the only President in American history to resign. When he first entered office, he gained substantial appeal for ending the Vietnam War and bringing home all American prisoners being detained overseas. Then, Nixon ended the military draft, enforced racial integration in Southern public schools, and he launched the Environmental Protection Agency. By the end of his first term, Nixon had high approval ratings and was a lock for a second term as President of the United States. He was fortunate enough to be the President that concluded the race to the moon, as he presided over the Apolo 11 Landing.


After: Richard Nixon

1973: During the first year of Nixon’s second term as President, events and facts surrounding the Watergate Scandal began to unfold. His involvement with the Scandal went public when two Washington D.C. reporters exposed his participation with the help of an undercover operative. Richard Nixon resigned on national television, avoiding an imminent impeachment and removal from office. In his retirement, Nixon became an author and penned several books detailing foreign destinations and societies, which ultimately, helped improve his public image.


Before: Harry S. Truman

1945: Harry S. Truman entered the Oval Office just a few weeks before Germany surrendered to the United States at the end of World War ll. The war then continued on with Japan and Truman, in order to save thousands of American and Japanese lives, dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan to the war once and for all. After the conclusion od World War ll, Truman planned to rebuild Western Europe and indirectly, led to the Cold War and he oversaw the Berlin Airlift in 1948 as a result. He was a strong opponent of Communism and took executive against to cement fair treatment of African Americans in the military.


After: Harry S. Truman

1953: Throughout Truman’s career, he exercised his option to veto 180 times. As a passionate civil rights activist, Truman worked to instill the belief in the American people that equal. human rights was a moral priority and therefore, the President introduced Congress to the first civil rights legislation and began the process of integration on military and federal levels. Harry Truman’s Presidency has been called “near great,” due to his defeat by Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1953 elections. He lost because of corruption rumors that tarnished his final campaign.


Before: Dwight D. Eisenhower

1953: Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of the greatest U.S. Presidents in history and left a legacy larger than life, particularly in the military aspect of his career. As a West Point graduate and veteran of World War ll, Dwight was skilled combative strategy and foreign affairs. He served as Harry Truman’s Army Chief of Staff and was President of Columbia University before running for office in 1952. During his first term, he successfully ended the Korean Wear by nuclear threat, and established NASA; this would lead to the space race between the U.S. and the Russians.


After: Dwight D. Eisenhower

1961: Eisenhower was a master military strategy and international relations. He had the impressive ability to either connect with his allies or urge them to rethink their consciousless decisions. Towards the end of Dwight’s Presidential run, he was notably praised for the economic prosperity he gave to the nation while maintaining appropriate military spending, a balanced deficit, and prolonged. expanded social security. Eisenhower was also known for his peculiar interest in Area 51; one of his goals as President, was to share disclosed information regarding alien lifeforms with the American people. It’s a shame he never accomplished it.


Before: George H. W. Bush

1989: George H.W. Bush is a President for the record books. Bush Senior accomplished great lengths before his career as a politician. He was a billionaire by the age of 40 and had served as the youngest aviator in history in the U.S. Naval Forces. As the 41st President of the United States, he was the driving force behind military operations that was either successful or unsuccessful, depending on the political party referenced. He placed troops in the Persian Gulf and Panama, the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 (the first year of his term), and in 1991, the Soviet Union finally dissolved.


After: George H. W. Bush

1993: Bush the Elder would soon see his approval ratings plummet after raising national taxes. This executive decision, perpetuated by Congress, made the American public feel uneasy, as they were just recovering from an economic recession and felt betrayed by their government. After H.W. appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, Americans only became more concerned and some, were even infuriated. Bush Senior made an unsuccessful attempt at a second Presidential term, being succeeded by Bill Clinton.


Before: Jimmy Carter

1977: Jimmy Carter took over the Presidency from Gerald Ford, who had inherited the executive position from Richard Nixon (we’ll get to him soon). He was peanut farmer in rural Georgia before serving two terms as the Governer of the South’s Empire State. Carter’s start to the Presidency was a solid one; he had implemented an energy conservation policy, produced the Panama Canal Treaties, and offset the second round of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. His popularity didn’t last for long, though. He would see a steady decline in his approval ratings as 4 massive crises imploded internationally.


After: Jimmy Carter

1981: By the end of his Presidential term, the Carter Administration would witness catastrophic events that would eventually send them packing from the White House. The 1979 Energy Crisis, the Iran Hostage Crisis, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, and the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident would destroy the President’s reputation. When he ran for re-election in 1980, he was defeated by the more favorable candidate, Ronald Reagan. At least he tried his hardest, right? Jimmy Carter is the longest retired President in American history.


Before: Lyndon B. Johnson

1963: Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn into the Presidency on a flight that just left the site of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Standing beside his wife, Ladybird, and the gracious Jackie-O, Lyndon became the 36th President of the United States. Johnson is responsible for the Immigration and Nationality of 1965, which single-handedly reformed the immigration system and removed racial origin quotas from screening and documentation. During his second term as President, Johnson entered the United States to the war in Vietnam. Unfortunately, this decision would have an impending impact on his approval ratings.


After: Lyndon B. Johnson

1969: It wasn’t just the public uproar surrounding America’s involvement in the Vietnam War that gave Johnson a bad reputation – it was the increase of rioting, crime rates, and overall violence in major cities across the country. Americans slowly began withdrawing their support for once loved President and eventually, the Democratic Party would denounce Johnson publicly. By 1969, Lyndon B. Johnson had decided to reneg his bid for another term as President and resided with his wife to a quiet home in Texas.


Before: Gerald Ford

1974: Gerald Ford took over the role of the Presidency after Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Ford stepped in under the guidance of the 25th Amendment and immediately attended to his newfound responsibilities. ford is responsible for officiating the Helsinki Accords, a move that would temporarily ease relations during the opposing nations in the Cold War. Ford also attempted to grant a Presidential pardon to a disgraced Richard Nixon, which would eliminate any label of treason due to his participation in the Watergate Scandal. This was a controversial move that would put a sour taste in the American people’s mouths.


After: Gerald Ford

1977: Gerald didn’t inherit the Presidency under the greatest terms; he resided over the worst economic state of America since the Great Depression and consequently, managed a recession underneath his term. The bright side to Gerald Ford’s influence in the Oval Office was the conclusion of the Vietnam War. 9 months after he became the President, North Vietnam invaded and occupied South Vietnam, and this led to the American troops’ departure from the socially controversial battle. For a President who only served 3 years in office, we can still see the effects the stressful job can have on a man’s face.


Before: Theodore Roosevelt

1901: Teddy Roosevelt was a cowboy, Rennaisance man when he was voted into office; he was an explorer, a naturalist, a former soldier, and a best-selling author. The name Theodore Roosevelt is synonymous with the Progressive Era, as he as the motivation for its success and reform in the early 20th century. As a recognized war hero, who had served in the Spanish-American War, he had great insight and intellectual talent when it came to foreign affairs and military strategy. Roosevelt wasn’t just highly regarded for his skills on the battlefield – he was also received positively by the American people for his jubilant personality.


After: Theodore Roosevelt

After: Theodore Roosevelt

1909: Teddy may have aged (and gone quite gray) while he served his two terms, but that didn’t stop him from leaving the White House with a thirst for more adventure. He quickly set out on an Amazonian trip, nearly killing himself after contracting a tropical disease on his exploration. During World War l, Roosevelt strongly opposed Woodrow Wilson’s decision to leave Germany unchallenged by the U.S. and offered his expertise when needed. He then decided to run for President for a third term in 1920; unfortunately, Teddy passed away in 1919 before he could return to Washington D.C.


Before: Ulysses S. Grant

1869: As the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant could be trusted with the national security and military enforcement of the country. Grant was the Commanding General of the United States Army and had worked closely with Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. He protected Lincoln’s legacy by preserving African-American citizenship in the States, greenlit industrial expansion during the Gilded Age of America, and eliminated remnants of Confederate nationalism that wanted to see a comeback of slavery. If you don’t mind us saying so, Grant looked pretty darn good when he began implementing these efforts at the start of his first term.


After: Ulysses S. Grant

1877: Grant’s reviews are still a mixture of both positive and negative. In terms of Civil and Human rights efforts, he’s regarded as a positive influence on American society. However, there’s a large faction of political scholars and historians who point out that Grant was a corrupt politician; The most referenced scandals in his Presidential career are Black Friday and the Whiskey Ring. Regardless of his dark dealings, Grant maintains an average rating in comparison to other lackluster Presidents in U.S. history. The two terms appear to have induced some stress eating for Ulysses, although, his face remained fairly ripe.


Before: George Washington

1789: George Washington was the 1st President of the United States and one of the baby nation’s founding fathers. He led to the American Revolution against the Red Coats and achieved independence for the new, 13 colonies of his country. George’s Presidency set the standards for future elected officials of the organized government, although, it was factual information that he did not enjoy being President regardless of his many accomplishments. He is often ranked as one of the top 3 U.S. Presidents of all time, competing against Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln for the #1 spot.


After: George Washington

1797: We many only have paintings to view from the era of President Washington but even looking at his final portrayal, you can tell that George had mentally (and physically) checked out just as his second term came to an end. He was only President in history to be unaffiliated with any political party and outright refused to run for a third term at the advance of his supporters. We mean no disrespect, but maybe George’s mouth fell so low towards the end of his Presidency because of the wooden teeth he carried around for most of his life? It’s possible, right?


Before: Herbert Hoover

1929: We need to give Herbert Hoover a little credit, here. As a President, he made a few wrong moves that greatly affected the economy but he had the most honest intentions possible. Hoover made a sincere attempt to balance the country’s finances and as a result of some poor decision-making, foreign trade profits plummeted and the tax rate increased (way, way too high). Between his contributions to economic instability and his staunch support for prohibition laws, Hoover became increasingly unpopular and lost the Presidency to Franklin D. Roosevelt when running for a second term.


After: Herbert Hoover

1933: Herb had a tough time, so it’s no surprise that the former President aged significantly over 4 years. Fortunately, Harry Truman to a liking to him, during his own Presidency and appointed Hoover a position surveying Germany after the war in 1946. He was able to remaster his image and make positive contributions to American society, which included alteration of the U.S. occupation policy for the greater good. When Herbert Hoover died at the age of 90, he was finally vindicated and appreciated his effort and dedication to politics.


Before: Warren G. Harding

1921: Warren G. Harding spent the shortest amount of time possible in the Oval Office among any other U.S. President in history. Harding was President of the United States for 2 years before he died n 1923. He passed away, unexpectedly, of a cerebral hemorrhage that was caused by heart disease. At the time, he was on a Western speaking tour and currently stopped in San Fransisco. Until his death, Harding was a popular President; he was widely received by the American public, gained impressive approval for his cabinet choices, and introduced a naval limitations program that would last a solid decade. It wasn’t until he died, that his personal life and corrupt dealings became exposed.


After: Warren G. Harding

1923: As it turns out, Warren G. Harding had a collection of scandals and extra-marital affairs hanging below his belt. Nan Britton, one of his many mistresses, stepped forward after his death to publicize their affair and tarnish his sterling reputation. Following, two members of his cabinet were indicted on corruption charges; Attorney General Harry Daugherty and Interior Secretary Albert Fall. The most noted scandal is the Teapot Dome – a bribing occurrence that ensured that maximum profit for oil companies underneath the Harding administration.


Before: Woodrow Wilson

1913: Woodrow Wilson took office as the 28th President of the United States. He was a member of the Democratic Party and his legacy is somewhat contorted amongst the opposition of fans and those who disliked him. In 1913, at the beginning of his Presidential term, Wilson was widely received not just because of his political credibility, but because of his charming appearance. He was an automobile enthusiast, founded and coached the football team at Wesleyan College during his studies, and was a lecturer at NYU Law School before he was elected to office. Wilson was an accomplished man, who could seemingly endure the stress of his Presidential duties.


After: Woodrow Wilson

1921: Wilson had attempted a third-term bid as a Presidental nominee for the Democratic Party in 1920 but was overlooked after he tied at the National Convention. During his presidency, Wilson became known as the “Schoolmaster of Politics” and valued the Women’s Sufferage movement, opposed prohibition, and led the United States into World War ll. He lost power and approval ratings at the end of his second term after succumbing to his disability and shut himself away, into the White House almost permanently. Today, he is the only President of the United States to be buried in Washington D.C.