The president of the United States is always one of the world’s most essential and interesting figures. People are often fascinated with presidents and want to learn more about them. One fascinating thing to spot about presidents is that they have often varied in height.
Many have argued that people vote for the taller American presidential candidate because that person could be interpreted as a greater leader. A more imposing and taller figure could be seen by people as having greater communication skills, which are often necessary for a successful president.
This listing of the twelve tallest presidents in USA history shows that people are often willing to favor taller people. Here’s a look at these presidents starting with the tallest in American history, including some interesting facts about these people.
1. Abraham Lincoln – 6’4″
The two candidates Lincoln (aka “Honest Abe”) defeated in 1860 were of extremely varying heights. John C. Breckinridge was 6’2″, while Stephen A. Douglas was 5’4″. The two Democrats ran against Lincoln in 1860 because of the party’s extreme division, with Southern Democrats favoring Breckinridge over Douglas.
2. Lyndon B. Johnson – 6’3.5″
LBJ was a tall man, but he wasn’t always healthy. He had a heart attack in the 1950s, and it was believed that he came close to having another on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
3. Donald Trump – 6’3″
Trump was not the tallest candidate in the 2016 presidential race. George Pataki was 6’5″, plus Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush were also 6’3″. The shortest was Carly Fiorina at 5’6″. As for his competitors in 2020, Mike Bloomberg was the shortest at 5’7, although Trump claimed once that “Little Mike” was a 5’4″ “” mass of dead energy.”
4. Thomas Jefferson – 6’2.5″
The nation’s third president started the custom of the president shaking hands with other people when greeting them. The president would originally bow to greet guests before then. Jefferson’s height likely played a factor, as he would have towered over many other people he met while in office.
5. Bill Clinton – 6’2.5″
Clinton weighed as much as 236 pounds while in office. Based on his BMI, he was listed as overweight but never obese. He has been working his hardest over the years to lose that extra weight.
6. George Washington – 6’2″
The first president’s body was frozen shortly after his death in 1799. Physicians proposed a plan to thaw his body, conduct a tracheotomy, and then complete a transfusion with lamb’s blood, but Martha Washington declined the offer. Washington’s body was about 1.5 inches longer after being frozen, as the water inside his body expanded as it froze.
7. Chester A. Arthur – 6’2″
Arthur was two inches taller than James A. Garfield, the president Arthur succeeded a few months after Garfield died from a gunshot wound.
8. Franklin D. Roosevelt – 6’2″
Polio can impact leg growth, but FDR was fully grown when he contracted the disease in 1921.
9. George H.W. Bush – 6’2″
George H.W. Bush is 2.5 inches taller than his son and future president George W. Bush.
10. Barack Obama – 6’1.5″
The 2012 election was one of three in history where the two presidential candidates were of the same height. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were both 6’1.5″. Obama was also 2.5 inches taller than John McCain, his 2008 opponent.
11. Andrew Jackson – 6’1″
The 1832 election was one of the other times when the two candidates were the same height. Henry Clay was the same height as Jackson. Clay was also taller than the two other presidents he lost to, John Quincy Adams and James K. Polk. Those two losses were among the rare instances where the taller candidate lost.
12. John F. Kennedy – 6’1″
JFK had various back problems during his life, often requiring a brace for his back to keep him upright. His back struggles did not negatively influence his height, although sometimes he appeared shorter than usual.
Some argue that his back brace kept him upright after the first bullet Lee Harvey Osward shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963, went through his neck. Based on an analysis of JFK’s position in the Zapruder film, Oswald’s second shot might have missed JFK if he wasn’t upright.
What About the Current President?
The size of Joe Biden is midway on the list of tallest presidents in American history. Biden is 5’11.5″, which is also the same height as Taft, Hoover, Nixon, and George W. Bush.
How tall would you look next to those presidents?
Thinking of getting a photoshoot with some of these American elects? Use this fun height comparator to check out how small or tall you would look next to them – or your favorite star. You might soon find out that their height is not quite what it looks like on the news!