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Best United States Presidents Historical Ranking

Overall aggregate ranking of the best US presidents in history

George Washington

George Washington (February 22, 1732 [O.S. February 11, 1731] - December 14, 1799) was the first President of the United States (1789-1797), the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, the second child of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln (née Hanks), in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Kentucky (now LaRue County). He is descended from Samuel Lincoln, who arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts, from Norfolk, England, in the 17th century.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States. A Democrat, he was elected four times and served from March 1933 to his death in April 1945. He was a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and total war.

Thomas Jefferson

The third of ten children, Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 (April 2, 1743 OS) at the family home in Shadwell, Goochland County, Virginia, now part of Albemarle County. His father was Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor. He was of possible Welsh descent, although this remains unclear.

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr. ( ) (October 27, 1858 - January 6, 1919) was an American politician, author, naturalist, explorer, and historian who served as the 26th President of the United States. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the Progressive Party.

Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Missouri, the oldest child of John Anderson Truman (1851-1914) and Martha Ellen Young Truman (1852-1947). His parents chose the name Harry after his mother's brother, Harrison "Harry" Young (1846-1916). They chose "S" as his middle initial to please both of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.

Woodrow Wilson

Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia, on December 28, 1856, at 18-24 North Coalter Street (now the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library), of Scots-Irish descent. He was the third of four children of Joseph Ruggles Wilson (1822-1903) and Jessie Janet Woodrow (1826-1888). Wilson's paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland (now Northern Ireland), in 1807. Photo: Hoppyh

Dwight D. Eisenhower

October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe; he had responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.

James K. Polk

James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 - June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845-1849). Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as the 17th Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835-1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839-1841).

Andrew Jackson

Jackson was born on March 15, 1767. His parents were Scots-Irish colonists Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, Presbyterians who had emigrated from Ireland two years earlier. Jackson's father was born in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, in current-day Northern Ireland, around 1738. Jackson's parents lived in the village of Boneybefore, also in County Antrim.