The longest-lived US President and other obscure facts

On October 1, 2021 James Earl Carter Jr (born October 1, 1924) became the first US President to celebrate his 97th birthday. On March 22, 2019 he became the longest-living US President when he crossed the mark set by George Herbert Walker Bush.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter#Longevity

More about George Bush Sr here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_and_state_funeral_of_George_H._W._Bush

He passed one more landmark on October 17, 2019 when his marriage to Rosalynn became the longest-lasting of Presidential unions. (See update at end). They were married on July 7, 1946. They will cross the record of 73+ years of George Bush Sr (again!) which ended with Barbara’s death on April 17, 2018.

However, Rosalynn Carter (born August 18, 1927) is now 95 and has some time to go before she can overtake Bessie Truman (97, 1885-1982) as the longest-lived First Lady. In the past few years, She overtook others such as “Lady Bird” Johnson (94), Betty Ford (93) and Nancy Reagan (94).

There is, however one Vice-President who has lived longer than any President: John N Garner (98, 1868-1967, VP to Franklin Roosevelt in 1933-41).

Joseph Biden (20 Nov, 1942) is the oldest person to become President surpassing Ronald Reagan’s 73+ at the start of his second term in 1985. Donald Trump (born Jun 14, 1946) was so far the oldest to become President for the first time at 70+, just edging out Reagan’s accession in 1981.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II (born April 21, 1926) continues to break longevity records as the longest-lived British monarch (93+) with the longest reign (67+ years). Her consort Prince Philip died about two months before what would have been his 100th birthday.

As pointed out earlier here, Queen Elizabeth’s reign has seen 14 US presidents (Truman to Biden) and 15 British PMs (including Harold Wilson twice). It is likely that she will see the successors of the present incumbents.

Also: “Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012, respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee. Next is the Platinum Jubilee in 2022. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world’s longest-serving female head of state, oldest living monarch, longest-reigning current monarch, and the oldest and longest-serving current head of state. ”

English cricket fans will remember major Ashes victories at home in the Coronation year (1953) as well as the Silver Jubilee (1977).

US Presidents: some notes on longevity

First, a picture taken on the occasion of Barbara Bush’s funeral. Note the caustic comments of the writer regarding the prominent absentee:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-golfed-instead-of-going-to-barbara-bushs-funeral-that-was-a-good-thing/2018/04/23/a5930974-4731-11e8-8b5a-3b1697adcc2a_story.html?utm_term=.587b697c623c

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn were not present either, though that is understandable as they are both above 90.

Barbara Bush was not, however, the longest lived First Lady. She lived to be 92 years 10 months. “Lady Bird” Johnson (94/7), Nancy Reagan (93/8) and Betty Ford (93/3) lived longer.

She was one of two First Ladies whose son became President, and the only one to see her son become President (in 2001). Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams (President in 1797-1801) passed away in 1818 before her son John Q Adams became President in 1825.

The marriage of George Bush Sr and Barbara was the longest-lasting marriage of an US President, at 73 years and 3 months. Next in line are the Carters, married in July 1946 and currently on 71 years 9 months. Rosalyn Carter (born August 1927) is now on 90 years 8 months.

George Bush senior (born June 1924) is the longest-living President at 93 years and 10 months. Next in line is Jimmy Carter (born October 1924), presently on 93 years 7 months.

Bush reached this record only in November 2017 when he crossed the record of Gerald Ford (93 years 5 months, 1913-2006). He is also the last President to have served in World War 2, in a long line going back to JFK and Eisenhower.

An odd coincidence is that 4 successive Presidents (Ford, 1974-1977; Carter, 1977-81, Reagan, 1981-89 and Bush Sr, 1989-93) all celebrated their 93rd birthdays.

Carter has lived longest after his presidential term, which ended in January 1981. He is thus holding the record at 38 years 5 months in June 2019. Next was Herbert Hoover (President in 1929-33) who survived 31 years and 8 months until his death in October 1964.

An older post on similar topics: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/present-and-past-us-presidents/

Update: The information given above was correct up to April 24, 2018. Since then, George Bush Sr passed away on Nov 30, 2018 and more recently Jimmy Carter became the longest living President, having been born on Oct 1, 1924.

If Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter are still living in October 2019, theirs will be the longest-lasting marriage of an US President at 73 years 3 months. And he will be the first US President to celebrate his 95th birthday.