Presidents and senators

June 16, 1996|By Chuck Myers of Knight-Ridder Newspapers.

Q: How many presidents served as a U.S. senator before they were elected as the country's chief executive?

A: Fifteen presidents served as a U.S. senator before they were elected to office. They are: John Quincy Adams, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harrison, Warren Harding, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

One president, James A. Garfield, was actually elected simultaneously as president of the United States and a senator from Ohio in 1880. He never took his seat in the Senate, however, as he preferred to spend his days working in the White House rather than crafting legislation on Capitol Hill.

Andrew Johnson returned to the Senate, serving briefly, six years after his term ended.

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