US President's Education and Career Path: Anyone Can Be President

Updated on February 22, 2017

Gallery of Short Presidents

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Martin Van Buren intrigues me.  He was 5'-6" tall.  I may add a height column onto the table if I can verify the heights of the Presidents.  This was the first president actually born in the United States.when it was the United States.Another President who stood at 5'-6".He was 5'-4".
Martin Van Buren intrigues me.  He was 5'-6" tall.  I may add a height column onto the table if I can verify the heights of the Presidents.  This was the first president actually born in the United States.when it was the United States.
Martin Van Buren intrigues me. He was 5'-6" tall. I may add a height column onto the table if I can verify the heights of the Presidents. This was the first president actually born in the United States.when it was the United States. | Source
Another President who stood at 5'-6".
Another President who stood at 5'-6". | Source
He was 5'-4".
He was 5'-4". | Source

Introduction

This Presidential Election season has prompted me to wonder about the career paths that Presidential Candidates have taken. I have been told all of my life that anyone can be President. The charts in this hub are my first step in looking at the history of our presidents. The question marks in the table indicate areas that require further research on my part.

I have divided the presidents into two groups based on the advent of the camera. I have a notion that the camera heralded the beginning of the United States as I know it. Lincoln was not the first President to be photographed; but, camera use came into prominence during the civil war.

There seem to be a lot of self taught Presidents, which does not seem to be possible in today's regulated environments. Those Presidents did very well, so I am beginning to wonder why college degrees are so necessary in today's world. It seems to me the only function that a degree exclusively serves is to limit the amount of participants in the field.

Presidents Before Photography

(click column header to sort results)
Party  
President  
School  
Degree  
Career  
*
George Washington
No formal education
n/a
Farmer / Brewer/Soldier
F
John Adams
Harvard
?
lawyer
DR
Thomas Jefferson
College of William and Mary
?
Farmer/Inventor/Lawyer
DR
James Madison
College of William and Mary
?
Lawyer
DR
James Monroe
Princeton
?
Lawyer
DR
John Quincy Adams
Harvard
Law
Lawyer
JD
Andrew Jackson
No Formal Education
n/a
Lawyer/Army
JD
Martin Van Buren
Kinderhook Academy
?
Lawyer
Whig
William Henry Harrison
Hampden-Sydney College
History and Classics
Army/politics
Whig
John Tyler
William and Mary College
Law
Politics
JD
James Knox Polk
University of N. Carolina
Law
Lawyer
Whig
Zachary Taylor
No formal education
n/a
Career Army Officer - 40 Years
Whig
Millard Fillmore
No formal education
n/a
Lawyer
JD
Franklin Pierce
Bowdin College
Law
Politics
JD
James Buchanan
Dickinson College
Law
Politics

Presidents After Photography

(click column header to sort results)
Party  
President  
School  
Degree  
Career  
R
Abraham Lincoln
No Formal Education
n/a
Lawyer
D
Andrew Johnson
Tailors Apprentice
Tailor
Tailor
R
Ulysses S. Grant
West Point
?
Army
R
Rutherford B. Hayes
Kenyon College, Harvard
?
Lawyer
R
James Garfield
Williams College
?
Professor of Classics
R
Chester A. Arthur
Union College
Law
Teacher/Lawyer
D
Grover Cleveland
?
?
Lawyer
R
Benjamin Harrison
Miami University in Ohio
?
Lawyer
R
William Mckinley
Alleghey College
Law
Teacher/Law
R
Theodore Roosevelt
?
?
Born into a Wealthy family. Rancher, adventurer
R
William Howard Taft
Yale
?
Lawyer/Judge
D
Woodrow Wilson
Princeton, University of Virgina Law School, Johns Hopkins
PHD
Professor
R
Warren G. Harding
?
?
Newspaper Publisher, entrepreneur
R
Calvin Coolidge
Amherst College
?
Law/Politics
R
Herbert Hoover
Stanford University
Engineering
Mining Engineer
D
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harvard University, Columbia Law School
Law
Politics
D
Harry S. Truman
?
?
Farmer, entrepreneur
R
Dwight D. Eisenhower
West Point
?
Army
D
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Harvard
Law Degree
?
D
Lyndon B. Johnson
Texas State University
?
Teacher
R
Richard M. Nixon
Whitter College/Duke University
Law
Lawyer
R
Gerald R. Ford
University of Michigan/Yale
Law
Lawyer
D
James Carter
Naval Acadamy
?
Navel Officer, Farmer
R
Ronald Reagan
Eureka College
Economics and Sociology
Sports Announcer
R
George H. W. Bush
Yale
?
Oil Industry
D
William J. Clinton
Oxford and Yale
Law
Lawyer/Politics
R
George W. Bush
Yale and Harvard
?
Energy Industry
D
Barack Obama
Harvard Law School
Constitutional Law
Professor of Constitutional Law at University of Chicago
If you notice the number of Presidents in the table does not match the number of Presidents, don't worry. Grover Cleveland was elected to two separate terms.

Political Party Key

[*] - George Washington was opposed to political parties on the grounds that it would divide the country.

[F] - Federalist - In favor of a strong central government, anti slavery

[DR] - Democrat Republican - in favor of a weak central governments, pro slavery

[W] - Whig - Successor to Federalists, party dissolved and members migrated to Republican Party

[JD] - Jacksonian Democrat - States Rights, Southern Democrats split off from the Jacksonian Democrats to form a separate party called voted for succession from the union.

[R] - Republican - Party formed to prevent the spread of slavery to territories, supports a strong federal government

[D] - Democrat - Under New Deal Coalition assumed it's present day form, supporting a strong federal government

[?] - Still being researched.

Caution

These are only a synopsis of the political parties in the US. The actual history is much more fluid and complex. The intent of the table is to provoke thought and curiosity about the history of the US.

Comments

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    • leroy64 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian L. Powell 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      Thank you Carcro. I am still researching the subject and hope to be expanding into another hub soon.

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 

      6 years ago from Winnipeg

      I haven't seen that much presidential info in a long time, since school days, its interesting to see the various backgrounds, I wonder if that made any difference to how they performed as president. Interesting hub, thanks for sharing!

    • leroy64 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian L. Powell 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      Sally,

      You could adjust the title of your hub to relate it to the election process we are experiencing right now. It is a fun read and people are going to be thinking about presidents for a while. Good luck with the report cards.

      PS - If you want to drive you students crazy, administer a multiple choice test where all of the correct answers are C. Even if they know the material, that pattern will give them second thoughts.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      6 years ago

      A link would be great, thanks! And mine is so old -- there is not much traffic, but I will link to yours too. You seem to have a better handle on tech stuff. So, I'll see what yours looks like, and then I will try to copy. I'm a red wine drinker -- but whiskey is sounding pretty good right about now. I have report cards to write this weekend.

    • leroy64 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian L. Powell 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      I will check out your hub. Mind if I link it to mine.

      I actually found out about Washington researching an article about whiskey. I was writing it for Textbrokers. As I understand it, whiskey was sold for more money than grain, the shipping was easier, and whiskey does not spoil. And the British had blockaded the rum from the Caribbean islands. The colonists would have made rum, but couldn't grow sugar cane.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting hub! Lots of new information for me. Andrew Johnson, a tailor?? Wow. And George Washington, a brewer. Probably would come in handy considering politicians' problems today. Of course I knew LBJ was a teacher - to poor Mexican children. I wrote a hub on presidents several months ago. https://hubpages.com/politics/Fun-President-Facts...

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