Presidents aging in office. President Barack Obama’s graying hair is all the talk. Most experts say the unending stress our commanders in chief face in office causes them to age twice as fast. Here we take a look at how some recent presidents aged in office, the difficult issues they faced, their vices and what they did for stress relief.
There has been plenty of commentary about the physical effects the presidency is taking on our current president. Some say he’s aged a decade in just two years. He’s had his share of high-stakes decisions already, not to mention the pressure of being the first African-American president.
George W. Bush
He already had some gray hair but gained more, plus a few wrinkles during his tumultuous presidency. The stress during his time in office was aggravated by terrorist attacks and going to war.
The third-youngest president, Clinton looked youthful at his inauguration but left office with a full head of gray hair. A scandal overshadowed his accomplishments, yet he still received high end-of-office approval ratings.
George H.W. Bush
His appearance didn’t change nearly as much as his son’s did in office. Maybe that was partly due to his past experience. During his presidential term, he led the nation in the Gulf war and had to break his famous campaign promise of “no new taxes.”
Our oldest president was able to hang on to his movie-star good looks, with only a touch of gray hair at the end. His optimism probably helped him survive a near-fatal assassination attempt and also this scandal.
He wasn’t much worse for wear after leaving office, aside from being a little thinner and grayer on top, probably due in part to keeping active and a solid marriage. The final year of his presidential tenure was marked by a hostage crisis, but he is also known for championing human rights
Lyndon B. Johnson
Called “the accidental president,” he stepped into office after this popular president was assassinated, which would be enough to give anyone some gray hair. He was in office during the tumult of the civil rights movement and oversaw the nation’s escalating involvement in the Vietnam War.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ike didn’t have much hair upon inauguration, but sported a few more wrinkles at the end of his presidency. A war hero, he was no stranger to stress
Franklin D. Roosevelt
He was in poor health in his final term and died in office, but he served an unprecedented four terms and had to deal with World War II and the Great Depression, which inspired these famous words.