For kids growing up in the United States, aspirations of becoming president ranks somewhere in the top five dream jobs along with a firefighter, doctor and, of course, a ninja. Strict specifications or poor personal decisions prevent some of the nation’s brightest and boldest from ever having the dream realized.
Now, that is not to deny that some highly questionable characters have finagled their way into the oval office. Here is a list comprised of college dropouts to true geniuses intended to motivate anyone wanting to rule the world:
John Quincy Adams
Source: Liberty Law Site
Son of the 2nd American President, John Adams, John Quincy Adams stamped his name into the history books through countless contributions which stand to this day. After graduating from Harvard with a Master in Arts, Adams served as Secretary of State before being elected president in 1824. Adams fought tirelessly against slavery, speaking for the abolishment of slavery in Congress and court. Although Adams possibly suffered from depression, his eloquent, diplomatic stance on foreign and national concerns affected all those who he met.
“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
Thomas Jefferson, America’s 3rd president, was apparently a horrendous public speaker, despite having conceived patriotic and powerful quotes such as the one above. Jefferson, who is considered the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, challenged conventional theories on science and technology, supposedly inventing and improving devices such as a macaroni machine and the swivel chair. Historians claim that Jefferson was behind the Louisiana Purchase.
Jefferson’s legacy as one of the greatest U.S. presidents remains marred by his ownership of slaves and his treatment and removal of Native Americans.
John F. Kennedy
Source: Huffington Post
The youngest president to ever be elected to office, John F. Kennedy is remembered and hailed as one of the most inspirational public figures ever to serve the U.S. As a Harvard graduate and Navy veteran, Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize at the young age of 40 for his book Profiles in Courage. Kennedy, who managed to live comfortably through an inheritance left by his late father, donated his yearly salary as Congressman and President to multiple charities, according to History.com.
After surviving several war injuries during his military career, Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, two years after taking office. Numerous theories have risen throughout the years as to the reasons and people involved in his assassination, yet his death remains shrouded in mystery.
Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary Clinton, could be the first male First Lady (First Gentleman? First Dude?) in the history of the United States. He is the third-youngest president, and was probably best known for the Monica Lewinsky scandal that nearly resulting in him losing his presidency in 1998.
Before moving into politics, he attended Yale Law school, earning a law degree in 1973, as well as meeting his future wife Hillary Rodham, who he married in 1975. He has been rated highly by voters since leaving office.
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, was born into a peanut-farming family in rural Georgia. Humble beginnings for the most powerful man in the world. He then went onto a career in the navy before returning to the peanut business. He then moved on to become the senator, and then governer of Georgia.
After defeating Gerald Ford by an extremely close margin in 1976, taking Southern states by storm. However, by 1980, his bid for re-election failed, and will be known as one of the least successful campaigns in United States history.
However, he was able to win a Nobel PEace Prize for his work in the Carter Center, which resolved conflicts overseas and works to diminish the impact of various diseases.
If you have ever looked at a stuffed bear toy and thought of it as “Teddy”, you can thank the 26th president. Theodore Roosevelt, born frail and with debilitating asthma, graduated from Harvard College in 1880. As a Columbia Law School dropout, Roosevelt went on to become the first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in ending the conflict between Japan and Russia. An avid hunter and boxer, Roosevelt was known for his vigor and manliness while holding office.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick,” said Roosevelt.
Born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and an American mother, President Barack Obama is the first African-American male to be elected into office. Critics, such as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have attacked Obama for not being born within the United States. President Obama stated:
“No-one is happier to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald and that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”
President Obama attended, and graduated from, Columbia University and Harvard Law School. In 2004, President Obama became the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history. Since becoming president, Obama has reformed health care coverage and minimized U.S. military presence in war-ridden Iraq. Recently, President Obama has backed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary R. Clinton in her run towards the oval office.
The second president of the United States was one of the founding fathers of the nation. He was the father of John Quincy Adams and served as the first ever Vice-President, to George Washington. And he must’ve been smart! He attended Harvard in 1751 at the age of 16.
Nowadays, 16 year olds are expected to get a license or be studying how the mitochondria is the powerhouse of a cell. After this, he began studying law and was quickly admitted to the bar. Later, he would go on to become Vice-President, and then President of the United States.
Mitt Romney was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts and was pitted against Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential Election. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t all work out and Obama won a second term in office.
Now one of the most difficult universities to attend, Romney chose to go to Stanford, and after a mission trip to France, he attended Brigham Young University. After graduating from BYU, he, like many others, went to Harvard to study law and business. This stranslated to a strong career in business, working in management consulting and private equity investment, resulting in a net-worth of between $20 to $100 million.
2016 Democratic presidential nominee and expert email eradicator Hillary Rodham Clinton is possibly one of the savviest women in politics today. A graduate of Yale Law School in 1973, Hillary, wife of former President Bill Clinton, is also the first woman ever to serve in the New York State Senate. Hillary, who won a Grammy for the audio version of her book It Takes a Village, is seeking to become the first female to be elected as president. Growing up in Illinois, Hillary wanted nothing more than a successful career in politics.
“The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible,” said Hillary.
Hillary is well on her way to making her dreams a reality.
As 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln surpassed difficulties that would have destroyed most millennials alive today. With only 18 months of formal schooling, Lincoln was mostly self-taught, having been born into a working class family in 1809.
“Of course, when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher … but that was all,” wrote Lincoln.
Honest Abe, as he was known at the time, is also the only president to hold a patent for a feature that helps keep boats from getting stuck in shallow waters. For his distinguished leadership and steadfast convictions against slavery, Lincoln’s face adorns one of the most despised coins in all of the American currency. Nicely done, America.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Source: History Channel
If you are wondering whether Franklin is related to Theodore Roosevelt, the answer is yes. The two former presidents are fifth cousins, which must have made things weird when Uncle Teddy lead his niece Eleanor down the aisle to marry Franklin. Eleanor will later make headlines for her alleged sexual experiences with other women.
Franklin was not the sharpest tool in the shed, yet he excelled in Harvard and Columbia Law School. After being diagnosed with polio, Franklin went on to become governor New York. Franklin served four terms as President of the United States before passing in 1945.
A prominent Republican nominee in the 2016 election and one of Trump’s favorite targets, “Lyin’ Ted” attended Princeton and Harvard, so that’s nothing to sneeze at. While at Harvard, he also edited the Harvard Law review before graduating with his Juris Doctor degree.
He was highly regarded by his professors and peers, who even went as far as to say he was “off the charts briliant”. After graduating, he started a private practice and even drafted testimony to help impeach then-president Bill Clinton. Later, he became a senator in Texas before running in the Republican race in 2015-2016.
George Washington, America’s very first president and distinguished revolutionary, was a master of setting precedents. Washington proclaimed November 26 as Thanksgiving, signed the first copyright law, and is the only president to be elected unanimously by the Electoral College.
Born in 1732, Washington was commissioned as a lieutenant in the colonial militia in 1754, according to Whitehouse.gov. Washington received very little accredited schooling and instead depended on learning from his older siblings and random tutors. Still, Washington was able to make a business of selling his trademarked flour Gristmill, which was labeled as “superfine” flour. From founding father to grounding flour, Washington endures as an inspirational figure of supremacy.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eisenhower was born inb Texas in 1890 to Ida and David Eisenhower. He attendeded the United States Military Academy and was a starter at running back and linebacker for the football team. After serving in the World Wars, he served as President at Columbia University.
After winning a landslide victory in 1952, he became one of the oldest presidents in history. He became known for the Interstate highway bill and also establishing NASA. After doing well to improve the economy, he will be known as one of tyhe greatest U.S. presidents.
Names such as Celebgate in 2014 and Deflategate in 2015 derive from the original scandal, Watergate, which forced the resignation of then U.S. President Richard Nixon. Before incriminating top White House officials in clandestine tricks, Nixon graduated 3rd in his Duke Law School class, according to NixonFoundation.org. After suffering a loss to John F. Kennedy for office in 1960, Nixon was selected as Dwight D.
Eisenhower’s running mate. After being elected president in 1968, Nixon triumphantly pushed for the end of American involvement in the Vietnam war. Former President Nixon remains one of the most iconic men ever to hold office.
George H.W. Bush
So, the senior Bush is smarter than his son? Who would’ve known. The 41st president of the United States was born in Milton, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the army at age 18 and attended Yale University where he was the president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He was also a member of the Skull and Bones society.
His Bachelor’s of Economics translated into a successful career in the oil industry and became a millionaire. He then went into politics, serving in the house of representatives and a variety of other places, before running for and winning the 1989 federal election.
Source: National Archives
Quick! Which sports radio announcer turned actor won a Golden Globe award and served two terms as the U.S. president? If you guessed Ronald Reagan, you would win all of the licorice jellybeans you can buy.
Considered the most successful actor in history, according to IMDB.com, Reagan graduated from Dixon High School and attended Eureka College on a scholarship, graduating with a degree in economics. While serving as president from 1981-1989, Reagan prospered in strengthening America’s troubled economy and lead efforts to minimize government expenditures. Attempts to follow in Reagan’s footsteps have fortunately fallen short for others as Roseanne Barr unsuccessfully ran for President of the United States in 2012.
Upon hearing the name “Hoover,” most people think of the vacuum or the humongous dam located in Nevada. Well, those thinking of the dam is correct, as the dam itself was controversially named after the 31st U.S. president. Much more can be said for “The Great Humanitarian,” Herbert Hoover, who selflessly led Americans through World War I.
After graduating from Stanford University as a mining engineer, Hoover focused on aiding domestic and international food relief efforts. President Hoover founded the Department of Veteran Affairs, which provides assistance to thousands of U.S. service members. Hoover is also known for his appearance in the first American television broadcast.
The second son of George H.W. Bush, and the younger brother of George W. Bush, he earned his degree from the University of Texas. In high school, he started out with poor grades, but eventually, he turned things around and made the honor roll in senior year. After that, he attended graduated from college with a degree in Latin American affairs.
He moved to Florida for a real-estate job, as well as other jobs. He also became a minority-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He began helping his father in his election campaign and became governer of Florida in 1998.
Source: CBS News
Few athletes have successfully traded their celebrity status for a life of public service. University of Michigan football MVP, Gerald Ford, born Leslie L. King Jr., became vice president and then president of the United States, all without ever running for office. Nominated as vice president by residing President Richard Nixon, Ford became the leader of the free world after the Watergate Scandal forced Nixon to resign.
Ford, who graduated in the top third of his class in Yale’s law school, proved to be a great American leader setting standards for women equality and personal privacy.
George W. Bush
“Fool me once shame on you…fool me, you can’t get fooled again.”
Ok, so this may not be the best quote from the 43rd president of the United States, but the man is far from a dummy. A former Bush aide, Keith Hennessey, once told his class in Stanford that former President Bush “is smarter than almost every one of you.” Hennessey praised Bush for maintaining a keen and analytical mindset. Under the Bush administration, Africa received billions of dollars in humanitarian efforts to fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Bush remains transparent regarding his school grades keeping his Yale transcript open to the public. Bush never received an A in college and maintained a C average, which should give hope to any simpleton looking to become president one day.
Say what you want about the floppy-haired tycoon, but Donald Trump, 70, remains one of the biggest names in the business. The business mogul is currently in the race of becoming the 45th president, despite strong opposition from both Democrats and Republicans alike. Before throwing his hat into the presidential ring, Trump established a clothing line, a TV show and numerous casinos around the world. Trump graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and is reportedly worth $4.5 billion. No presidential candidate has caused and faced as much hostility as Trump, yet manages to gather votes despite high disapproval ratings across the nation.
“I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” said Trump during a Republican Presidential Debate.
Way to go, genius.