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How many vice presidents have become president?

James Crump
·3-min read
<p>US President Joe Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the Capitol on 20 January 2021 in Washington, DC</p> ((Getty Images))

US President Joe Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the Capitol on 20 January 2021 in Washington, DC

((Getty Images))

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th US president on Wednesday, after previously serving as the vice president during the Obama administration.

Mr Biden, who served under Barack Obama between 2009 and 2017, is the first person in 32 years to be elected president after previously working as vice president.

The last person to work in both roles was George H W Bush, who became president after serving as vice president under Ronald Reagan for eight years.

In addition to Mr Biden and Bush, there have been 13 other US presidents who have gone on to serve as president since George Washington was America’s first in 1789.

Which vice president’s have become president?

John Adams, who served as the first ever US vice president under Washington, became the second president after he took over from him after two terms in the role in 1797.

It did not take long for another vice president to become president, as Thomas Jefferson, who served as Adams’ number two, took over the role after defeating him in the 1800 US election.

Martin Van Buren, who served as vice president to Andrew Jackson during his second term, became president himself in 1837 and was in the role for four years.

Read more: Follow live updates and news on Inauguration Day 2021

John Tyler and Millard Fillmore later became presidents when William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor died after working for a month and just over a year in their roles respectively.

Assassinations then caused the next three vice presidents who became president to be promoted into the role, as Andrew Johnson took over from Abraham Lincoln, Chester A Arthur replaced James A Garfield and Theodore Roosevelt took over from William McKinley.

Natural deaths during the presidency have also played a role in vice presidents’ rise to the presidency, as Calvin Coolidge took over from Warren G Harding after he died of a heart attack. Mr Coolidge later won another term.

Harry S Truman then took over from Franklin D Roosevelt after he Died in 1945, before he was also elected to a full term.

Lyndon B Johnson rose to the presidency after John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and was succeeded in 1969 by Richard Nixon, who had previously served two terms as vice president under Dwight Eisenhower.

Gerald Ford was appointed by Nixon as his vice president in 1973 after the resignation of Spiro Agnew, and then became president after Nixon resigned a year later. He is the only person to serve in both roles without being elected to either.

The elder Bush was then the last vice president to become president when he succeeded Reagan in 1989, before Mr Biden took office on 20 January 2021 after he defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 national election.

Of the 15 presidents who also served as vice presidents, only five first rose to the role via an election, with Mr Biden being the first to do so in 28 years.

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