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Useful Notes / The Vice Presidents of the United States
aka: The Vice Presidents

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"The most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived."
John Adams, first Vice President of the United States

The Vice Presidents of the United States of America under the Constitution, whose duties and powers are explained in length on the American Political System page.

For a list of the chief executives that these politicians stood behind (and, in several cases, replaced), see our list on The Presidents of the United States. For the vice president of the Confederate States of America during The American Civil War, see Alexander Stephens. For the TV series named after a certain nickname for the American vice president, see Veep. For portrayals of the vice presidency in fiction (and in particular their neglected status), see Vice President Who?.

The Vice Presidents are, in order:

  1. John Adams (1789–97, "Pro-Administration"/Federalist). The Vice President under George Washington. Originally an active member of the Continental Congress and an important foreign minister in the nation's early years. Began the long tradition of the President rarely consulting the Vice President; Adams was rarely consulted for policy advice, and he notoriously called the vice presidency "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived." Ironically, he also cast more tie-breaking votes in the Senate than any other vice president. He also tried to create a formal style for the President and Vice President, such as "His Highness." Washington instead chose the modest "Mr. President," and Adams' enemies in Congress nicknamed the short and fat Veep "His Rotundity." First vice president to be elected president later, and the first vice president to announce their own election as president to a joint session of Congress. Died in 1826 (on July 4!), the same day as...
  2. Thomas Jefferson (1797–1801, Democratic-Republican). The Vice President under John Adams. Wrote the Declaration of Independence before serving as governor of Virginia, then was first Secretary of State under Washington, beginning his Friendly Enemy relationship with Adams. The original rules under which the presidential elections were held (in which the election's runner-up was elected Vice President) resulted in the awkward situation of Jefferson serving Adams's administration, which he constantly served to undermine; with James Madison, he anonymously wrote the provocative Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts. Second vice president to be elected president later, and only one to defeat his former boss due to the later reshaping of the election rules with the 12th Amendment.
  3. Aaron Burr (1801–05, Democratic-Republican). The Vice President during Thomas Jefferson's first term. Ran as Jefferson's running mate in the 1800 presidential election, but an Electoral College tie between Burr and Jefferson resulted in the House of Representatives, under pre-Twelfth Amendment rules, having to decide the president between the two in a contingent election, ultimately voting in Jefferson's favor, with Burr becoming Jefferson's vice president after coming second.note  Jefferson remained highly suspicious of Burr, who during the vote in the House refused to concede the presidency to Jefferson in the event that he was elected, and was relegated to the sidelines of the administration for the single term of his vice presidency. During his last year as vice president, engaged in a duel in which he fatally shot Alexander Hamilton, his political rival; although dueling was illegal, Burr was never tried and all charges against him eventually were dropped. Nevertheless, Hamilton's death ended Burr's political career. After leaving office, he traveled west to the American frontier, seeking new economic and political opportunities, but his secretive activities led to his 1807 arrest in Alabama on charges of treason and being brought to trial more than once for what became known as the Burr conspiracy, an alleged plot to create an independent country led by Burr, but was acquitted each time. Died in 1836.
  4. George Clinton (1805–12, Democratic-Republican). The Vice President under Jefferson's second term and James Madison's first term. Previously known for being the first governor of New York and for being a major opponent of Vermont's entrance into the Union due to disputes over land claims. Towards of end of his tenure as VP, sought his party's presidential nomination in 1808, but the party's congressional nominating caucus instead nominated James Madison. Despite his opposition to Madison, he was re-nominated as vice president and ultimately re-elected, becoming the first of only two vice presidents to hold the office under two presidents. Died in 1812, leaving the office of vice president vacant for the first time in U.S. history.
  5. Elbridge Gerry (1813–14, Democratic-Republican). The Vice President under Madison's second term. Heavily involved in the development of the Bill of Rights,note  he was a member of the diplomatic delegation to France that was treated poorly in the XYZ Affair; Federalists held him responsible for a breakdown in negotiations. Ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Massachusetts several times before winning the office in 1810. During his second term, the legislature approved new state senate districts that led to the coining of the word "gerrymandering" after him; he lost the next election. Chosen by the party as its vice-presidential candidate in the 1812 election, Gerry served only a year and a half of his term before dying in 1814.
  6. Daniel D. Tompkins (1817–25, Democratic-Republican). The Vice President under James Monroe. Spent much of his vice presidency in poor physical health (not helped by his alcoholism) and financial insolvency (due to, as governor of New York during the War of 1812, having to pay much of the military effort of the state from his own pocket). Only 19th-century vice president to serve two full terms. Died in 1825, 99 days after leaving office, having the shortest post-vice-presidency lifespan and shortest life (ten days shy of turning 51 years old) of any VP. Tompkins County, New York, home of Ithaca and Cornell University (and Ithaca College), was named after him.
  7. John C. Calhoun (1825–32, Democratic-Republican/Nullifier). The Vice President during John Quincy Adams' tenure and Andrew Jackson's first term. A U.S. representative from South Carolina from 1811 to 1817 and Secretary of War under President James Monroe, he was a candidate for the presidency in 1824. After failing to gain support, agreed to be a candidate for vice president, serving under John Q. Adams and continuing under Andrew Jackson after he defeated Adams in the 1828 election, becoming the second and last VP to serve in two administrations. Developed a difficult relationship with Jackson after Calhoun vigorously supported South Carolina's right to nullify (i.e., unilaterally ignore) federal tariff legislation that he believed unfairly favored the North, which put him into conflict with the unionist Jackson. Notably, Jackson later stated one of his only regrets as president was not having Calhoun hanged (!) In 1832, with only a few months remaining in his second term, resigned as vice president and entered the Senate. Sought the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 1844 but lost to surprise nominee James K. Polk. Served as Secretary of State from 1844 to 1845, in which role he supported the annexation of Texas to extend slavery's power and helped to settle the Oregon boundary dispute with Britain. Returned to the Senate, where he opposed the Mexican–American War, the Wilmot Proviso, and the Compromise of 1850 before he died in 1850.
  8. Martin Van Buren (1833–37, Democrat). The Vice President during Jackson's second term. Former senator (1821–28) and (briefly in 1829) governor of New York. First VP to have been born an American citizen after America declared its independence;note  only VP to have English as a second language (he came from a Dutch-speaking family). His appointment as VP was arguably the result of an epic backfire from his predecessor John C. Calhoun.note  Came to support Jackson's struggle with the Second Bank of the United States, after being initially apprehensive due to congressional support for the Bank. Elected president to succeed Jackson; was the last incumbent vice president to be elected president until George H. W. Bush 152 years later. Died in 1862 after two failed attempts at being re-elected president.
  9. Richard Mentor Johnson (1837–41, Democratic). The Vice President under Van Buren. He represented Kentucky in both houses of Congress (mainly as a representative, from 1807 to 1819 and 1829 to 1837; he was a senator between those terms), and reportedly personally killed the Shawnee chief Tecumseh in the War of 1812, a claim that he used in his later political career. His vice-presidency was pretty unremarkable beside the controversy over his relationship with his "octaroon" (one-eighth Black) slave Julia Chinn, as he treated Chinn as his common-law wife and publicly acknowledged the two daughters they conceived and raised together. This led to Virginia's 23 members of the Electoral College refusing to vote for him (despite Van Buren meeting the electoral votes needed to win the presidency) and Johnson becoming the only vice president elected by the Senate under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment after he went short of votes, which in turn led Van Buren to run with no official running mate in the 1840 election. Died in 1850. Several counties were named after him, most notably Johnson County, Iowa, which is home to Iowa City and the University of Iowa, before it was "renamed" after black Iowan Lulu Johnson in 2020.
  10. John Tyler (March–April 1841, Whig). The Vice President under William Henry Harrison's month-long term. A former Virginia representative (1816–1821), governor (1825–1827), and senator (1827–1836); first VP born after the ratification of the Constitution. In a break with previous presidents, Harrison asked Tyler for his advice during the selection of his Cabinet.note  His role as VP was limited to swearing in the new senators on Inauguration Day and presiding over the confirmations of Cabinet nominations the following day—a total of two hours as president of the Senate, spending the rest of his vice-presidency at his home. The first vice president to succeed to the presidency after Harrison died 31 days after taking office (with Tyler having the shortest vice-presidency as a result); his assertions that he had become the president set a precedent that governed future successions. Sided with the Confederacy when The American Civil War began in 1861, served in the unelected Confederate Provisional Congress and won election to the Confederate House of Representatives,note  but died the following year before being seated; he was buried with the Confederate flag, making him the only VP not laid to rest under the flag of the United States.note 
  11. George M. Dallas (1845–49, Democrat). The Vice President under James K. Polk. Former mayor of Philadelphia (1828–1829) and senator from Pennsylvania (1831–1833), his father Alexander J. Dallas had been Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of War under James Madison. Initially supported Van Buren's bid for another term in the 1844 presidential election, but after Polk won the Democratic presidential nomination, was nominated as his running mate.note  A supporter of expansion and popular sovereignty and called for the annexation of all of Mexico during the Mexican-American War. Sought to position himself for contention in the 1848 presidential election, but his vote to lower the tariff destroyed his base of support in his home state. Afterwards served as the Minister to the United Kingdom from 1856 to 1861 before retiring from public office. Had a lengthy feud with future President and fellow Pennsylvanian James Buchanan. While many cities and towns are named after him, it is debated whether the city of Dallas, Texas is actually named after him.note  However, Dallas County, Texas, where the city is located, was named after him. Died in 1864.
  12. Millard Fillmore (1849–50, Whig). The Vice President under Zachary Taylor. A former U.S. Representative from upstate New York (1833 to 1835 and from 1837 to 1843), was the state's Comptroller at the time of his election as VP.note  For the most part, Taylor ignored him;note  in his capacity as president of the Senate, however, he oversaw some of the Senate's most intense debates over slavery, as Congress decided whether to allow it in the Mexican Cession. Unlike Taylor, he supported Henry Clay's Omnibus Bill, which was the basis of the Compromise of 1850, which would be passed when Fillmore became the second vice president to take office after his predecessor's death. Died in 1874.
  13. William R. King (March–April 1853, Democrat). The Vice President under Franklin Pierce … for six weeks in 1853 before his death. Only VP from Alabama; held the highest political office of any Alabamian in American history. Earlier had been a U.S. representative (1811–1816, from North Carolina) and senator (1819–1844, 1848–1852); in the latter capacity, he helped draft the Compromise of 1850. Only American executive branch official to take the oath of office on foreign soil, being sworn in in Cuba after he had traveled there for treatment for tuberculosis; ultimately tried to travel to Washington D.C. but only made it as far as Selma, Alabama before dying of the illness, and never carried out any duties of the office. Shortest-serving vice president who didn't succeeded to the presidency. Besides his short tenure, known for his close friendship with his roommate, future president James Buchanan, leading to claims like those leveled at Buchanan that he may have been secretly homosexual.
  14. John C. Breckinridge (1857–61, Democrat). The Vice President under James Buchanan. Youngest-ever vice president, taking office at the age of 36.note  Previously elected to the House in 1851 from Kentucky, where he allied with the powerful Illinois senator Stephen A. Douglas in support of the Kansas–Nebraska Act. Had little influence with Buchanan as VP and, as presiding officer of the Senate, could not express his opinions in debates, but joined Buchanan in supporting the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution for Kansas, which led to a split among Democrats. After Southern Democrats walked out of the 1860 Democratic National Convention, the party's northern and southern factions held rival conventions in Baltimore that nominated Douglas and Breckinridge, respectively, for president, which, alongside the Constitutional Union Party's John Bell, split the vote in the 1860 election (although Breckinridge carried most of the South), allowing Abraham Lincoln to win the election. Was elected afterwards to the Senate and urged compromise to preserve the Union, but after the outbreak of The American Civil War joined the Confederate Army and was expelled from the Senate. Appointed Confederate Secretary of War in 1865, where he urged President Jefferson Davis to arrange a national surrender after concluding that the war was hopeless. Was among the Confederates extended amnesty by President Andrew Johnson in 1868, but never resumed his political career before his death in 1875, after war injuries sapped his health.
  15. Hannibal Hamlin (1861–65, first Republican vice president). The Vice President during Abraham Lincoln's first term. Came from Maine, where he was a representative (1843–1847) and senator (1848 until January 1857 and again from February 1857 to 1861; he left for a month to serve briefly as governor). An active opponent of slavery, he supported the Wilmot Proviso and opposed the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas–Nebraska Act. Was not personally close to Lincoln and did not play a major role in his administration as VP, but in his role as presiding officer of the Senate supported its legislative program. Appointed Collector of the Port of Boston after leaving the vice presidency by President Andrew Johnson, but later resigned because of his disagreement with Johnson over Reconstruction. Elected again to the U.S. Senate in 1869, serving two terms, and briefly served as United States Ambassador to Spain. Died in 1891.
  16. Andrew Johnson (March–April 1865, National Union). The Vice President during Lincoln's second term. A representative (1843–53), governor (1853–57), and senator (1857–62) of Tennessee, Johnson remained firmly with the Union when Southern slave states seceded to form the Confederacy, becoming the only sitting senator from a Confederate state who did not resign his seat upon learning of his state's secession. The highlight of his congressional service was to seek passage of the Homestead Bill, which was enacted soon after he left his Senate seat in 1862, when Lincoln appointed him as military governor of Tennessee after most of it had been retaken. Chosen as running mate for Lincoln to send a message of national unity in his re-election campaign, as VP only presided over the Senate briefly, hiding from public ridicule after showing up drunk at his inauguration. Third vice president to take office after his predecessor's death, succeeding Lincoln following his assassination. Died in 1875 soon after returning to the Senate.
  17. Schuyler Colfax (1869–73, Republican). The Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant's first term. Having served in the House from 1855 to 1869, he was Speaker at the time he was elected VP, the first of only two VPs to have served as both Speaker and VP (that is, to be the highest authority in both chambers of Congress), followed by John Nance Garner. Nicknamed "Smiler"note  for his warm and affable personality, which political opponents characterized as Colfax being willing to agree to anything. Known for his opposition to slavery while serving in Congress, led the effort to pass what would become the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.note  As was typical during the time, had little involvement in the Grant administration besides his duties as president of the Senate. Believing Grant would only serve one term, he attempted unsuccessfully to garner support for the 1872 Republican presidential nomination, only for Grant to announce that he would run again, causing Colfax to reverse himself and attempt to win the vice-presidential nomination, but was defeated by Henry Wilson. Implicated in the Crédit Mobilier scandal, though he vociferously defended himself against charges, his reputation suffered, and after he left the vice presidency never again ran for office. Died in 1885.
  18. Henry Wilson (1873–75, Republican). The Vice President during roughly half of Grant's second term. A senator from Massachusetts from 1855 to 1873, he was a strong opponent of slavery before and during The American Civil War. His reputation for personal integrity and principled politics was somewhat damaged late in his Senate career by his involvement in the same Crédit Mobilier scandal that affected his predecessor Colfax, though not enough to prevent him from becoming Vice President (largely because the Democrats were so disorganized they had to cross-endorse a dissident Republican ticket). Suffered a debilitating stroke only two months into his term as VP in May 1873, and his health continued to decline until he died of a fatal stroke while working in the United States Capitol in late 1875.
  19. William A. Wheeler (1877–81, Republican). The Vice President under Rutherford B. Hayes. Previously a representative from New York (1861–1863, 1869–1877), was widely respected for his integrity, refusing a salary increase after Congress passed a 1873 pay raise that he opposed. Though they had not known each other before their party's nominating convention, Wheeler and Hayes became very good friends while in office together, a rarity at the time. Died in 1887.
  20. Chester A. Arthur (March–September 1881, Republican). The Vice President under James Garfield. He was the collector of the Port of New York from 1871 to 1878. Spent much of his vice-presidency working in vain to persuade Garfield to fill certain positions with his fellow New York Stalwarts; not only did Garfield freeze out the Stalwarts from the majority of posts, but appointed James G. Blaine, the Arch-Enemy of the Stalwarts' leader Roscoe Conkling, as Secretary of State, causing the running mates, never close, to detach. Ironically, after becoming the fourth VP to ascend to the presidency after his predecessor's death, finally gave civil service meaningful reform, likely influenced by Garfield's assassination by a disgruntled office seeker.
  21. Thomas A. Hendricks (March–November 1885, Democrat). The Vice President in the early months of Grover Cleveland's first term. A former representative (1851–55), senator (1863–69), and governor (1873–77) from Indiana, was a popular member of the Democratic Party who defended the Democratic position in the Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era and voted against the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. He also opposed Radical Reconstruction and President Andrew Johnson's removal from office following Johnson's impeachment in the House. In the presidential election of 1872, where the Democrats nominated Horace Greeley, the Liberal Republican candidate, but Greeley died between the election and the Electoral College casting its ballots and as a result the electors pledged to Greeley split their votes, Hendricks received the most, 42 out of 63. He was the running mate of Samuel Tilden in the controversial election of 1876. Accepted his party's nomination for vice president in 1884 despite poor health and ultimately won it, but only served for about eight months before dying in 1885. Only vice president (who did not later serve as president) whose portrait appears on U.S. paper currency, appearing on the $10 silver certificate.
  22. Levi P. Morton (1889–93, Republican). The Vice President under Benjamin Harrison. A former Representative from New York from 1879 to 1881, he was James Garfield's original choice for VP candidate in the 1880 election in an effort to win over Stalwarts, but Stalwarts leader Roscoe Conkling convinced him to decline, so Garfield chose Chester A. Arthur instead; after winning the election, Garfield appointed Morton ambassador to France. Most important action as VP was presiding over the Lodge Bill; Harrison blamed Morton for it ultimately failing by one vote and replaced him on the 1892 Republican ticket with Whitelaw Reid. Elected governor of New York after leaving office, serving from 1895 to 1896. Died in 1920, on his 96th birthday; second-longest living vice president after John Nance Garner.
  23. Adlai Stevenson I (1893–97, Democrat). The Vice President under Cleveland's second term. A Representative from Illinois (1875–1877, 1879–1881), was assistant postmaster general during Cleveland's first term, where he fired many Republican postal workers and replaced them with Southern Democrats, earning him the enmity of the Republican-controlled Congress but making him Cleveland's running mate in 1892. As VP, supported the free-silver lobby against the gold-standard proponents like Cleveland, but was praised for ruling the Senate in a dignified, non-partisan manner. Ran for vice president again in 1900 with William Jennings Bryan. Grandfather and namesake of Adlai Stevenson II, Governor of Illinois and the Democratic presidential nominee who unsuccessfully challenged Dwight D. Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956. Died in 1914.
  24. Garret Hobart (1897–99, Republican). The Vice President under William McKinley's first term. A New Jersey politician who presided over both chambers of its General Assembly, became a good friend of and close advisor to McKinley. Took a more assertive role as Senate president based on his experiences on the New Jersey legislature to the point that he became known as the "assistant President", although he only cast his tie-breaking vote once. Noted for his tact and good humor. Had a serious heart ailment that led him to become the sixth VP to die in office.
  25. Theodore Roosevelt (March–September 1901, Republican). The Vice President under McKinley's second term. The most Memetic Badass president is probably also the most Memetic Badass vice president, but didn't have much to show for it, as besides his ultimately short tenure of six months (he presided over the Senate for a mere four days before it adjourned), the VP's status as a powerless sinecure did not suit Roosevelt's aggressive temperament. His appointment was an epic case of Reassignment Backfire.note  It was during Roosevelt's vice-presidencynote  that he first coined the phrase "Speak softly, and carry a big stick" while speaking at the Minnesota State Fair. Fifth VP to inherit the presidency and first to be subsequently elected to a full term. Died in 1919.
  26. Charles W. Fairbanks (1905–09, Republican). The Vice President under Theodore Roosevelt's only full term. Previously served as a senator from Indiana from 1897 to 1905, during which he served on a commission that helped settle the Alaska boundary dispute, for which the state's city of Fairbanks is named after him. First vice president to serve a complete term without casting any tie-breaking votes as President of the Senate. As vice president, actively worked against Roosevelt's progressive policies,note  unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in 1908, and backed President William Howard Taft in 1912 against Roosevelt's challenge. Later sought the presidential nomination at the 1916 Republican National Convention but was instead selected as the vice-presidential nominee with Charles Evans Hughes. Died in 1918.
  27. James S. Sherman (1909–12, Republican). The Vice President under William Howard Taft. Previously a representative from New York (1887–91 and 1893–1909), was noted for his congenial personality, which led him to be known as "Sunny Jim". First vice president to fly in a plane, in 1911. Renominated in 1912, becoming the first sitting vice president to be renominated since John C. Calhoun in 1828, but as he was afflicted with Bright's disease, Sherman's health declined through the 1912 campaign and he died six days before the election.note  Seventh and most recent vice president to die in office.
  28. Thomas R. Marshall (1913–21, Democrat). The Vice President under Woodrow Wilson. Governor of Indiana at the time of his election, known for having proposed controversial changes to the Constitution of Indiana that were blocked by the state courts. Marshall's popularity as Indiana governor and the state's status as a critical swing state helped him secure the Democratic vice-presidential nomination on Wilson's ticket in 1912 and win the subsequent general election. An ideological rift developed between the two men during their first term, leading Wilson to limit Marshall's influence in the administration, and his noted brand of humor caused Wilson to move the VP office from the White House to the Senate. First VP to hold cabinet meetings, which he did while Wilson was in Europe. Following a stroke that incapacitated Wilson in October 1919, because of their personal dislike for Marshall, Wilson's advisers and wife Edith sought to keep him uninformed about the president's condition to prevent him from assuming presidential powers and duties. Cabinet officials and Congressional leaders urged Marshall to become acting president, but he refused to assume Wilson's powers and duties forcibly, not wanting to set a precedent. Without strong leadership in the executive branch, the administration's opponents defeated the ratification of the League of Nations treaty. Only known vice president to have been exclusively targeted in an Assassination Attempt while in officenote  when a man opposed to American support of the Allied war effort in World War I broke into the U.S. Senate and, finding the door to the Senate chamber locked, laid dynamite outside the reception room, which happened to be next to Marshall's office door; although the bomb was set with a timer, it exploded prematurely just before midnight, while no one was in the office. First Vice President to serve two full terms since Daniel D. Tompkins, nearly a century earlier. Died in 1925.
  29. Calvin Coolidge (1921–23, Republican). The Vice President under Warren G. Harding. Former governor of Massachusetts; the year before he was elected VP, he forced Boston's striking police officers to go back to work. Didn't do much in office, as the vice-presidency did not carry many official duties at the time, but it is from this time that most of the legends about "Silent Cal" originate.note  The sixth VP to inherit the presidency and second to win reelection. Died in 1933.
  30. Charles G. Dawes (1925–29, Republican). Elected Vice President for Calvin Coolidge's full term. He had managed President McKinley's 1896 campaign in Illinois, and after the election, he was appointed as the Comptroller of the Currency. In 1921, President Harding appointed Dawes as the first Director of the Bureau of the Budget. He also helped formulate the Dawes Plan to aid the struggling German economy after World War I, for which he was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925. His nomination as vice-presidential nominee actually occurred after several candidates either declined the nomination or were not viewed as popular.note  However, Dawes and Coolidge soon had a falling out; Dawes helped ensure the passage of the McNary–Haugen Farm Relief Billnote  through Congress, but Coolidge vetoed it. After Coolidge announced that he would not seek re-election and Herbert Hoover was chosen instead, Dawes was a candidate for renomination as vice president as Hoover's running mate; however, after Coolidge made it known that he would consider Dawes' renomination to be an insult, Charles Curtis was chosen instead. (Although Hoover appointed Dawes to be the Ambassador to the United Kingdom after becoming president.) Died in 1951.
  31. Charles Curtis (1929–33, Republican). The Vice President under Herbert Hoover. First person with any acknowledged Native American and non-European ancestry to reach either of the highest offices in the federal executive branch and the highest-ranking enrolled Native American ever to serve in the federal government, as a member of the Kaw Nation. Last executive branch officer to have been born in a territory rather than a state or federal district, having been born in the Kansas Territory. Previously a U.S. representative (1893–1907) and senator (1907–13 and 1915–29) after Kansas became a state, he served as Senate Majority Leader from 1924 to 1929. First executive branch officer to open the Olympic Games, opening the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Was actually the one who, on the onset of The Great Depression, made an offhand remark about how "good times are just around the corner", not Hoover as it was later erroneously attributed. Died in 1936.
  32. John Nance Garner (1933–41, Democrat). The Vice President during Franklin D. Roosevelt's first two terms. Previously a representative from Texas (1903–33), he had the nickname "Cactus Jack".note  Was Speaker of the House from 1931 to 1933, being the second and to date last person to serve as both Speaker and VP after Schuyler Colfax. Sought the Democratic nomination in the 1932 presidential election but ultimately agreed to serve as FDR's running mate to uphold party unity.note  One of the VPs known to have expressed their dissatisfaction with the role, bluntly describing the vice presidency as "not worth a bucket of warm piss".note  A conservative Southerner, opposed the New Deal's deficit spending, union activism, and ultimately broke with Roosevelt in early 1937 over the issue of enlarging the Supreme Court, helping defeat it on the grounds that it centralized too much power in the President's hands. Sought the Democratic presidential nomination again in 1940, but Roosevelt easily beat him to it. John F. Kennedy was killed on his 95th birthday; he had previously called Garner with birthday greetings upon landing in Texas and filmed an interview with him at his home.note  Longest-lived Vice President in U.S. history, dying in 1967 two weeks shy of turning 99.
  33. Henry A. Wallace (1941–45, Democrat). The Vice President during Franklin D. Roosevelt's third term. The oldest son of Henry C. Wallace, who served as Secretary of Agriculture from 1921 to 1924, he himself served in that role under Roosevelt from 1933 to 1940. Overcoming strong opposition from conservative party leaders, was nominated for Vice President at the 1940 Democratic National Convention. While Vice President, was named chairman of the Board of Economic Warfare (BEW) and of the Supply Priorities and Allocation Board (SPAB), appointments that gave him a key role in organizing Roosevelt's program of military mobilization, leading many journalists to began calling him the "Assistant President." At the 1944 Democratic National Convention, conservative party leaders defeated his bid for renomination, replacing him on the Democratic ticket with the more moderate Harry S. Truman; due to being much more vocally to the left than both Truman and Roosevelt, many have pondered What Could Have Been had Wallace lasted another term as VP and become president. Was appointed Secretary of Commerce a few months before Roosevelt's death and succession by Truman, but was fired by Truman in September 1946 for delivering a speech urging conciliatory policies towards the Soviet Union. His supporters established the Progressive Party and launched a third-party campaign for president for the 1948 election, but accusations of Communist influence followed, and his association with controversial Theosophist Nicholas Roerich also undermined his campaign, and he received just 2.4 percent of the popular vote. Would ultimately reject his previous support for the Soviet Union in 1952 he published Where I Was Wrong, in which he declared the Soviet Union "utterly evil". Died in 1965.
  34. Harry S. Truman (January–April 1945, Democrat). Elected Vice President for Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth term. Previously a senator from Missouri from 1935, his brief vice-presidency was relatively uneventful: He cast his only tie-breaking vote as president of the Senate only two days before his ascension to the presidency and was involved in a minor scandal when he was photographed alongside actress Lauren Bacall Sitting Sexy on a Piano as he played for soldiers at the National Press Club. Roosevelt rarely contacted him, even to inform him of major decisions; the president and vice president met alone together only twice during their time in office, and they rarely discussed domestic or world issues; at the time he assumed the presidency, was uninformed about the top-secret Manhattan Project, which was developing the atomic bombs he would soon order dropped on Japan. Became the seventh VP to inherit the presidency and third to be personally elected as such. Died in 1972.
  35. Alben W. Barkley (1949–53, Democrat). The Vice President under Harry Truman's full term. A former representative (1913–27) and senator (1927–49) from Kentucky, he was the Democrats' Senate leader from 1937, including a spell as Majority Leader until 1947. Gave a keynote address that energized the delegates when Truman's popularity was waning entering the 1948 Democratic National Convention and was selected his running mate for the upcoming election, in which the Democratic ticket scored an upset victory. Oldest vice president at the time of his inauguration, at 71 years old. Took an active role in the Truman administration and acted as its primary spokesman, especially after The Korean War necessitated the majority of Truman's attention. His grandson, Stephen M. Truitt, suggested the nickname "Veep" as an alternative to "Mr. Vice President", which quickly caught on with the press; Barkley's immediate successor Richard Nixon abstained from using it, saying it "belonged" to Barkley. Only VP to marry while in office; widowed in 1947, Barkley married in 1949 to Jane Hadley, a widow approximately half his age. Began organizing a presidential campaign when Truman announced that he would not seek re-election in 1952, but labor leaders refused to endorse his candidacy because of his age and he withdrew from the race. Retired but was coaxed back into public life, winning a Senate seat in 1954. Died of a heart attack during a speech in 1956.
  36. Richard Nixon (1953–61, Republican). The Vice President under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1946, his pursuit of the Alger Hiss case established his reputation as a leading anti-Communist, which elevated him to national prominence and led him to be elected to the Senate in 1950. During his first vice-presidential campaign, he delivered his Checkers speech, which saved him from a potential bribery scandal. Credited with taking the first steps in establishing the modern role of the office of vice president (Walter Mondale being credited as the one who cemented it), engaged in several "goodwill tours" across various continents; the one in South America would become infamous for an incident that some experts believe later influenced Nixon's view of the region. Engaged Nikita Khrushchev in the Kitchen Debate. Unsuccessfully ran for president in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy, but in 1968 ran again and won a close election, becoming the first non-incumbent vice president to be elected president, a feat that was not repeated until 2020. Died in 1994.
  37. Lyndon Johnson (1961–63, Democrat). The Vice President under John F. Kennedy. Previously a representative (1937–49) and senator (1949–61) from Texas, he was Senate Majority Leader when he became VP. Mostly, he spent his vice presidency trying unsuccessfully to add authority previously not allotted to the position, and clashing with Kennedy's brother and attorney general, Robert. JFK, however, nonetheless strove to keep the experienced politician busy and informed in several issues (if only to avoid Johnson badmouthing the administration to the press), which proved important when he became the eighth and final VP to inherit the presidency after Kennedy's death and the fourth and final one to be elected in his own right. Died in 1973.
  38. Hubert Humphrey (1965–69, Democrat). The Vice President under Lyndon Johnson. A senator from Minnesota (1949–64), became known as a leader of American (modern) liberalism, especially in supporting civil rights, and was Johnson's favored candidate as his successor when he declined to run for re-election. However, his complete and vocal loyalty to Johnson's policies regarding The Vietnam War resulted in him receiving opposition from many within his own party, and he lost to Richard Nixon. After the defeat, he returned to the Senate and served from 1971 until his death in 1978.
  39. Spiro Agnew (1969–73, Republican). Vice President under Richard Nixon's first term and part of his second term. Had been governor of Maryland for a little over a year when Nixon named him as running mate, after his "law and order" stance in the wake of civil unrest in 1968 interested Nixon.note  His harsh rhetoric,note  while controversial, pleased many Republicans, and upon the ticket's victory in the election, may have made the difference in several key states.note  As vice president, was often called upon to attack the administration's enemies as he progressively moved to the right, appealing to conservatives who were suspicious of moderate stances taken by Nixon. Second and so far last vice president to resign, after John C. Calhoun in 1832. Unlike Calhoun, resigned as a result of a scandal: Shortly after re-election in 1972, Agnew was investigated by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland on suspicion of criminal conspiracy, bribery, extortion, and tax fraud, which revealed that he took kickbacks from contractors during his time as governor of Maryland and that payments had continued into his time as vice president. While they had nothing to do with the Watergate scandal, in which he was not implicated, after months of maintaining his innocence, Agnew pleaded no contest to a single felony charge of tax evasion and resigned from office, spending the remainder of his life in quiet before his death in 1996. His resignation put the 1967 Twenty-Fifth Amendment to test, in which the vacancy could be filled via the President selecting a nominee confirmed by Congress, so Nixon replaced him with…
  40. Gerald Ford (1973–74, Republican). The Vice President under Richard Nixon for eight months. The first of two VPs born in Nebraska, with Dick Cheney being the second. A Representative from Michigan for almost 25 years, the final nine of them as House Minority Leader, became the first person appointed to the vice presidency under the terms of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. Confirmed in December 1973, he only served until the following August when he ascended to the presidency after Nixon resigned because of Watergate; his tenure was so brief that Ford couldn't even move with his family to Number One Observatory Circle, then newly designated as the vice president's residence. The only VP to inherit the presidency due to resignation rather than death, the last VP to ascend to the office, and the only one to do so without being elected as VP. Died in 2006.
  41. Nelson Rockefeller (1974–77, Republican). The Vice President under Gerald Ford. A member of the wealthy Rockefeller family (grandson of billionaire John D. Rockefeller), after some posts in the federal government,note  was governor of New York from 1959 to 1973. After unsuccessfully seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 1960, 1964, and 1968, was appointed vice president of the United States under Ford, becoming the second vice president appointed to the position under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment after Ford himself. First Vice President to live at Number One Observatory Circle. Often considered to be liberal or at least moderate (he's the reason why liberals in the Republican Party were called "Rockefeller Republicans"), he was removed from the 1976 Republican ticket in favor of Ford running with the more conservative Bob Dole.note  Retired from politics after leaving office and died two years later in 1979.
  42. Walter Mondale (1977–81, Democrat). The Vice President under Jimmy Carter. Previously a senator from Minnesota from 1964, when he was appointed to succeed his mentor, Humphrey, until 1976. Credited with expanding the vice president's role from figurehead to the modern view of presidential advisor and full-time participant of the administration (after Richard Nixon as VP had already made some steps towards that); also began the modern tradition of weekly lunches with the president and was the first VP to have their own office in the West Wing. Carter and Mondale's term was marred by a worsening economy and they lost the 1980 election to the Republican ticket of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He won the Democratic nomination in the 1984 presidential election and subsequently chose the first female vice-presidential nominee of any major party in U.S. history, New York Representative Geraldine Ferraro, but they lost in a Landslide Election where Mondale carried only his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia. He attempted a return to the Senate in Minnesota's 2002 election when he was picked to replace Democratic senator Paul Wellstone after the latter's death in a plane crash, but narrowly lost, giving him the unfortunate distinction of losing elections in all fifty states. Died in 2021, making him the most recent former vice president who passed away.
  43. George H. W. Bush (1981–89, Republican). The Vice President under Ronald Reagan. Elected to serve as representative for Texas' 7th congressional district from 1967 to 1971, President Nixon appointed Bush to the position of Ambassador to the United Nations in 1971. Later became chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973. In 1974, President Ford appointed him as the Chief of the Liaison Office to the People's Republic of China, and in 1976 became the Director of Central Intelligence, the head of the CIA. Ran for president in 1980 but was defeated in the Republican presidential primaries by Ronald Reagan, who nonetheless picked him up as his vice-presidential nominee after negotiations regarding a Reagan-Ford ticket collapsed. Generally maintained a low profile in the office, recognizing its constitutional limits, and avoided criticizing Reagan in any way, which helped him earn Reagan's trust and ease tensions left over from their earlier rivalry. First vice president to serve as acting president under the terms of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment on July 13, 1985 for approximately eight hours as Reagan underwent colon surgery. Elected president in 1988, becoming the first incumbent vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836. Died in 2018.
  44. Dan Quayle (1989–93, Republican). The Vice President under George H. W. Bush. Living. Previously a representative (1977–1981) and senator (1981–1989) from Indiana. His vice-presidential debate against Democratic vice-presidential candidate and then Senate colleague Lloyd Bentsen was notable for Bentsen's "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" quip. Became infamous throughout his time as vice president for a series of verbal gaffesnote  and a "feud" with Murphy Brown. After leaving office, declined to run for president in 1996 because of illness, but sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, though he soon withdrew.
  45. Al Gore (1993–2001, Democrat). The Vice President under Bill Clinton. Living. A representative (1977–1985) and senator (1985–1993) from Tennessee who had previously campaigned for the Democratic nomination for president in the 1988 elections (finishing third). Gore's vice presidency began with him being widely viewed as having to compete with First Lady Hillary Clinton for the role of President Clinton's right-hand (wo)man,note  but Gore ultimately became known for advocating environmentalism and the development of information technology, leading to the claim that he said that he invented the Internet, which he didn't actually say.note  Became the Democratic nominee for the 2000 presidential election but infamously lost in one of the closest presidential races in history to George W. Bush after a contentious Florida recount (settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, which ruled 5–4 in favor of Bush) despite a half-million-plus lead in the popular vote. The most recent incumbent VP to run for president and the most recent VP to announce their opponent's victory to Congress at large. After leaving office, remained prominent as an environmental activist, and his work in climate change activism (particularly his involvement in An Inconvenient Truth, which made him the only VP to win an Academy Award) made him the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
  46. Dick Cheney (2001–09, Republican). The Vice President under George W. Bush. Living. Previously the White House Chief of Staff (1975–1977), Representative from Wyoming (1979–1989), and Secretary of Defense during the George H. W. Bush administration (1989–1993). First Vice President living in Wyoming, second born in Nebraska after Ford. Considered to be the most powerful vice president in American history, to the point where historians today (catching up to some non-academic commentators in his own time) often cast him as being the true leader during the 2000s (with Bush simply being a figurehead),note  but is also one of the most unpopular politicians in U.S. history, holding 13% approval at the time he left office.note  This mostly stems from having played a leading behind-the-scenes role in the Bush administration's response to the September 11 attacks and coordination of the The War on Terror, being an early proponent of invading Iraq, alleging that the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (only for no active WMDs to be found in Iraq), pressuring the intelligence community to provide intelligence consistent with the administration's rationales for invading Iraq, supporting wiretapping by the National Security Agency (NSA), and approving "enhanced interrogation techniques" (i.e., torture). Also known for the infamous hunting accident where he accidentally shot a friend while they were quail hunting, resulting in numerous jokes and satire about the extent of his powers (especially after the friend apologized to him). Second vice president to have served as acting president, on June 29, 2002 and on July 21, 2007, each time while Bush underwent sedation for a colonoscopy.
  47. Joe Biden (2009–17, Democrat). The Vice President under Barack Obama. Living. Previously a long-running senator from Delaware (1973–2009) who had run for the presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008. First Vice President from Delaware and first Catholic VP. Scaled down the powerful roles assumed by his predecessor Dick Cheney. As Vice President, he leaned on his Senate experience to negotiate with congressional Republicans and took a leading role in designing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011. Never cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, making him the longest-serving vice president with this distinction. Elected president in 2020, becoming only the second non-incumbent vice president to be elected president after Richard Nixon.
  48. Mike Pence (2017–21, Republican). The Vice President under Donald Trump. Living. Previously a representative (2001–2013) and governor (2013–2017) of Indiana. Noted for his very socially conservative views and being a lot less mediagenic than his boss, with whom he suggested once he would have a relationship similar to Cheney's with the younger Bush.note  Appointed chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force established in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States. After Joe Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 presidential election, Trump and his supporters urged him to overturn the results on the day the Electoral College votes were certified.note  Nonetheless, Pence certified Biden as the winner of the election, albeit after some prodding from fellow Indiana Republican and former Vice President Dan Quayle, resulting in Pence becoming vilified by many of Trump's supporters.
  49. Kamala Harris (2021–present, Democrat). The Vice President under Joe Biden. Incumbent. First female, African-American, and South Asian-American Vice President. Previously a senator from California (2017–2021) after serving as the state's attorney general (2011–2017). She ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination but dropped out in late 2019 and endorsed Biden. Latest vice president to have served as acting president (thus becoming the first female acting president) on November 19, 2021 while Biden underwent sedation for a colonoscopy.

Alternative Title(s): The Vice Presidents