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previous

List of United States Presidents by previous occupation

This is a list of the occupations of Presidents before they entered politics. Often, previous career experience is minimal; however, many presidents did spend their younger years in college and/or the military.

Order President Previous occupation(s)
1 George Washington Surveyor, Farmer/plantation owner, Soldier (General of United Army of the Colonies)
2 John Adams Lawyer, Farmer
3 Thomas Jefferson Writer, Inventor, Lawyer, Architect, Farmer/Plantation owner
4 James Madison Lawyer
5 James Monroe Lawyer
6 John Quincy Adams Lawyer
7 Andrew Jackson Soldier, Lawyer
8 Martin Van Buren Lawyer
9 William Harrison Soldier
10 John Tyler Lawyer
11 James Polk Lawyer, Plantation owner
12 Zachary Taylor Soldier
13 Millard Fillmore Lawyer
14 Franklin Pierce Lawyer
15 James Buchanan Lawyer, Prizefighter, Diplomat
16 Abraham Lincoln Lawyer
17 Andrew Johnson Tailor
18 Ulysses Grant Soldier, General of the Army, Tanner
19 Rutherford Hayes Lawyer
20 James Garfield School teacher, minister, soldier
21 Chester Arthur School teacher, lawyer, collector of tariffs
22, 24 Grover Cleveland Sheriff, lawyer, assistant teacher
23 Benjamin Harrison Lawyer, journalist
25 William McKinley Lawyer
26 Theodore Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Public Official, Rancher
27 William Taft Lawyer, judge, law reporter, dean of law school at the University of Cincinnati
28 Woodrow Wilson Lawyer, professor, president of Princeton University
29 Warren Harding Newspaper publisher/editor
30 Calvin Coolidge Lawyer, Vice President of Northampton Savings Bank
31 Herbert Hoover Engineer, Investor
32 Franklin Roosevelt Lawyer
33 Harry Truman Farmer, Men's clothing retailer
34 Dwight Eisenhower Soldier (Supreme Allied Commander, Army Chief of Staff), President of Columbia University,
35 John F. Kennedy Writer, Sailor (Navy Lieutenant)
36 Lyndon Johnson Teacher, Public Official
37 Richard Nixon Lawyer
38 Gerald Ford Sailor (Navy Lieutenant Commander), Lawyer
39 Jimmy Carter Sailor (Navy Lieutenant), peanut farmer, writer
40 Ronald Reagan Actor & broadcaster, President of the Screen Actors Guild
41 George H. W. Bush Pilot (Navy Lieutenant, Junior Grade), Businessman (Oil), Director of Central Intelligence
42 Bill Clinton Lawyer, Law lecturer
43 George W. Bush Businessman (Oil, baseball)

Presidential trivia lists

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