Who Was the Oldest President?


Republican President Ronald Reagan was the oldest acting U.S. president; he was 69 years old (just a few days shy of his 70th birthday) when he took office in 1981, and he served two consecutive terms, meaning he was in his 70s for the majority of his tenure as president. Gerald Ford and Reagan are the longest living presidents; both Ford and Reagan lived to 94 years old, though Ford was technically older by a few weeks. As the oldest serving U.S. president, Reagan's age was the focus of some public concern and scrutiny, particularly during the 1984 election for his second term.

Reagan was 73 years old during the 1984 presidential campaign for his second term, and his advanced age was a point of discussion, particularly after a debate appearance in which Reagan appeared confused and slightly incoherent. Journalists questioned the president about his fitness to serve in an exhausting and demanding job. However, Reagan was able to spin questions about his record-breaking age into criticisms of his opponent, Walter Mondale, citing Mondale's youth and lack of experience. Reagan successfully won his second term, setting the bar even higher for the age of the oldest serving president.