50 Surprising Facts About U.S. Presidents You Probably Didn't Know

50 Strange Facts About U.S. Presidents
50 Surprising Facts About U.S. Presidents You Probably Didn't Know Newsweek

The people who have become president have come from all walks of life, save for their gender—all United States presidents have been men. And all but one has been white. OK, so they have a lot in common, but they're each still unique in their own way.

Some have been rich, others near poor. Most have a college education, but a select few didn't. Many came from military service, academia, or law—with the notable exception of Donald Trump, who came from the business world. Most have come from the Northeast, but a select few from the West, like Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. But it's the things that make them stand out from the rest that say most about their character, giving us a glimpse not only into their histories, but also insight into the decisions they made about the issues of their day that still impact us today.

For example, Abraham Lincoln—uneducated, middle to lower class, lawyer for the common man—was such an outcast socially, economically, and physically in some respects that perhaps he was more suited to empathize with the plight of those struggling in the United States in the 1860s. The pursuit for equality was not only something he believed, but something he lived, and felt personally, during his own hardships.

It's these little facts that illuminate the people who have served as president of the United States. Some facts we know about, like Clinton's impeachment or Nixon's resignation, and others are more obscure: Did you know George H.W. Bush inspired a Japanese word? True story. If anything, these strange facts about the presidents humanize the men who have served in this post, and perhaps offer a new perspective on their legacies, for better or for worse.

Newsweek compiled some of the most unique facts about the 44 people who have served as commander-in-chief.

1. Woodrow Wilson
Topical Press Agency/Getty
2. William Howard Taft
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
3. Theodore Roosevelt
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
4. Bill Clinton
5. John Adams Thomas Jefferson
United States Library of Congress
6. Woodrow Wilson
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
7. Gerald Ford
Robert L. Knudsen/Gerald R. Ford Library via Getty Images
8. John F. Kennedy
Getty Images