Fact check: is Trump the oldest president ever elected?

DCNFDavid Sivak, DCNF

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro said that President Donald Trump is the oldest person to have been elected president.

Image: Flickr

Verdict: True

Trump assumed office at the age of 70, beating out former President Ronald Reagan, who was 69 at the time of his inauguration in 1981.

Fact Check:

Shapiro led off his podcast Thursday by noting that it was Trump’s birthday. “President Trump is 72 years old today, which is pretty amazing. I mean, the guy is the oldest president ever elected,” he said. “President Trump is obviously an energetic dude, and he’s celebrating a good birthday.”

Shapiro went on to discuss some positive news for the president, including recent polling on North Korea and an upward revision to the Federal Reserve’s economic growth forecast for 2018. But we were curious to know – is Trump really the oldest person to be elected president?

Market research company Statista looked at the age of each president at the time of his inauguration and found that Trump takes first place. He assumed office at age 70, while the previous record holder, Reagan, entered office at age 69.


Theodore Roosevelt remains the youngest person to become president, having assumed office at the age of 42. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were also in their 40s when they entered office.

The average age for the 44 U.S. presidents who preceded Trump was 55 years old.

Had Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the 2016 presidential election, she would have become the second-oldest president at age 69 (slightly younger than Reagan). Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would have been 75 on Inauguration Day had he won.

Trump’s age earns him another title: the oldest elected leader of a major world power. According to Quartz, only two countries in the G20 have leaders who are older – Saudi Arabia and Brazil – but neither were democratically elected.

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