The definitive ranking of all the presidents by hotness

Courtney Jacquin
Aug 31, 2016 · 7 min read

This election cycle is the personification of the dumpster fire gif.

I can’t begin list all of the crazy things Donald Trump has done, even just this week, because it will take up the entirety of this piece. And I don’t have enough alcohol in my apartment to think about it.

So let’s ignore the 2016 election and look back on our past leaders. And what matters most about our presidents? How hot they were. Here is my definitive ranking and absolute correct order. Don’t you dare @ me.

1. John F. Kennedy

This is a controversial pick for some, because some believe Obama is the hottest president. You know what I call that? Recency bias. HAVE YOU SEEEEEEEN JFK. The man, the myth, the legend. He is beautiful. He is perfect. He definitely had some back issues and maybe for sure was cheating on his wife but those are things I’m willing to overlook because COME ON.

2. Barack Obama

If this was a competiton for coolest prez, Barry would win hands down, but listen, it’s tough to be hotter than JFK.

3. Woodrow Wilson

I know what you’re thinking. “But Courtney, he has weird teeth!” I know, but I counter with, have you seen young Woodrow Wilson? He can get it.

4. Franklin Pierce

That hair! That boyish charm! OK Franklin, I see you.

5. Ulysses S. Grant

Eighteenth president or hipster hottie? You decide.

6. Bill Clinton

Objectively, not that hot, but definitely fun. Here’s the thing, save for JFK and Obama, none of our presidents are actually hot (shouldn’t we be asking for more from our elected officials???), so you have to judge them on other merits like how fun they are and how hot they were when they were young. Bill is definitely fun.

7. James Garfield

Garfield falls in the camp of mid-1800s presidents with beards who could also live in Logan Square right now. I’ll take it.

8. Andrew Jackson

Very sassy, and a widow’s peak. He can get it.

9. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Just because his legs didn’t work too well doesn’t mean he’s not a hottie. And that certainly didn’t stop him from getting with the ladies, all of whom were not his wife. Special shouts to his son, FDR Jr., who can DEFINITELY get it.

10. Calvin Coolidge

He’s like, fine, but so many of our presidents are so ugly that these are the tough choices we need to make.

11. George W. Bush

Not very hot, but DEFINITELY fun. At least in his college days.

12. Ronald Reagan

We can’t allow our politics to blind us from seeing true hotness. Reagan, not hot while in office, very hot when younger.

13. Theodore Roosevelt

By today’s standards, Teddy Roosevelt is not hot. But by early 1900s standards? I’m assuming he could get it. Any man who was part of the Rough Riders deserves a crack at the Top 15.

14. Thomas Jefferson

It’s hard to truly judge our founding fathers and their hotness because all we have are painted portraits, but Jefferson has a nice facial structure and he deserves this spot.

15. Rutherford B. Hayes

I have to stay true to my rankings, but when further evidence was reported to me (by the internet) I found out that a young Hayes is strikingly, truly beautiful. As president though, he’s the third hottest of the 1850s hipster bro presidents, so he will remain at 15.

16. James Madison

OK so like, this is where it gets dicey. No one is hot at this point. Madison is fine. There are so many presidents who are disgusting, so you get the benefit of the doubt of not being heinous. Congrats.

17. Andrew Johnson

I like his necktie.

18. Jimmy Carter

He has a cute lil Southern accent and his arguably one of the nicest presidents. See, nice guys don’t finish last, they finish 18th.

19. Gerald R. Ford

Breaking my rule of posting photos of when they were presidents for Ford because OK FORD. LOOK AT YOU.

20. Benjamin Harrison

He looks like a cool old dude.

21. Warren G. Harding

He looks a little harsh here, but you can definitely tell that once upon a time he was a hottie.

22. James Monroe

He looks kind of constipated in this portrait, which is troubling, because portraits are supposed to be the best representation of you. But I like his swoopy hair.

23. James K. Polk

He like, kind of looks like a vampire to me for some reason, but I’ve seen worse. Like the rest of this list.

24. Abraham Lincoln

Points for being tall and wearing sick hats, but sorry Abe you have a weird face. I’m being honest, isn’t that what you wanted of me??????

25. Harry S. Truman

Your glasses are back in style now, so I guess that’s cool.

26. George H.W. Bush

Nah, but in your Yale baseball days? Hell yes.

27. Richard Nixon

Legitimately terrifying.

28. Dwight D. Eisenhower


29. Herbert Hoover

Honestly Hoover should be higher, or maybe I’m just blinded because there’s a dog in this photo.

30. Millard Fillmore

Not great, great side eye tho.

31. William McKinley

Did you just see a ghost? Why does your face look like that.

32. George Washington

Wooden teeth? Hard pass.

33. Lyndon B. Johnson

Sorry you had to follow the hottest president ever and really let the country down.

34. James Buchanan

Oh. Yikes. Not even a young Buchanan looks great. That’s when you know you’re in trouble.

35. John Tyler

I’ve run out of ways to say, “ugh, another boring white dude.”

36. William Henry Harrison

Why is your nose that large? Wouldn’t you tell the painter, hey, tone that down a little bit?

37. John Quincy Adams

So much hair on your face, so little hair on your head.

38. Grover Cleveland

Cool moustache, I guess.

39. William Howard Taft

While he didn’t actually get stuck in a bathtub as rumors would believe, he was a big boy.

40. Zachary Taylor

He kind of looks homeless tbh.

41. Chester A. Arthur


42. John Adams

“Sit down John, you fat motherfucker” — “Hamilton” and probably everyone in real life.

43. Martin Van Buren

Jesus Christ what is wrong with your hair.

Courtney Jacquin

Written by

Writer and editor living in Chicago. Likes include secretly petting dogs and overpriced workout classes.