What do Barack Obama and Other Ex-Presidents do on Their Birthdays?

Between the meetings and the speeches and the whole leading-the-free-world business, it’s hard for U.S. presidents to celebrate their birthdays while they’re in office. Things change when former Commanders in Chief become ex-presidents.

Barack Obama’s birthday is Aug. 4 (he was born in 1961, so he turns 57 in 2018), but the way he celebrates now that he’s an ex-president is way different than what he did in office.

President Obama Visits Local Five Guys Burger Restaurant

President Obama skipped Five Guys and had some fine dining for his 2017 birthday. | Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

For his 50th birthday in 2011, he attended a party at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom that was more of a fundraiser than overwhelmingly fun bash. Fast forward to 2017, his first birthday out of office, and things were much different. Obama enjoyed some fine dining during a date night dinner at a chic Washington D.C. restaurant.

The people of Illinois would probably roll out the red carpet for Barack Obama if he ever celebrates his birthday there. After all, Aug. 4 is now a holiday in the state.

The stress and scrutiny of civilian life are a lot lower, so Barack and Michelle are enjoying life after the White House. Family vacations, golf trips, writing, and creating Netflix content is what’s keeping the most recent ex-president busy these days.

How do the other ex-presidents celebrate their birthdays?

We don’t have to go too far back in time to find out how two of the other four ex-presidents celebrated their birthdays.

George W. Bush

Birthday: July 6, 1946

For his 72nd birthday in 2018, George W. Bush retreated to the family’s Prairie Chapel Ranch near Waco, Texas. He started the day with some off-road biking on trails around the ranch.

In 2017, Bush dressed casual and relaxed with the family dog.

George H.W. Bush

Birthday: June 12, 1924

The 41st President of the United States made history in 2018 when he became the first former Commander in Chief to reach 94 years old. After a series of health scares early in 2018, Bush senior kept it low-key in Kennebunkport, Maine, which was different than how he spent past birthdays. The former military man went skydiving on his 80th, 85th, and 90th birthdays.

Bill Clinton

Former US President Bill Clinton plays with balloons

Ex-President Bill Clinton really loves balloons. | Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Birthday: Aug. 19, 1946

We’re not sure what Bill Clinton did for his birthday in 2017, but if we had to guess, we’d say balloons were involved. The man loves his balloons.

Jimmy Carter

Birthday: Oct. 1, 1924

Jimmy Carter is the only one of the living ex-presidents not born in June, July, or August, but we’re guessing he doesn’t care. His Oct. 1 birthday coincides with his hometown’s Plains Peanut Festival. In 2017, people attending the festival sang Happy Birthday to the former peanut farmer.

What did Donald Trump for his birthday?

Donald Trump’s past birthday celebrations centered around huge parties, including his 59th in 2005 with Pamela Anderson and a 15-foot tall, three-tier cake.

US President Donald Trump (R) poses with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump poses with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

For his 72nd birthday on June 14, 2018, he Trump celebrated early in Singapore before his historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He cleared his schedule on his actual birthday and spent the day enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: Sending angry tweets.

We’re kind of surprised there wasn’t a big golf weekend for Trump’s latest birthday, but after traveling halfway around the world to finally deal with pesky North Korea, maybe he didn’t have the energy.

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