These Are the States That Produced the Most U.S. Presidents, Including Donald Trump
Being the president is the most high-profile job in the United States. No matter if the president is the smartest or dumbest ever, people are proud to say the Commander-in-Chief hails from their state. The people in these states have a little more pride than the rest of us because these are the states that produced the most U.S. Presidents. Did any U.S. presidents come from your state? Did Donald Trump? We’re about to find out.
We base our list on the states where presidents were politically active or lived when they were elected (instead of their birth states). In the case of ties, we list states alphabetically. We’ll visit a handful of states on the way to No. 1, including an under the radar destination (page 8).
9. The states with 1 president each
Ten states lay claim to sending one president each to the White House:
- Arkansas — Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
- Georgia — Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
- Indiana — Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
- Kansas — Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
- Kentucky — Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
- Michigan — Gerald Ford (1974-1977)
- Missouri — Harry Truman (1945-1953
- New Hampshire — Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
- New Jersey — Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
- Pennsylvania — James Buchanan (1957-1861)
Having one president doesn’t look impressive on the surface, but it’s more than most states can say.
Next: It’s hard to believe this place is so far down the list of states that produced the most U.S. presidents.
5. California: 3 (tie)
- Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
- Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
- Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
California earned statehood in 1850, and even though it hasn’t been around as long as the other locations we’re about to visit, we’re surprised it’s so far down the list. After all, it’s the most populous state in the U.S. What it lacks in quantity it makes up for in notoriety, however.
Hoover held office when the stock market crashed in 1929. Nixon ended the Vietnam War, but he left office in disgrace because of the Watergate scandal. Reagan was in charge when the Soviet Union disintegrated.
Next: Two of three presidents endured tough times in office.
5. Illinois: 3 (tie)
- Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
- Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)
- Barack Obama (2009-2017)
The people of Illinois can proudly talk about being one of the states that produced the most U.S. presidents. Two of the three, noted cat-lover Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, capably handled some tough times. Lincoln had the Civil War on his hands. Obama had to deal with the great recession, North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un, and ridiculous attacks by Fox News, which might be why his before and after photos look so different.
Next: Is it something in the soil?
5. Tennessee: 3 (tie)
- Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
- James K. Polk (1845-1849)
- Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
Tennessee sent three men to the White House in the 1800s, but all three were actually terrible people. Jackson stole land from native Americans, Polk ignited the Mexican-American War that killed thousands of Mexicans, and Johnson was a white supremacist who undermined Reconstruction after the Civil War. So we have to ask — is it something in the soil in Tennessee?
Next: This state figures prominently into a more recent stretch.
5. Texas: 3 (tie)
- Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
- George H.W. Bush (1989-1993)
- George W. Bush (2001-2009)
These three men from the Lone Star State served as presidents for 18 of 46 years in the later part of the 20th century and early 21st century. All three are among the ugliest American leaders ever, but there no doubt Texas is proud to say it is one of the states that produced the most U.S. presidents.
Next: We enter the states that stand head and shoulders above the rest.
4. Massachusetts: 4
- John Adams (1797-1801)
- John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
- Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
- John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
Massachusetts is one of the states that produced the most U.S. presidents, even if it happens sporadically. If we were ranking the tragic things that happened to first families, it would be a lot higher based on the Kennedy family alone.
Next: You’re going to recognize these names.
3. Virginia: 5
- George Washington (1789-1797)
- Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
- James Madison (1809-1817)
- James Monroe (1817-1825)
- John Tyler (1841-1845)
Virginia hasn’t put a person in the White House for a long time, but it remains one of the states that produced the most U.S. presidents. All of them were important in their own ways. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe are four of the Founding Fathers who shaped the country. Tyler is the first vice president to become president because of a death.
Next: It’s easy to forget that so many presidents come from this state.
2. Ohio: 6
- William Henry Harrison (1841)
- Rutherford B. Hayes (1887-1891)
- James Garfield (1881)
- William McKinley (1897-1901)
- William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
- Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
Be honest — did you remember Ohio as one of the states that produced the most U.S. presidents? Six men from the Buckeye State occupied the oval office, but being a president from Ohio comes with a curse. Harrison, Garfield, McKinley, and Harding all died in office. Harding also has the dubious distinction of assembling one of the most corrupt cabinets we’ve ever seen.
Next: The new, undisputed No. 1 state.
1. New York: 7
- Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
- Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)
- Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885)
- Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and 1893-1897)
- Teddy Roosevelt (1901-1909)
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945)
- Donald Trump (2017-)
Here we are, the top of the list of the states that have produced the most U.S. presidents. When Donald Trump was inaugurated, the Empire State became the undisputed No. 1 state in the rankings. In a total coincidence, the presidents from New York also dominate the list of presidents with terrible hairstyles.
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