Take a Look at Who Might Be the Ugliest U.S. Presidents Who Ever Served

Like it or not, looks matter in politics. The message a U.S. president delivers just through his looks can significantly influence the public’s opinion of him.

There have been some handsome presidents — leaders who really “looked” the part. There have also been some rather unfortunate — and downright ugly — presidents. Yes, of course this is subjective. But The Cheat Sheet also turned to the website ChicagoNow, which is known for its “lists that actually matter.”

Read on to find out who the ugliest presidents were who ever served. And see whether you agree.

1. George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush

Former President George Bush is present at the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans

They won’t be remembered for their good looks. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

  • Terms: 2001 to 2009 and 1989 to 1993
  • Fun facts: George Bush Sr. is known for his funky sock collection, and he celebrated his 75th birthday in 1999 by skydiving. George Jr. won the election without the popular vote, and he was arrested at Yale for stealing a Christmas wreath from a hotel.

Let’s face it: Neither George “Dubya” Bush nor his father, George H.W. Bush, could be mistaken for male models. They certainly look a lot alike — and both closely resemble Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.

Next: My, what large ears you have.

2. Lyndon B. Johnson

a portrait of lyndon b johnson

His ears were rather large. | Keystone/Getty Images

  • Term: 1963 to 1969
  • Fun facts: He started his career as a teacher, and many felt his wife, Lady Bird, was the key to his success, according to History.

Love him or hate him, Lyndon B. Johnson had character. But he was certainly no beauty. LBJ could definitely give Dumbo a run for his money with those ears, and it’s tough to get past the nose to see the rest of his face.

Next: Don’t let ’em see you sweat.

3. Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon lost the election because of how he looked on camera. | Keystone/Getty Images

  • Term: 1969 to 1974
  • Fun facts: Lee Harvey Oswald might have plotted to kill him, according to History. He could play five musical instruments: piano, saxophone, clarinet, accordion, and violin

If you ever saw the famous Nixon-Kennedy debate, you’d know Richard Nixon lost the election partly because of his looks. He was pale and sweaty, sporting a 5 o’clock shadow. His light gray suit blended in with the set backdrop and matched his skin tone. According to History, after the debate, his mother immediately called her son to ask whether he was ill. And Nixon’s looks didn’t improve as he aged.

Next: Old hatchet face

4. Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln

Some had harsh words to say about Lincoln’s looks. | Alexander Gardner/U.S. Library of Congress via Getty Images

  • Term: 1861 to 1865
  • Fun facts: He’s in the Wrestling Hall of Fame, according to History, and he created the Secret Service on the same night he was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre.

This one’s a slam dunk. According to Atlas Obscura, the Houston Telegraph wrote that Abraham Lincoln was “the leanest, lankiest, most ungainly mass of legs, arms and hatchet face ever strung upon a single frame. He has most unwarrantably abused the privilege which all politicians have of being ugly.”

Next: Big and hairy

5. William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft portrait

Taft had quite a bit of extra weight on him. | The White House Historical Association

  • Term: 1909 to 1913
  • Fun facts: He was the last president to wear facial hair in the White House, according to Mental Floss. In addition, Taft was known for falling asleep at public functions.

Not only was William Howard Taft unhealthily portly, he was rather unfortunate looking. He wore a mustache to rival Yosemite Sam’s and parted his hair down the middle — a seriously bad combo.

Next: A hot mess

6. Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes

Some might say he had “crazy eyes.” | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

  • Term: 1877 to 1881
  • Fun facts: According to Mental Floss, Hayes banned booze at the White House, and he signed legislation that gave women the right to argue before the Supreme Court.

Rutherford B. Hayes was downright creepy looking. His hair was an unruly mess, his beard was unkempt, and the look in his eyes said crazy.

Next: This president served 33 days.

7. William Henry Harrison

William H Harrison

That nose made quite the impression. | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

  • Term: March 4, 1881 to April 4, 1841
  • Fun facts: His tenure as president lasted 33 days, and his inauguration speech was the longest to date, according to Mental Floss.

William Henry Harrison had a bad comb-over and a big nose — and his eyes definitely made him look brooding. He refused to wear an overcoat when he gave his inaugural address, and he died a month into his term with pneumonia.

Next: Like father like son

8. John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams, 6th president of the US

That facial hair was … interesting. | Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

  • Term: 1825 to 1829
  • Fun facts: Adams liked to go skinny-dipping in the Potomac River each day, according to Mental Floss. In addition, he kept a pet alligator in the White House.

John Quincy Adams was ugly as sin. And he resembled an angrier, skinner, balder version of his father, John Adams.

Read more: These Are the Worst Presidential Portraits of All Time

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