The Randy List / V.P. or V.I.P.?

May 5, 2017

 

Vice-Presidential Facts & Figures

Some presidential data are included for comparison. Past performance is not a predictor of future results.

 

April 30 was the 228th anniversary of the inauguration of John Adams as the first Vice President.*

 

48 men (and no women) have served as Vice-President of the United States.

44 men (and no women) have served as President of the United States.

 

5 Vice-Presidents were elected President in their own right without first succeeding to the office:

1796 J. Adams
1800 Jefferson
1836 Van Buren
1968 Nixon

1988 G.H.W. Bush

4 of them were sitting Vice-Presidents:

1796 J. Adams
1800 Jefferson
1836 Van Buren
1988 G.H.W. Bush

1 was a former Vice-President:
1968 Nixon

 

6 Vice-Presidents ran for President (in the general election) but were defeated:

1860 John C. Breckinridge
1948 Henry Wallace
1960 Richard Nixon
1968 Hubert Humphrey
1984 Walter Mondale
2000 Al Gore

4 of them were sitting Vice-Presidents:
1860 John C. Breckinridge
1960 Richard Nixon
1968 Hubert Humphrey
2000 Al Gore

2 were former Vice-Presidents:
1948 Henry Wallace

1984 Walter Mondale

 

9 Vice-Presidents succeeded to the Presidency:

1841 Tyler
1850 Fillmore
1865 A. Johnson
1881 Arthur
1901 T. Roosevelt
1923 Coolidge
1945 Truman
1963 L.B. Johnson
1974 Ford

6 of the 9 succeeded within nine months of taking office as V.P.:

1841 Tyler
1865 A. Johnson
1881 Arthur
1901 T.Roosevelt
1945 Truman

1974 Ford

2 of the 9 succeeded within six weeks of taking office as V.P.:

1841 Tyler (31 days: shortest Vice-Presidency)

1865 A. Johnson (42 days: second shortest Vice-Presidency)

4 of the 9 were elected President in their own right after succeeding to the Presidency:

1904 T. Roosevelt
1924 Coolidge
1948 Truman

1964 L.B. Johnson

All were from the 20th Century.

4 of the 9 didn't run as incumbents (in the general election) for another term:
1844 Tyler
1852 Fillmore
1868 A. Johnson

1884 Arthur

All were from the 19th Century.

1 of the 9 was defeated (in the general election) when he ran for another term:

1976 Ford


10 incumbent Presidents altogether (including Ford) were defeated when they ran (in the general election) for another term:
1800 J. Adams
1828 J.Q. Adams
1840 Van Buren
1888 Cleveland
1892 B. Harrison
1912 Taft
1932 Hoover
1976 Ford
1980 Carter
1992 G.H.W. Bush

 

1 former President was re-elected:

1892 Cleveland

 

3 former Presidents ran (in the general election) for another term but were defeated:

1848 Van Buren

1856 Fillmore

1912 T. Roosevelt

Details:

1848 Van Buren: Dem. ex-pres. ran on Free Soil ticket; got 10% of pop. vote, 0 electoral votes, placing 3rd

1856 Fillmore: Whig ex-pres. ran on American (Know-Nothing) & Whig tickets; got 22% of pop. vote, 8 electoral votes, placing 3rd

1912 T. Roosevelt: GOP ex-pres. ran on Progressive (Bull Moose) ticket, got 27% of pop. vote, 88 electoral votes, placing 2nd

 

4 (or maybe 5) incumbent Vice-Presidents were defeated when they ran (in the general election) for another term:

1840 Richard M. Johnson
1912 James S. Sherman (died the week before the incumbent Taft-Sherman ticket lost the election)
1932 Charles Curtis
1980 Walter Mondale

1992 Dan Quayle

 

One former Vice-President was defeated when he ran (in the general election) for another term as VP:

1900 Adlai Stevenson I (VP 1893-97)

 

Details:

Stevenson I was Vice-President during the second term of Grover Cleveland, the only President to serve non-consecutive terms. If Stevenson I had been re-elected in 1900 (as William Jennings Bryan's running mate), he would have become the only VP to serve non-consecutive terms.

Stevenson I was grandfather of Adlai Stevenson II, Dem. candidate for president in 1952 and 1956.

 

8 Vice-Presidents served less than one year:

1841    John Tyler ............  31 days

1853    William R. King .......  45 days

1865    Andrew Johnson ........  42 days

1881    Chester A. Arthur ..... 199 days

1885    Thomas A. Hendricks ... 266 days

1901    Theodore Roosevelt .... 194 days

1945    Harry S. Truman .......  82 days

1973-74 Gerald Ford ........... 246 days

 

OR, by length of service as Vice-President:

1841    John Tyler ............  31 days

1865    Andrew Johnson ........  42 days

1853    William R. King .......  45 days

1945    Harry S. Truman .......  82 days

1901    Theodore Roosevelt .... 194 days

1881    Chester A. Arthur ..... 199 days

1973-74 Gerald Ford ........... 246 days

1885    Thomas A. Hendricks ... 266 days

 

2 Presidents served less than one year:

1841 W.H. Harrison

1881 Garfield

 

9 Vice-Presidents have served two full terms:

1789-1797 John Adams

1817-1825 Daniel D. Tompkins
1913-1921 Thomas R. Marshall
1933-1941 John N. Garner
1953-1961 Richard M. Nixon
1981-1989 George H.W. Bush

1993-2001 Al Gore

2001-2009 Dick Cheney

2009-2017 Joe Biden

 

3 others were elected Vice-President twice but didn't complete their second term:

1804, 1808 George Clinton

1824, 1828 John C. Calhoun

1968, 1972 Spiro Agnew

 

14 Presidents have served two or more full terms:

1789-1797 Washington
1801-1809 Jefferson
1809-1817 Madison
1817-1825 Monroe
1829-1837 Jackson
1869-1877 Grant

1885-89 & '93-97 Cleveland (non-consecutive)

1913-1921 Wilson (de jure completion of second term)

1933-1945 F.D. Roosevelt

1953-1961 Eisenhower
1981-1989 Reagan

1993-2001 Clinton

2001-2009 G.W. Bush

2009-2017 Barack Obama

 

3 others were elected President twice but didn't complete their second term:

1860, 1864 Lincoln
1896, 1900 McKinley

1968, 1972 Nixon

 

2 Vice-Presidents who succeeded to the Presidency and were later elected President in their own right served nearly two full terms:

1901-1909 T. Roosevelt (7 years, 171 days)

1945-1953 Truman  (7 years, 283 days)

 

1 President served more than two full terms:

1933-1945 F.D. Roosevelt (12 years, 39 days: longest Presidency)

Elected 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, but didn't complete fourth term.


2 Vice-Presidents served under two Presidents:

1805-1812 George Clinton (Jefferson & Madison)

1825-1832 John C. Calhoun (J.Q. Adams & Jackson)

 

2 Vice-Presidents were appointed under the 25th Amendment:
1973 Gerald Ford
1974 Nelson Rockefeller

 

8 Presidents had two Vice-Presidents:

Jefferson (Aaron Burr & George Clinton)

Madison (George Clinton & Elbridge Gerry; both died in office)

Jackson (John C. Calhoun & Martin Van Buren)
Lincoln (Hannibal Hamlin & Andrew Johnson)
Grant (Schuyler Colfax & Henry Wilson)
Cleveland (Thomas A. Hendricks & Adlai Stevenson)
McKinley (Garret A. Hobart & Theodore Roosevelt)
Nixon (Spiro Agnew & Gerald Ford)

 

1 President had three Vice-Presidents:
F.D. Roosevelt (John N. Garner, Henry Wallace & Harry Truman)

 

1 President resigned:

1974 Nixon  (With 2 years, 164 days, remaining in his second term, Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment.)

 

2 Vice-Presidents resigned:

1832 John C. Calhoun (With only 66 days remaining in his second term and the next V.P. already elected, Calhoun resigned to take a seat in the Senate.)

1973 Spiro Agnew (With 3 years, 102 days, remaining in his second term, Agnew resigned prior to conviction for tax fraud.)

 

8 Presidents died in office:

1841 W.H. Harrison

1850 Taylor
1865 Lincoln
1881 Garfield
1901 McKinley
1923 Harding
1945 F.D. Roosevelt

1963 Kennedy

All were in the period 1841-1963, 123 years of the 228-year history.

5 occurred in less than 61 years in 1841-1901.

3 occurred in just a few days more than 24 years in 1841-1865.

 

2 Presidents died within a year of taking office:

1841 W.H. Harrison (31 days: shortest Presidency)

1881 Garfield (199 days)

 

7 Vice-Presidents died in office:

1812 George Clinton (the only one to die in his second term)
1814 Elbridge Gerry
1853 William R. King

1875 Henry Wilson

1885 Thomas A. Hendricks
1899 Garret A. Hobart

1912 James S. Sherman

All occurred in the period 1812-1912, less than 101 years of the 228-year history.

5 occurred in less than 60 years in 1853-1912.

4 occurred in less than 37 years in 1875-1912.

 

From 1812 through 1912, seven Vice-Presidents died in office in 101 calendar years.

 

In the following 104 calendar years from 1913 through 2016, NO Vice-Presidents died in office.

 

2 Vice-Presidents died within a year of taking office:

1853 William R. King (45 days)

1885 Thomas A. Hendricks (266 days)

 

The Vice President of the United States is also the President of the  Senate, but casts a vote only in the event of a tie.

 

John Adams, the first V.P., holds the record for the most tie-breaking votes: 29. (With fewer states back then, there were only 26 to 32 Senators, so ties were more likely.)

John C. Calhoun, the first V.P. to resign, is a close runner-up, with 28 occasions to break ties between 48 fractious Senators.

 

Twelve V.P.s cast no tie-breaking votes. Of these, only Joe Biden served two full terms.

Of the other eleven, only two -- Charles W. Fairbanks and Dan Quayle -- served even one full term. Fairbanks presided over 90 to 92 Senators. Quayle and Biden, like all V.P.s from Nixon on, presided over 100 Senators.

 

Mike Pence broke a tie on Feb. 7, 2017 -- the first ever on a cabinet nomination. Dick Cheney cast the next most recent Senate tie-breaker on March 13, 2008.

 

18 times the Vice-Presidency has been vacant because of Presidential or Vice-Presidential death or resignation:

1812-1813

1814-1817

1832-1833

1841-1845

1850-1853

1853-1857

1865-1869

1875-1877

1881-1885

1885-1889

1899-1901

1901-1905

1912-1913

1923-1925

1945-1949

1963-1965

1973

1974

 

Longest vacancy in the Vice-Presidency:

3 years, 334 days

April 4, 1841 - March 4, 1845

John Tyler's succession to George M. Dallas' inauguration

 

Shortest vacancy in the Vice-Presidency:

57 days

Oct. 10 - Dec. 6, 1973

Spiro Agnew's resignation to Gerald Ford's swearing-in

 

Shortest vacancy in the Vice-Presidency before passage of 25th Amendment:

66 days

Dec. 28, 1832 - March 4, 1833

John C. Calhoun's resignation to Martin Van Buren's inauguration

 

Total vacant time in the Vice-Presidency as of April 30, 2017:

37 years, 301 days

(16.6% of the time since April 30, 1789. To find out why the inauguration wasn't held until April 30, see Answer #8 of our 24 Devilishly Difficult Questions About Presidential History

 

Total vacant time in the Vice-Presidency before passage of 25th Amendment:

37 years, 112 days

(21% of the time April 30, 1789 - Feb. 10, 1967)

 

Total vacant time in the Vice-Presidency, April 20, 1812 - Jan. 20, 1965:

37 years, 112 days

(24% of the time)

 

Total vacant time in the Vice-Presidency, April 4, 1841 - March 4, 1905:

27 years, 31 days

(42% of the time)

 

Total vacant time in the Vice-Presidency, April 4, 1841 - March 4, 1889:

22 years, 122 days

(47% of the time)

 

Longest time without a vacancy in the Vice-Presidency:

42 years, 132 days and running, as of April 30, 2017.

Dec. 19, 1974 - now

Since Nelson Rockefeller's swearing-in

 

Longest previous time without a vacancy in the Vice-Presidency:

22 years, 356 days

April 30, 1789 - April 20, 1812

John Adams' inauguration to George Clinton's death

 

Longest time between two vacancies in the Vice-Presidency:

20 years, 39 days

March 4, 1925 - April 12, 1945

Charles G. Dawes' inauguration to Harry Truman's succession

 

Shortest time between vacancies in the Vice-Presidency:

45 days

March 4 - April 18, 1853

William R. King's inauguration to his death: third shortest term as Vice-President (after John Tyler's 31 days and Andrew Johnson's 42 days before their respective successions to the presidency)

 

4 Presidents were assassinated:

1865 Lincoln
1881 Garfield

1901 McKinley

1963 Kennedy

All were in the period 1865-1963, 99 years of the 228-year history.

 

0 Vice-Presidents were assassinated.

 

1 sitting Vice-President killed someone:
1804 Aaron Burr

 

2 sitting Vice-Presidents shot someone:
1804 Aaron Burr

2006 Dick Cheney

 

* To learn why the inauguration wasn't held until April 30, see Answer #8 of our 24 Devilishly Difficult Questions About Presidential History

 

© 2007, 2013, 2017

 

=====

 

Randy Alfred is a retired copy editor (Wired, Sidewalk.com) and news writer (TechTV, KRON-TV) as well as editor of MAD SCIENCE: Einstein's Fridge, Dewar's Flask, Mach's Speed, and 362 Other Inventions and Discoveries That Made Our World. His work has also appeared in Sports Illustrated, Might, Washingtonian, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere. He's also a member of The Lunch Guys.

 

 

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