Every American president by height

How tall is Barack Obama? How tall was Rutherford B. Hayes? your source for answers to such important questions!



See below for 2008 Presidential Hopeful info... 

6' 4" 

  • Abraham Lincoln

6' 3" 

  • Lyndon B Johnson

6' 2.5" 

  • Bill Clinton (some sources say only 6’2”)
  • Thomas Jefferson

6' 2"  

  • Chester Arthur 
  • George H. W. Bush (41)
  • Franklin D Roosevelt

  • George Washington (some sources say 6’3”, but 6' 2" appears to be the consensus.)

6' 1" 

6' 0" 

  • James Buchanan
  • Gerald R Ford
  • James Garfield
  • Warren Harding
  • John F Kennedy
  • James Monroe
  • William H Taft (heaviest president ever at well over 300 lbs.)
  • John Tyler
  • George W. Bush (43) (Some sources say 5’11”, and he weighed 194 lbs. at roughly the midpoint of his presidency.)

5' 11½" 

  • Richard M. Nixon

5' 11" 

  • George W. Bush (43)
  • Grover Cleveland
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Woodrow Wilson

5' 10.5" 

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower

5' 10"

  • Calvin Coolidge
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Franklin Pierce
  • Theodore Roosevelt

5' 9.5" 

  • Jimmy Carter

5' 9" 

  • Millard Fillmore
  • Harry S Truman

5' 8.5" 

  • Rutherford B Hayes

5' 8" 

  • Ulysses S Grant
  • William H Harrison
  • James Polk
  • Zachary Taylor

5' 7" 

  • John Adams
  • John Quincy Adams
  • William McKinley

5' 6" 

  • Benjamin Harrison
  • Martin Van Buren 1 

5 ' 4" 

  • James Madison (weighed approximately 100 lbs.)

1.  Obama has been referred to as 6' 2" in more than one published account.  According to, Obama was referred to as a "6' 2" force for change" by Chicago Bulls announcer Ray Clay at the 2008 Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Iowa.  However, other sources claim he may be 6' 1 1/2", and now has officially been listed at 6' 1" based on his official physical exam.

(Random observation: the report from the physical also says that President Obama has 20/20 vision in both eyes, which would make him the first American President to not wear glasses, though many presidents never wore glasses in public.)

New! 2008 Presidential Hopeful Heights

 Barack Obama won both the popular and electoral vote in 2008.  He also won a majority of the popular vote, not just a plurality, the first time a Democrat has done so since 1976.  Sen. Obama stands at least 5" taller than John McCain, and the height difference was clearly shown in all of the debates.   This also represents a return to the pattern that the candidate who wins the popular vote is the taller of the two, which was not the case in 2004, when 5' 11" or 6' George W. Bush won more of the popular vote than 6' 4" John Kerry.  

In 2000, the taller contender, Al Gore (6' 1") won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote.  

The taller VP candidate also won: Joe Biden is about 6' 2" and Palin is generally considered to be around 5' 5". 

Won the primary, but defeated in the general:

2008 Primary Info

Dropped out or announced that he or she is not running:

  • Hillary Clinton: 5' 6" 
  • John Edwards: 6'
  • Rudy Giuliani: 5' 9 1/2"
  • Mitt Romney: 6' 2" (according to an e-mail from the Romney campaign)
  • Jeb Bush: 6' 3"
  • Evan Bayh: ?
  • Tom Vilsak: ?
  • John F. Kerry: 6' 4"
  • Bill Richardson: 6' 2"
  • Fred Thompson: 6' 6" (would be tallest president in US history, by 2")
  • Dennis Kucinich: 5' 6" (according to Kucinich during an interview on MSNBC)
  • Mike Huckabee: 5' 11"  

An observation on Oliver Stone's movie W.

Some have noted that while Josh Brolin, who played George W. Bush in the movie, is listed on as being 5' 11 1/2", (about the same height as the real President George W. Bush), his father, George H. W. Bush, was played by James Cromwell, who in real life is 6' 7", or about 5" taller than his real-life counterpart. 

Old! 2004 Presidential Hopeful Heights

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) is 6' 4", according to the man himself in a New York Times article (requires registration, free). He would be the tallest president ever, tied with Abe Lincoln (Lincoln himself may have not have been quite 6' 4", but we'll give it to him). The Senator's height was abundantly clear during the presidential debates, and has been mentioned in countless stories about the Senator throughout his career. In his 1996 Senate race against Gov. William Weld, much was made of the fact that both "Boston Brahmin" men stood 6' 4". Also, during the 2004 DNC, Kerry's daughters mentioned his height, and Morgran Freeman mentioned it during his narration of the Kerry biography video. Sen. Kerry would also have been the wealthiest president ever (his wife has a personal fortune of about $500 - 750M).

VP Candidate and Senator John Edwards (D-NC) is 6' according to a Boston Globe article. Though seated throughout the VP debate, when Edwards and Cheney rose to shake hands, Edwards clearly towered over Cheney.

"Also rans" from 2004:

  • Former Governor Howard B. Dean, MD (D-VT) is 5' 8 3/4" (according to this article, which also mentions Sen. Kerry's height). He would have been the shortest president since William McKinley. He would also be the first M.D. in the White House, though William Henry Harrison (record-holder for the shortest term ever served in office) did have medical training.
  • Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) is about 5' 10" (based on first-hand information from a close friend of the Senator's).
  • Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO) is 6' 1"
  • Dennis Kucinich is 5' 7" (Note: it turns out that he's actually 5' 6", per the interview noted above.)

Info from the 2000 election:

You might enjoy this article from the Washington Post, which does a good job of illustrating the importance of height in presidential elections.

2000: Bill Bradley is 6' 5", Ralph Nader is 6' 4"; Al Gore is 6' 1", Orrin Hatch is 6' 2", John McCain is 5' 9", and former presidential candidate / former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH, and briefly I-NH) is either 6' 6" or 6' 7".

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