The Who2 Blog

How Long Do Carter, Clinton or the Bushes Have to Live to Pass Gerald Ford?

Thomas J. O'Halloran / Library of Congress

President Gerald Ford died on December 26, 2006 — five years ago today.  

Ford was one of America’s shortest-serving presidents, spending only 29 months in office. But then he became America’s longest-lived ex-president, living for 93 years, 5 months and 12 days in all. He just edged out Ronald Reagan, who had died in 2004 at the age of 93 years, 3 months and 30 days.

So which of the living ex-presidents has the inside track to pass Ford? Here’s the lineup:

George Bush the Elder
Current age: 87 
Date to pass Gerald Ford: November 25, 2017

Jimmy Carter
Current age: 87
Date to pass Gerald Ford: March 14, 2018

Bill Clinton
Current age: 65
Date to pass Gerald Ford: January 29, 2040

George Bush the Younger
Current age: 65
Date to pass Gerald Ford: December 19, 2040

So Bush the Elder and Jimmy Carter are nearly the same age, and Bush the Younger and Bill Clinton are nearly the same age. Odd coincidence. But Bush the Elder clearly has the first shot. Not to be morbid, but if he doesn’t make it, Jimmy Carter will be right behind him. If neither of them makes it, we’ll have to wait until 2040 for the next chance with Clinton or Bush the Younger.

Our money’s on one of those four beating Gerald Ford. (Though George H.W. Bush is going to jump out of an airplane at age 90.)

If none of them do, then it’s on to January 17, 2055. That would be Barack Obama, who was born in 1961. 

2055! Makes you respect Jerry Ford a little more, no?


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