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Which US presidents served only one term?

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2012-11-04 15:22:01




12 Presidents have served only a single complete elected term -

John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, James K Polk,

Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Rutherford B Hayes, Benjamin

Harrison, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter and

George H.W. Bush.

Four Presidents - Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry S

Truman and Lyndon B Johnson - have succeeded to the Presidency

through death, and then gone on to serve a single elected term of

their own.

Three presidents served only one full term but were elected to

second terms which they could not complete . - Abraham Lincoln and

William McKinley served only a few weeks or months of their second

terms before being assassinated, and Richard M Nixon, resigned 19

months into his second term.

Five Presidents - William H Harrison, Zachary Taylor, James A.

Garfield, Warren G Harding, and John F. Kennedy - died during their

first terms and so had no opportunity to seek a second.

Five Presidents - John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson,

Chester A. Arthur, and Gerald Ford - succeeded from the

Vice-Presidency but did not win elected terms of their own and so

actually served less than one term.

That gives 29 Presidents who were "single-termers" by one

definition or another.

Of those 29 U. S. Presidents, the following ten were candidates

in more than one presidential election but won only once:

John Adams (won in 1796; lost in 1800)

John Quincy Adams (won in 1824; lost in 1828)

Martin Van Buren (won in 1836; lost in 1840 and 1848)

William Henry Harrison (lost in 1836; won in 1840; see 3rd note


Benjamin Harrison (won in 1888; lost in 1892)

Theodore Roosevelt (won in 1904; lost in 1912; see 1st note


William Howard Taft (won in 1908; lost in 1912)

Herbert Hoover (won in 1928; lost in 1932)

Jimmy Carter (won in 1976; lost in 1980)

George H. W. Bush (won in 1988; lost in 1992)

In 1856, incumbent President Franklin Pierce sought but failed

to win the Democratic Party nomination, which went to James


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