us presidents The Worst U.S. Presidents

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List Rules The U.S. presidents whose administrations were the worst-run, most ill-fated, or most corrupt.

The worst U.S. presidents of all time, measured by their negative impact on the nation, its citizens health and happiness, and its future prosperity. (In some cases – such as the popular selections of Warren G. Harding and Richard Nixon – the negative view of the president and his administration is due to various scandals and perceived corruption within its ranks. Nixon, of course, remains the only president to step down from the office amidst threats of impeachment.)

Much of a president's job – including serving as the figurative head of the American state and setting the nation's general legislative and diplomatic agenda – is sort of intangible and hard to evaluate in strict "good vs. bad" terms. This makes any list of the "best" or "worst" US presidents essentially subjective, and though there were administrations with a significant series of positive or negative outcomes, it's rarely clear just how much these had to do with the person in office and how many were simply due to accidents of fate or circumstance. Nonetheless, in particularly extraordinary cases – such as the administration of Abraham Lincoln, which kept the nation intact during the Civil War crisis, or the administration of Andrew Johnson immediately after that threatened the entire success of the Reconstruction project – it is clear which presidents did an overall good or bad job.

So who were the worst presidents of all time? We're ranking them here, based on your votes! When you've had enough political negativity, be sure to check out Ranker's ultimate uplifting presidential list: The Best US Presidents.
Bill Clinton is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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+ - 21,450 16,340

Bill Clinton


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Age: 71

Birthplace: Hope, Arkansas, United States of America

Party (if partisan): Democratic Party

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Andrew Johnson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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+ - 10,462 8,146

465 people just voted on Andrew Johnson


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Age: Died at 67 (1808-1875)

Birthplace: Wake County, Area codes 919 and 984, United States of America, United States with Territories, + more

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#43 on The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

#21 on The Greatest U.S. Vice Presidents of All Time

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Woodrow Wilson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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+ - 8,897 7,171

Woodrow Wilson


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Age: Died at 68 (1856-1924)

Birthplace: Staunton-Waynesboro, VA Micropolitan Statistical Area, Staunton city, Contiguous United States United States of America, + more

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#55 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#10 on The Best Two-Term U.S. Presidents

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#20 on The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

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Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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+ - 38,940 26,201

Barack Obama


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Age: 56

Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

Party (if partisan): Democratic Party

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#75 on The Most Enlightened Leaders in World History

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Franklin D. Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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5
+ - 11,270 9,998

Franklin D. Roosevelt


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Age: Died at 63 (1882-1945)

Birthplace: Contiguous United States, New York, Dutchess County, United States of America United States, + more

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#8 on The Most Enlightened Leaders in World History

#15 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#74 on The Most Influential People of All Time

#60 on The Most Important Leaders in World History

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Harry S. Truman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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6
+ - 7,131 6,099

331 people just voted on Harry S. Truman


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Age: Died at 88 (1884-1972)

Birthplace: United States of America, Lamar, United States, with Territories Missouri, + more

Party (if partisan): Democratic Party

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#28 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#18 on The Most Influential Politicians in American History

#5 on The Most Influential People of the Cold War

#12 on The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

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Jimmy Carter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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+ - 21,583 16,218

Jimmy Carter


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Age: 93

Birthplace: Americus, GA Micropolitan Statistical Area, Sumter County, Plains United States of America, + more

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#7 on The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years

#5 on The Best One-Term U.S. Presidents

#53 on The Most Influential People of the Cold War

#29 on The Greatest U.S. Presidents of All Time

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George W. Bush is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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8
+ - 29,050 23,841

George W. Bush


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Age: 71

Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

Party (if partisan): Republican Party

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#5 on The Best U.S. Presidents in the Past 50 Years

#91 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

#12 on The Best Two-Term U.S. Presidents

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