The height differences between all the US presidents and first ladies

Shayanne Gal/Business InsiderWhile Abraham Lincoln was 6-foot-4, James Madison was a full foot shorter. The shortest first lady was Eliza Johnson at 4 feet 9 inches, and Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Obama, and Melania Trump tied for the tallest at 5 feet 11 inches.

While every American president and first lady has reached the same heights of political office and public service, not all reached the White House at the same physical height.

The average height of US presidents was 5-foot-10-inches, and the typical height difference between presidents and first ladies was 6.5 inches.

Scientific studies suggest that men have it better when it comes to success in the workplace, and that women are more likely to choose taller men than shorter men.

John Adams and Abigail Adams were only separated in height by an inch, while Thomas Jefferson was over a foot taller than his wife Martha Jefferson.

We found the heights through online research and speaking with presidential historical sites and libraries. But a few first ladies’ heights have been lost to history.

Here is the height difference of every US president and first lady we could find:


George and Martha Washington: 1-foot-2-inches (36 cm)

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John and Abigail Adams: 1 inch (2 cm)

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Thomas and Martha Jefferson: 1-foot-2.5-inches (37 cm)

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Jefferson was a widower when his presidency began, and his daughter, Martha, acted as first lady, along with wives of the Cabinet secretaries.


James and Dolley Madison: 3 inches (7 cm)

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James and Elizabeth Monroe: 1 foot (31 cm)

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John Quincy and Louisa Adams: 1.5 inches (3 cm)

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Andrew and Rachel Jackson: 1-foot-1-inch (33 cm)

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Rachel Jackson died just months before her husband’s inauguration. Her niece Emily Donelson and his daughter-in-law Sarah Yorke Jackson acted as first lady in her absence.


Martin and Hannah Van Buren: Unknown

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Martin Van Buren was also a widower, and his daughter-in-law Angelica Singleton Van Buren oversaw the duties of first lady.


William Henry and Anna Harrison: Unknown

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John and Julia Tyler: 9 inches (23 cm); John and Letitia Tyler: Unknown

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Tyler’s first wife, Letitia, died from a stroke while in the White House. He married his second wife, Julia, while still serving as president.


James K. and Sarah Polk: 6 inches (16 cm)

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Zachary and Margaret Taylor: Unknown

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Millard and Abigail Filmore: 3 inches (7 cm)

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Franklin and Jane Pierce: 5 inches (13 cm)

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James Buchanan and Harriet Lane: 5 inches (13 cm)

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Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor. His niece, Harriet Lane, acted as first lady during his term.


Abraham and Mary Lincoln: 1-foot-2-inches (36 cm)

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Andrew and Eliza Johnson: 1-foot-1-inch (33 cm)

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Ulysses S. and Julia Grant: Unknown

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Rutherford B. and Lucy Hayes: 4.5 inches (11 cm)

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James A. and Lucretia Garfield: 9 inches (23 cm)

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Chester A. and Ellen Arthur: Unknown

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Chester A. Arthur was a widower when he became president after Garfield was shot, and his sister, Mary Arthur McElroy, served as first lady in his wife’s place.


Grover and Frances Cleveland: 4 inches (10 cm)

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Grover Cleveland served as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. Cleveland’s two terms were split apart by the presidency of Benjamin Harrison.

He married Frances during his first term, and she took over the duties of White House hostess from his sister, Rose Cleveland.


Benjamin and Caroline Harrison: 5 inches (13 cm)

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William and Ida McKinley: Unknown

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Theodore and Edith Roosevelt: 3 inches (8 cm)

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William Howard and Helen Taft: 7.5 inches (19 cm)

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Woodrow and Edith Wilson: 2 inches (5 cm); Woodrow and Ellen Wilson: 8 inches (20 cm)

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Wilson’s first wife, Ellen, died from an illness during her husband’s presidency. He then remarried in 1915 to his second wife, Edith.


Warren G. and Florence Harding: 5 inches (13 cm)

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Calvin and Grace Coolidge: 6 inches (15 cm)

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Herbert and Lou Hoover: 3.5 inches (9 cm)

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Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt: 3 inches (8 cm)

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Harry S. and Bess Truman: 5 inches (12 cm)

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Dwight D. and Mamie Eisenhower: 9.5 inches (24 cm)

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John F. and Jackie Kennedy: 5 inches (12 cm)

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Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson: 9.5 inches (24 cm)

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Richard and Pat Nixon: 5.5 inches (14 cm)

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Gerald and Betty Ford: 9 inches (23 cm)

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Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: 4.5 inches (12 cm)

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Ronald and Nancy Reagan: 9 inches (22 cm)

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George H.W. and Barbara Bush: 11 inches (28 cm)

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Bill and Hillary Clinton: 8 inches (20 cm)

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George W. and Laura Bush: 5.5 inches (14 cm)

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Barack and Michelle Obama: 2 inches (5 cm)

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Donald and Melania Trump: 3 inches (8 cm)

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