The Carters Celebrate 75 Years of Marriage, Plus: Other Longest-Married POTUSes

Jimmy Carter, at 96, is the oldest-living former U.S. president, and also the longest-lived of all time. For the past year and a half or so, he and his wife Rosalynn, 93, have been the presidential couple with the longest marriage — and as of July 7, they will have been wed an incredible 75 years.

"First of all, choose the right person." — Jimmy Carter's life advice

According to President Carter, his future wife demurred when he first asked, because she'd promised her father she'd graduate from college before marrying. She did relent, and they wed on July 7, 1946, in Plains, Georgia, right after Carter's U.S. Naval Academy graduation.

"It was happy and joyful," Carter said this week to ABC News, "and obviously long-lasting."

Amazingly, while they're the longest-married of presidential couples, it's not by a mile — the George H.W. Bushes (1924-2018) were wed for 73 years, 101 days, until Barbara Bush's (1925-2018) death.

A list of presidents married the longest as of July 5, 2021:

(1) Jimmy Carter (74 years, 363 days — and counting)

(2) George H.W. Bush (73 years, 101 days)

(3) Gerald R. Ford (58 years, 72 days)

(4) John Adams (54 years, 3 days) — incredible considering they wed in 1764

(5) Harry S Truman (53 years, 181 days)

(6) Richard M. Nixon (53 years, 1 day)

(7) Dwight D. Eisenhower (52 years, 270 days)

(8) Ronald Reagan (52 years, 93 days) — incredible considering it was a second marriage

(9) John Quincy Adams (50 years, 212 days) — another 18th-century marriage between a couple who enjoyed relative longevity

(10) Andrew Johnson (48 years, 243 days)

Outside the top 10:

William Henry Harrison (#12) was wed for 45 years, 134 days, even though he was only president for a month, an indication of how young people got married in 1795.

Famous current marriages include the Clintons (who are just outside the Top 10 at over 45 years — and counting) and the Bidens (who have hit the 44-year mark, good enough for Top 15; another successful second marriage).

Teddy Roosevelt had the shortest-ever presidential marriage — just 3 years, 110 days. His wife, Alice Lee, died at just 22 after giving birth to their daughter. Benjamin Harrison had a short marriage, too — 4 years, 341 days — but it was his second, and his death ended it.

All three (and counting) of Donald Trump's marriages are in the bottom dozen, and the only man ever to serve as U.S. president without a spouse was James Buchanan, who was also — almost inarguably — the worst U.S. president to serve. Was he gay? Celibate? Both? Asexual? Only his biographers pretend to know.

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