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Presidents Day trivia: Most presidents worked in which field?

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In honor of Presidents Day, I thought I'd take you on a quick and fascinating journey of the occupations of presidents.

Here's what I learned at a glance: Boy, we've elected a lot of lawyers.

Based on this list, which was the best format I found, 24 of those who have served in the POTUS chair could list "lawyer" on their resumes. That's more than half of our 44 presidents:

  • John Adams
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Madison
  • James Monroe
  • John Quincy Adams
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Martin Van Buren
  • John Tyler
  • James Polk
  • Millard Fillmore
  • Franklin Pierce
  • James Buchanan
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Rutherford Hayes
  • Benjamin Harrison (who was also a journalist)
  • William McKinley
  • William Taft
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • Franklin Roosevelt
  • Richard Nixon
  • Gerald Ford
  • Bill Clinton
  • Barack Obama

What's also interesting is that roughly a third of those lawyer presidents also worked in other business-related fields:

  • John Adams, farmer
  • Thomas Jefferson, land surveyor, plantation owner, architect
  • James Madison, farmer/plantation owner
  • James Monroe, farmer/plantation owner
  • James Polk, farmer/plantation owner
  • Abraham Lincoln, land surveyor
  • Calvin Coolidge, bank vice president

Last fun fact for you: Only for the George Bushes -- as in George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush -- does the word "businessman" appear as an occupation.

What does all this mean? Not sure.

But I do know that when we get to the next presidential election year, if you're into betting, you'll probably want to lay your money down for the candidate who's got a law degree.

In the meantime, enjoy Presidents Day! Our offices are closed, so you will return to receiving all the best business news from us tomorrow.

Amy Gulli

Amy Gulli

Amy Gulli is the managing editor of the Central Penn Business Journal. Have a question or tip for her? Email her at amy@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @amygulli. Circle Amy Gulli on .

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