13 longest-serving US presidents – will Donald Trump serve two terms?

America's shortest-serving US president was William Henry Harrison, but who were the country’s longest-serving leaders?

Twelve US presidents served two full terms, putting them all in joint second place for lengths of service. Each of the twelve served for 2922 days.

The country’s first president and founding father George Washington also served two full terms, but his first term’s start was delayed, knocking him out of the joint second top spot.

Barak Obama

This Democrat won the 2008 election on a wave of hope, optimism and desire for change. He oversaw America’s recovery after the world financial crisis and introduced the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which has extended healthcare coverage to Americans who previously did not have insurance. Obama won a second term in 2012, and served right up until 20th January this year.

George W. Bush

Bush won the 2000 election, after an exceptionally tight race in the swing-state of Florida. His time in office was characterised by his tax cuts and the War on Terror, following the devastating events of 9/1. He saw off a challenge from Democrat John Kerry in 2004, and served right up until he was replaced by Obama in January 2009.

Bill Clinton

Clinton was previously the governor of Arkansas before becoming the first Democratic president in twelve years after defeating incumbent US President George W. Bush. Clinton presided over a strong period of economic growth, and won re-election in 1996, serving right up until Bush became president in 2001.

Ronald Reagan

Reagan started out as an actor before becoming Governor of California. He went on to win the Republican nomination and defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter at the 1980 election. He won another striking election in 1984, and served right up until the end of his second term in 1989.

Dwight Eisenhower

Eisenhower was a successful general in World War Two, and as a result gained nation-wide popularity. He was eventually persuaded to run for president in 1952 for the Republicans.

He won a significant victory, and won again in 1956, cementing his place as one of America’s longest-serving presidents.

Woodrow Wilson

Wilson was an academic before entering politics as the Governor of New Jersey and eventually president in 1913. He served as president during World War One, was responsible for the creation of the League of Nations, and the set-up of the Federal Reserve. He won re-election in 1916 and served as president until the end of his second term in 1921.

Grover Cleveland

Cleveland was both America’s 22nd and 24th president, due to the fact that he served two non-consecutive terms. His two-term presidency, albeit split up, makes him one of America’s thirteen longest-serving presidents.

Andrew Jackson

Jackson won the 1828 election as the Democratic party nominee, beating incumbent National Republican president John Quincy Adams. Jackson went on to win a second term in 1832, securing his place as a two-term president.

James Monroe

A former governor of Virginia and ex-secretary of state, Monroe won the 1816 election against Federalist Rufus King. He won a second term four years later and served right up until the end of his eight years.

James Madison

Not to be confused with James Monroe, this founding father served as secretary of state before becoming president in 1809. He was president during the War of 1812 fought between the United States and the United Kingdom including Canada. Madison secured a second presidential term at the 1812 election.

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was one of America’s founding fathers. He served as the country’s first ever secretary of state before becoming vice president and eventually president. This Democratic-Republican served in America’s top job between 1901 and 1809.

America’s longest-serving president of all time - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt won four elections at the top of the ticket, winning double the number won by any of the second longest-serving presidents. He served for a grand total of 4422 days. This Democrat was a transformative politician, who introduced the New Deal, which aimed to help Americans and revitalise the economy, and brought the country into World War Two. He was only stopped from serving longer by his death in 1945. Unless the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution is overturned no other future president will ever serve longer than F.D.R.

Will Donald Trump serve two terms?

According to Oddschecker, the incumbent US president is the favourite to win the 2020 election, followed by Elizabeth Warren, Mike Pence and Bernie Sanders. However, Ladbrokes offer odds of 2/7 for Trump not to be elected for a second term come 2020.


A full list of presidential terms and lengths of service can be viewed here (Wikipedia). All lengths of service mentioned in this article are based off this.

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