George Washington is famous for being the first president of the United States, from 1789 to 1797, and he’s an impressive, iconic figure that you probably recognize at a glance. However, you might be wondering what he truly looked like, and it’s hard to get an idea from photographs!
George Washington was approximately 6 foot 2 inches (1.88 meters), and this made him among the top ten tallest presidents of the United States. He was approximately the same height as Barack Obama. Some official sources list him as being 6 foot 1 ½ inches (rather than the full 6 foot 2).
In this article, we’re going to learn more about George Washington’s height, age, weight, and a few other interesting facts you might like to know about this important historical figure.
How Tall Was George Washington?
George Washington stood at around 6 foot 2, making him a tall individual, especially for his time. Estimates from this time period are varied and probably not very accurate, but it’s likely that most American men from this era stood at around 5 foot 8 inches (1.73 meters).
This isn’t significantly shorter than today’s average, perhaps surprisingly, but does mean that George Washington was a tall figure for his time. He likely stood about 6 inches taller than many of his fellow countrymen.
Interestingly, there seems to be a trend for electing tall presidents, so it’s likely that George Washington’s height played at least a minor role in his presidency, and may have set the precedent for having tall leaders in the United States. US folklore suggests that the tallest of the two candidates always wins.
Was George Washington Taller Than Other US Presidents?
If you compare George Washington to other more modern presidents, he still remains a fairly tall individual, even though average heights have increased a little in recent decades.
He is outmatched by:
- Abraham Lincoln, at 6 foot 4 inches (1.93 meters)
- Lyndon B. Johnson, at 6 foot 3 ½ inches (1.92 meters)
- Donald Trump, at 6 foot 3 inches (1.91 meters)
- Thomas Jefferson, at 6 foot 2 ½ inches (1.89 meters)
- Bill Clinton, at 6 foot 2 ½ inches (1.89 meters)
- Chester A. Arthur, at 6 foot 2 inches (1.88 meters)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, at 6 foot 2 inches (1.88 meters)
- George H. W. Bush, at 6 foot 2 inches (1.88 meters)
That means he’s remained in the top 10 tallest US presidents from the very first presidency – which is an impressive achievement. If average heights continue to increase, this may not remain the case, but it’s a good demonstration of just how tall George Washington was, especially for the 1700s.
And how about if he’s compared with the US’s shortest president, James Madison? James Madison was 5 foot 4 inches (1.63 meters), meaning that George Washington stood almost a foot taller than him.
How Old Was George Washington?
George Washington died at the age of 67. In 1796, he chose not to run for office for a third time, as he was afraid he would die during his presidency, and was concerned that this would create the impression he had taken on a lifetime appointment. This was something he wanted to avoid.
His choice to retire, rather than to run again, set a precedent for the existing two-term limit on US presidents. He died in 1799 of an illness, although it is somewhat unclear what the illness was. It has been recorded simply as a throat infection, and meant that he only enjoyed around 3 years of retirement after his presidency ended.
George Washington had an exceptional career, and was active throughout his retirement. Prior to his appointment as the president of the United States, he served in multiple wars, including as a commander in the British Army, fighting in the French and Indian War.
He did make mistakes, but he is renowned for being a soldier, unlike many of the leaders who followed him, who tended to be lawyers and craftsmen. He helped fight for independence from Britain, but this led to instability and problems within America, because they lacked the structure of a central government.
He realized that the Articles of Confederation were not serving the United States well, and became a part of the movement that led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, in Philadelphia.
There was no election in the traditional sense; when the new Constitution was ratified, he was named president by a unanimous vote from the Electoral College. He proceeded to use his position to improve foreign policy,
George Washington was considered one of the best presidents in American history, partly because he did not wield his power too heavily, and partly because he worked to stabilize his country before anything else. There were certainly controversies surrounding him, but there’s no doubt that many people considered him an excellent leader.
How Much Did George Washington Weigh?
It’s not known exactly how much George Washington weighed; it’s often difficult to determine this when it comes to historical figures. In one letter, he wrote that he must have a horse equal to his weight, which might be estimated at around 210 lb (95 kg), but other sources say he was 175 lb (79.4 kg). They don’t state where this information has come from.
It’s likely that his weight fluctuated somewhat throughout his life, but there isn’t really any way to find out now, beyond references in letters such as the one described above. By the time he became president, he was likely heavier than when he served as a soldier, since he would have been less active – but there aren’t many other ways to determine this.
George Washington was the first US president, and remains one of the tallest to date – an impressive achievement. He is also considered among the best presidents America has seen, although like many historical figures, he is controversial in some ways. However, there’s no doubt that he was a pretty exceptional individual!