Nine times in the history of the republic, a vice-president has ascended to the office of president due to the death or resignation of the president.  Here’s a list of these men:

  • John Tyler
  • Millard Fillmore
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Chester Arthur
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • Harry Truman
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Gerald Ford

Only 4 elected president:  Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, and Lyndon Johnson were the only ones who went on to win election as president in their own right.

How are vice-presidents selected?  Of the 43 men who have served as president, 20% of them became president through the death or resignation of the president.  It points out the critical importance of selecting strong vice-presidential candidates, even though the current process of how vice-presidential candidates are selected is often based more on politics than on whether the person would be a qualified president.  It’s a weakness in our current political structure.

Mike Purdy’s Presidential History Blog 
© 2012 by Michael E. Purdy