We can all sometimes think our jobs are demanding. It’s the reason we book regular vacations and relax at the weekend. But while our jobs may put the pressure on, they could never be compared to running one of the most prestigious offices in the world.
Serving as President of the United States, whether it be for one term or two, is a huge commitment which demands every ounce of your attention and energy – or, that of your staff for those times when you’d rather sit in bed with a McDonald’s takeaway than run the country.
Naturally, when you focus every part of your mind and soul on the plight of other people, natural disasters, impending doom and your own personal problems, it can have a considerable effect on your body. From an errant grey hairs to deep wrinkles, these former Commanders-in-Chief all prove that there is a price to pay for being one of the most important people on the planet…
1. Barack Obama (2008-2017)
When Obama first took to the Oval Office in 2009, he was a vision of youth. At 47-years-young, he was a stark contrast to his greying predecessor, George W. Bush. But the strain of eight years behind the Resolute desk became distinctly visible when the Obama, the first black president, stepped down in 2017.
Could it have been the pressure of reviving America after the 2008 financial crash that prompted those stray silver hairs to arrive prematurely? Or, the horror of the multiple mass shootings over his tenure? Or, the carefully planned high-risk operation to assassinate Osama Bin Laden in 2011?
2. George W. Bush (2000-2008)
When George W. Bush was sworn in, he was the spitting image of his father who’d held the same office eight years prior. But unlike his father, Bush would go on to secure two terms as president, which evidently took their toll on the Texas-native.
Just eight months into Bush’s first term, the promising president was met with one of America’s worst atrocities when the September 11 attacks claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 citizens. In response, Bush launched a “War on Terror” which included the Iraq War, Afghanistan War and the controversial torture of prisoners.
This, combined with the chaos caused by Hurricane Katrina and the “Great Recession”, saw Bush leave the Oval Office looking pretty exhausted.
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
Roosevelt commanded the Oval Office at a time when America was experiencing great strain as World War II and the Great Depression threatened to push the country into complete turmoil. Serving four terms in office (Roosevelt tragically died 11 weeks into his fourth term after his health severely deteriorated), Roosevelt is one of America’s most popular presidents with both historians and citizens of the time.