THE BEST SELLERS’- Mr. In Famous: Shining a light on the most known and recognized U.S. presidents

Photo via John F. Kennedy
By Thomas Sellers Jr.

When you think of the holiday Presidents Day, the first thought that comes to mind is a day off in middle February.

Then you might let your mind trickle over to some of the men who held the office of president of the United States. A few notable figures are Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge, James Monroe, James Buchanan and George W. Bush.

Those men are well known for policies, handling international conflicts or just being a public figure. Being president is a huge task and responsibility. The job also carries the title of commander-in-chief and leader of the free world.

Since April 30, 1789, forty-five men have held the office of president in these United States. The home of the president has been in Philadelphia and New York before calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home.

Now the White House is home to not only the president but also a celebrity. This week I am going to rank the most famous U.S. presidents of all time. This is not a ranking of who was better or shaped our country for better or worse. I’m strictly concentrating on the fame factor for these 10 men. The aforementioned presidents are my honorable mention.

10. Franklin D. Roosevelt

March 4, 1933-

April 12, 1945

Known to many as FDR, he was the longest serving U.S. president of all time. He is known for his fireside chats, being in a wheelchair and his guidance during World War II. He was the 32nd president of the United States, and death removed him from office. He was elected to a fourth term. His noteworthy achievements in office were directing the federal government during most of the Great Depression and implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history.

9. Thomas Jefferson

March 4, 1801-

March 4, 1809

His claims to fame are the University of Virginia, being a founding father, certain relationships he had on his plantation and signing a little document called the Declaration of Independence. He earned his spot on Mt. Rushmore as an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect and philosopher.

8. Barack Obama

Jan. 20, 2009-

Jan. 20, 2017

He will go down as the first non-white president of the United States. The historic victory of Obama made him the 44th president of the United States and first African-American leader of the country. In the age of smart phones, dozens of late night talk shows and social media, Obama became an internet darling. He had several viral moments alongside his wife, Michelle, and daughters.

7. Richard Nixon

Jan. 20, 1969-

Aug. 9, 1974

Someone had to make this list for infamy. There will be another disgraced president or two on the list in a few moments. Let’s give Tricky Dick his due. He has a memorable nickname, an international incident on his ledger and that little thing called Watergate.

Nixon resigned before impeachment came into the picture. Then in his life after being president he restored his image in the public and had movies made about his time in the White House.

6. Donald Trump

Jan. 20, 2017-present

He was famous long before stepping into the White House three years ago. He has gone from The Donald to 45 overnight. President Trump is no stranger to a spotlight from being an owner in the USFL in the 1980s to being the face of a reality TV show in the 2000s.

He seems to find success wherever he goes even before entering politics. He’s earned money and attention as a businessman, beauty pageant owner and television personality. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $3.1 billion. But check his Twitter account to get an update on that figure.

5. Teddy Roosevelt

Sept. 14, 1901-March 4, 1909

Also on Mt. Rushmore, this man spoke softly and carried a big stick after taking over the office when President William McKinley was assassinated. The Teddy Bear was the first celebrity president. He wrote the book on how to handle the media, romance the public and leave great quotes.

Teddy is described as an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist and writer. Our nation’s 26th president made sure he would be remembered from his signature glasses to his policies, such as helping build the Panama Canal.

4. Bill Clinton

Jan. 20, 1993-

Jan. 20, 2001

He almost didn’t make it to the 21st century as our president. Clinton was impeached for inappropriate behavior in the White House. But the man from Arkansas used his Southern charm to escape that doom and all his haters during those eight years in Washington.

Clinton also has a legacy of cool during his tenure as president. Remember he didn’t inhale, and he played the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show.”

3. George Washington

April 30, 1789-

March 4, 1797

He did not chop down that cherry tree … to get a couple of more wooden teeth. When you are the first of anything significant you should always be remembered. The tales of George Washington will live in our history books forever, including crossing the Delaware River. As long as he’s on the quarter and $1 bill, Washington will be famous in our country. He is the face of presidency as well as being one of the big four on Mt. Rushmore.

2. Abraham Lincoln

March 4, 1861-

April 14, 1865

Speaking of Mt. Rushmore, the final face on the landmark has the most distinguished features with Abraham Lincoln. He is the face of the penny and the $5 bill. Even in the 21st century Hollywood is making movies based on his life. He was president during the toughest and most violent time in our country – the Civil War Era.

Lincoln created policies of peace and unity. He delivered speeches that are still quoted today. Just wear his trademark beard and top hat, and I guarantee people will know who you are trying to be.

1. John F. Kennedy

Jan. 20, 1961-

Nov. 22, 1963

The nation’s 35th president checked all the boxes of being famous. He had his share of scandal. He had the nickname of JFK. He married a beautiful wife in Jackie. His household and relatives were like the royal family of the United States. He was charming and handsome enough to be the nation’s first TV president. He even died in a memorable way that is still controversial. To place a bow on this most famous president, his presidency has a nickname as well – Camelot.

THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for West 10 Media/Magic Valley Publishing. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to