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How many VPs have gone on to become president?

Which VPs went on to become the President of the United States?

How many VPs have gone on to become president?

The American flag and seal

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

As one of the most overlooked and often misunderstood positions in government, the vice president is an important role to have (they have the opportunity to become president in certain instances). The vice president is the President of the Senate, although they can only vote in legislation or other motions when the Senators are deadlocked 50-50.

The other formally recognized role of the vice president is to ensure the accuracy of the tallied electoral college votes after a Presidential election occurs. There are also informal roles dependent upon the relationship between the vice president and president, such as representing the president in public appearances, an advisor, and meeting with the heads of state or foreign governments.


With former Vice President Joe Biden becoming a presidential nominee in the backdrop of President Trump's recent Covid-19 diagnosis, it becomes even more interesting to revisit America's vice presidential history.

With that, below is a list of all the U.S. vice presidents that became president through death, nomination, and presidential resignation:


John Adams—VP to George Washington, was elected president after Washington retired.

Thomas Jefferson—VP to John Adams, won against Adams in the election of 1800.

Martin van Buren—VP to Andrew Jackson, became president after Jackson retired.

John Tyler—VP to William Henry Harrison, and became president after Tyler's death.

Millard Fillmore—VP to Zachary Taylor, assumed the presidency upon Taylor's death.

Andrew Johnson—VP to Abraham Lincoln, and became president after Lincoln's assassination.

Chester Arthur—VP to James A. Garfield, assumed the presidency upon Garfield's death.

Theodore Roosevelt—VP to William McKinley, became president after McKinley's death, then was elected to a full term.

Calvin Coolidge—VP to Warren G. Harding, became president after Harding's death, then elected to a full term.

Harry Truman—VP to Franklin D. Roosevelt, became president after FDR's death, then elected to a full term.

Lyndon Johnson—VP to John Kennedy that assumed the presidency following Kennedy's death, then elected to a full term.

Richard Nixon—VP to Dwight Eisenhower, and became president eight years later.

Gerald Ford—VP to Richard Nixon after Nixon resigned.

George H.W. Bush—VP to Ronald Reagan and was re-elected after Reagan's limited-term presidency.

Joseph R. Biden- VP to Barack Obama now President-elect after Donald Trump's full-term.

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