Business Politics

Life After the Presidency

Many former American presidents have spent their post presidential years by being active in various affairs. Some former presidents went on to become elected or appointed in national government positions. George Washington was called to public duty when President Adams appointed him commander of the American Army. William Howard Taft served as Chief Justice of the United States after his presidency, up until his death. Andrew Johnson returned to the Senate in 1875, having been the only U.S. President to serve in the Senate after a presidential term. John Quincy Adams served nine post-presidential terms in the House of Representatives from 1830 to 1848. Grover Cleveland was elected as president again after the term of his successor, Benjamin Harrison. John Tyler was elected to the official Confederate Congress although he died before it was even assembled. Tyler also sponsored and headed the Virginia Peace Convention in 1861. Herbert Clark Hoover became a coordinator of the Food and Supply for World Famine in 1946 and he served as an advisor of the U.S. government on occupation policies in Austria and Germany. He was also appointed chairman of the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government in 1947. The said committee became known as the Hoover Commission, whose proposals had been incorporated in the 1949 Executive Reorganization Act.

Former presidents who were also lawyers by profession prior to their presidency, resumed their practice in law. Chester Arthur made an effort to resume the practice of law after his term. However, his poor physical condition prevented him from handling much work. Grover Cleveland practiced law and played the stock market after his second term. He also served in several corporate boards. Other former American presidents who also pursued their practice in law were Woodrow Wilson and Bainbridge Colby.

Some ex-presidents entered the field of education upon finishing their Presidential terms. William Howard Taft taught at Yale University Law School being before being appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Thomas Jefferson established the University of Virginia in 1819. James Madison served on University of Virginia’s board of regents and he succeeded Jefferson as head of the university. James Monroe also served on the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia under the school administration of Jefferson and Madison. Millard Fillmore served as Chancellor of the University of Buffalo in New York.

Several past presidents also wrote books and memoirs after their presidency including Calvin Coolidge, Grover Cleveland, Ulysses Simpson Grant, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.

Some presidents began to actively support human rights and other charitable causes. Jimmy Carter established the Carter Presidential Center at Emory University in Georgia, which focused on democracy and human rights issues. He aggressively campaigned for global human rights and he also became an international arbiter and a recipient of Nobel Peace Prize. The former president also worked with Habitat for Humanity International, which provided housing for the poor worldwide. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton established the Bush-Clinton Houston Tsunami Fund to help tsunami victims in 2004. Bill Clinton founded the Clinton Presidential Foundation which focused on fighting against HIV/AIDS, promoting racial reconciliation, and advancing economic empowerment of unfortunate people.