Which President Had the Best Years After He Left Office?

Collective wisdom.
June 22 2013 9:30 AM

Mr. Former President

From Taft to Carter, the second acts of American presidents are sometimes more compelling than their first.

President William Howard Taft.
President William Howard Taft

Courtesy of Harris and Ewing Collection/Library of Congress

If America is the land of opportunity, it’s also a great place for reinvention and second acts. Perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than in politics. Citizens from all walks of life can and do pursue elected office and often go on to new pursuits on the other side of their public service. 

To succeed at the highest level of politics requires a degree of resilience that most of us don’t have. And that may help explain why so many of our presidents have managed to engineer compelling second and even third acts in the course of their lives. 

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