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6 Oldest Living Vice Presidents of the United States (2020)

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Although the vice president of the United States of America is the second-highest office in the executive branch just behind the president, sometimes vice presidents seem to just fade in the background, overshadowed by a strong president. This makes it easy to forget that the vice president actually wields a lot of power and influence and that choosing the right running mate can often make or break a candidate’s bid for the presidency.

Currently there are six living vice presidents, which is a lot. There have only been two times in history with seven living vice presidents (i.e., the incumbent and six former vice presidents): January 1993 to April 1994 and January 2017 to November 2018.

As of June 2020, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

6. Mike Pence (June 7, 1959 – Present)

Current Age (as of June 2020): 61 years, 23 days
In Office:  January 20, 2017 – Present
President: Donald Trump
[ Political Party: Republican

Mike Pencephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Mike Pence is the current vice president of the United States under Donald Trump. Like Trump, Pence has been a politically controversial figure. Known for being a staunch Christian conservative, Pence has encountered fierce resistance from moderate members of his party (Republican), the business community, and LGBTQ+ advocates.

Before becoming vice president in 2017, Pence served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. Pence went on to become the 50th governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017. As governor, Pence intinitiated the largest tax cut in Indiana’s history and also signed bills intended to heavily restrict abortions. As vice president, Pence has continued to push his conservative agenda and while campaigning during the 2016 presidential election, Pence was declared the most conservative vice-presidential candidate in the last 40 years, according to a FiveThirtyEight rating of candidates’ ideology.

Did You Know?

Surprisingly, Mike Pence admitted that he was a Democrat when he was younger and that he voted for Jimmy Carter, not Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election.


5. Al Gore (March 31, 1948 – Present)

Current Age (as of June 2020): 72 years, 2 months, 30 days
In Office:  January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
President: Bill Clinton
[ Political Party: Democratic

Al Gorephoto source: Wikimedia Commons


Al Gore was the 45th vice president under Bill Clinton and is also known for his environmentalism. In fact, Gore was one of the first prominent figures in the U.S. to speak publicly about the dangers of climate change. In 2007, Gore, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, won the Nobel Peace Prize for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”

After graduating from college, Gore was drafted and decided to enlist in the Army even though he was against the Vietnam War. Gore felt that it would help his father’s reelection efforts, which were rocky because Albert Gore Sr. was very vocal about his opposition to the Vietnam War – Albert Gore served in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as the Senate.

Following the war, Gore worked as an investigative reporter and then decided suddenly to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 when he found out that his father’s former seat in the House was about to be vacated. Gore served in Congress (in both the House and Senate) for the next 16 years before becoming Vice President in 1993.

Did You Know?

Before becoming vice president, Al Gore did attempt to run for president in 1988 but was defeated in the Democratic primaries by Michael Dukakis.


4. Dan Quayle (February 4, 1947 – Present)

Current Age (as of June 2020): 73 years, 4 months, 26 days
In Office:  January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
President: George H. W. Bush
[ Political Party: Republican

Dan Quaylephoto source: Wikimedia Commons


Dan Quayle was the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving under George H. W. Bush from 1989 – 1993. As vice president, Quayle made official visits to 47 countries and was appointed chairman of the National Space Council. Bush decided to keep Quayle as his vice president while running for a second term, but they lost to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

While attending law school, Quayle became an investigator for the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General. Quayle also became an administrative assistant to Governor Edgar Whitcomb. Then in 1976, Quayle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Indiana’s 4th congressional district. A few years later, in 1980, Quayle became the youngest person ever elected to the Senate from the state of Indiana. Quayle continued in the Senate until he was chosen as Bush’s running mate in 1988. Quayle left political office after his time as vice president and moved to Arizona and worked as an investment banker.

Did You Know?

Dan Quayle is currently on the Board of Directors of Heckmann Corporation and is also the director of Aozora Bank, based in Tokyo, Japan.


3. Joe Biden (November 20, 1942 – Present)

Current Age (as of June 2020): 77 years, 7 months, 10 days
In Office:  January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
President: Barack Obama
[ Political Party: Democratic

Joe Bidenphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Joe Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, but has been in the news more recently because he is the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election. Unfortunately, Biden has also been under fire recently after former Biden staffer Tara Reade accused him of sexual assault. There have also been numerous accusations of inappropriate physical contact with women at public events such as embracing, kissing, gripping, or placing a hand on their shoulder.

After graduating from law school, Biden clerked at a Wilmington law firm headed by prominent local Republican William Prickett. At this time, Biden did consider himself a Republican, but later changed his mind because he didn’t like Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon. Biden continued to work as a public defender before becoming a senator in 1972. He was a senator from 1973 until he was selected as Obama’s vice president in 2008.

Did You Know?

As a child Joe Biden had a debilitating stutter, which he worked very hard to overcome. However, it has cropped up recently during his run for President and many people feel that this affected his performance in Democratic debates.


2. Dick Cheney (January 30, 1941 – Present)

Current Age (as of June 2020): 79 years, 5 months
In Office:  January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
President: George W. Bush
[ Political Party: Republican

Dick Cheneyphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Dick Cheney was the 46th Vice President and has often been cited as the most powerful vice president in American history. Cheney served under George W. Bush from 2001 – 2009. While Cheney might have held a lot of power, he was deeply unpopular and left office with an approval rating of just 13%.

Cheney began his political career as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger, eventually working his way into the White House during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Following the Nixon and Ford presidencies, Cheney went on to hold various positions of power, including briefly serving as House minority whip in 1989 and secretary of defense under George H. W. Bush. During the Clinton years, Cheney was the Chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company before he was selected as George W. Bush’s vice president.

Did You Know?

In his free time, Dick Cheney is an avid hunter and fisher, his Secret Service code name was  “Angler,” and he made headlines in 2006 for accidentally shooting fellow hunter Harry Whittington in the face.


1. Walter Mondale (January 5, 1928 – Present)

Current Age (as of June 2020): 92 years, 5 months, 25 days
In Office:  January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
President: Jimmy Carter
[ Political Party: Democratic

Walter Mondalephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

 

At 92 years of age, Walter Mondale is currently the oldest living former Vice President of the United States. Mondale served under Jimmy Carter, who is also still alive and in his 90s! Before being selected by Carter as his Vice President, Mondale was a Minnesota senator from 1964 to 1976. While in the Senate, Mondale supported consumer protection, fair housing, tax reform, and the desegregation of schools.

Following Carter’s defeat in 1980, Mondale decided to run for President in 1984. Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination and campaigned for a nuclear freeze, the Equal Rights Amendment, an increase in taxes, and a reduction of U.S. public debt. However, Mondale lost to the incumbents Reagan and Bush. Following this loss, Mondale Mondale joined the Minnesota-based law firm Dorsey & Whitney and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Mondale briefly tried to become a senator again, but lost the election. He returned to Dorsey & Whitney and also took up a part-time teaching position at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Despite no longer being a politician, Mondale has remained active in the Democratic Party.

Did You Know?

From 1993 to 1996, Walter Mondale served as the United States Ambassador to Japan and was appointed to the position by President Bill Clinton.

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