Joe Biden turns 78 today as he’s about to become the oldest sitting president

Danielle Zoellner
·2-min read
Joe Biden turned 78 years old on 20 November (AP)
Joe Biden turned 78 years old on 20 November (AP)

President-elect Joe Biden turned 78 years old on Friday, making him set to become the oldest person to assume the presidency.

Previously, Ronald Reagan raised eyebrows when he was elected into his first term at the age of 69. He then kept the title as oldest president upon his re-election at the age of 73.

Donald Trump, in comparison, became the oldest first-term president when he was 70 years old. The president-elect will far surpass that record when he becomes inaugurated on 20 January at 78 years old.

Since 1960, the average age of a sitting president when they enter the presidency has been about 56 years old.

John F Kennedy holds the record for being the youngest elected president at 43 years old. He was just 46 years when he was assassinated. But the youngest person to ever hold the presidency was actually Theodore Roosevelt. He assumed the presidency at the age of 42 following the assassination of then-president William McKinney in 1901.

Age became an important topic throughout the presidential election, as both Mr Trump and Mr Biden would extend the record of the oldest sitting president no matter who won the race.

Due to his age, the selection of Mr Biden’s vice president took centre stage more so than previous candidates’ picks, as he’s more at risk to suffer age-related health problems compared to past presidents.

Dr Kevin O’Connor of The George Washington University released a three-page medical summary of Mr Biden’s health on Tuesday that described him as a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief.”

There were no notable changes to Mr Biden’s health compared to previous reports, according to Dr O’Connor’s assessment.

Mr Biden suffered two brain aneurysms in the late 1980s. In 2009, he had episodic atrial fibrillation. Dr O’Connor said that despite these conditions, there was no serious threat to Mr Biden’s health and his past medical conditions were under control.

It was added that Mr Biden was on blood thinners and medication for acid reflux, cholesterol and seasonal allergies.

The Biden team has not revealed how the president-elect intended to celebrate his birthday

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