Numbering of the Presidents

  • You may have noticed that the numbering of the Presidents on this site differs slightly from other sources. The reason is because of the two non-consecutive terms that Grover Cleveland served in the late 19th century. When Cleveland began his first term in office he was the 22nd person to hold the office. When Cleveland was defeated by Benjamin Harrison in the next election, Harrison became the 23rd President.
  • When Cleveland defeated Harrison in the next election and took office for his second term, there still had only been 23 individuals since George Washington to hold the office of President, Cleveland being the 22nd. However, because of Cleveland's non-consecutive terms some sources call him the 22nd and 24th President. This causes the numbering on Presidentsusa.net to differ by one for every President after Cleveland. However, even though George Washington served two terms no one calls him the 1st and 2nd President. The fact that Cleveland's terms were not consecutive is irrelevant. If you are asked, "How many men have been President?" the correct answer is 43. Therefore, Presidentsusa.net describes the current President Barack Obama as the 43rd President of the United States. Many sources refer to him as the 44th President, even though there have only been 43 individuals that have served as President.
  • Note that President Harry Truman himself shared this view of Presidential numbering as reported by his Presidential Library.