The presidency and aging
August 4th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

Do presidents age faster in office?

President Barack Obama has had the weight of the free world on his shoulders for 2½ years, and he might be starting to look like it.

At 50, which he turns Thursday, his hair is a little grayer, and his face and neck are a little more creased, than on the day he took office in January 2009.

You'd expect some of that - he is older. But Obama, like his predecessors, has had plenty to do. He's waged battles over economic stimulus, health care and the debt ceiling. He's juggled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; he committed to a campaign over Libya's skies; he chased Osama bin Laden; and he dealt with a massive oil disaster off the Gulf Coast.

It's tempting to think the office makes presidents look older than they are. The George W. Bush who left office in 2009 was not the youthful Bush before 9/11. Bill Clinton's hair was significantly whiter and his eyes baggier after eight years.

Dr. Michael Roizen holds on to what he's said for a while: That presidents effectively age twice as fast while in office.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. raven

    That was FDR. Truly one of the greatest leaders in history. How about this one...and it holds true for us all .."A friend is someone who has the same enemies as you."

    August 5, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    George Washington?

    August 5, 2011 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. raven

    It was Lincoln.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    It makes sense. It *had to be* one of those two. Men of wisdom and greatness. Going to get ready to start my day. My hubby has to have his bacon and toast along with his coffee. Bye raven. Have a great Friday my dear friend.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Bacon and toast on a weekday?!

      I think i'm gettin screwed..

      August 5, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. raven

    Don't work too hard at the library,or you'll look as stressed out as a U.S. president. See ya around sista.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. michaelfury

    "He's juggled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan"


    August 5, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • michaelfury

      Was he riding a unicycle like Rumsfeld?

      August 5, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. michaelfury

    "he committed to a campaign over Libya's skies"

    August 5, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. michaelfury

    "he chased Osama bin Laden"

    August 5, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. michaelfury

    "the youthful Bush before 9/11"

    Ah, yes–Camelot.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. raven

    Im pretty sure that wasnt banasy cuz i KNOW that wasnt me. cute troll,cute.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ms. Banasy

    Hey, sista.
    Of *couse* that wasn't me.
    It is a nice attempt.
    I posted @9:43.

    Well...I don't know about the getting screwed part...but my troll is delusional if it thinks I cook breakfast at *all*....
    Au contraire, he cooks *me* breakfast, but only on the weekends.

    Thanks! 🙂

    August 5, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ms. Banasy

    *Not the husband cooks me breakfast.*

    August 5, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. saywhat

    It was FDR who said " We have nothing to fear but fear itself" in his first inaugural address.

    August 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mr. Raven

    Get your butt in the kitchen and fix me lunch baby doll. Just like banasy fixes her main squeeze a meal.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. raven

    And while i cook should i wear the french maid outfit or the dirty cop one? puh-leeze!

    August 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
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