The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The distinct life stories of the 2016 contenders, visualized

I'll admit a certain fascination with the back stories of the people that lead our country. It's weird to think that, right now, some future headline-grabbing senator is working at a bank in Kansas, or just tweeted a link to some news story, or just got home from an elementary school in Orange County.

We've explored this in the past, looking at what the 113th Senate was doing in 1984.

As the 2016 presidential race plods its way toward us, there's been a great deal of conversation about the backgrounds of the possible candidates: Hillary Clinton's time in the White House, a rehash of Mitt Romney's well-known biography, etc.

But did you know that Romney has a kid older than Marco Rubio? That Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton finished school at about the same time? That Scott Walker was an elected official before Clinton or Jeb or Romney?

Out of that same sense of curiosity, we picked seven likely 2016 candidates and mapped out their lives, year by year, to give a sense of how someone comes to be in a position to run for president. The dates are generally approximate, narrowed down to the closest year. Not everyone is included due to space limitations; if your favorite candidate didn't make the cut, well, feel free to make a timeline of your own (and send it to us!).