The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Amazing but true: America is only 4 presidents’ lives old

We are re-upping this post from early 2015 in light of Presidents Day. Enjoy!

When President Obama was born (1961), President Herbert Hoover was still alive (1874-1964). When Hoover was born, President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) was still alive. When President Johnson was born, President John Adams (1735-1826) was still alive. And just like that, we've connected present day to the Founding Fathers.

Curiosity about how (and how much) the presidents overlapped was spurred by this discussion, looking at which two things coexisted that you might expect hadn't. Charlie Chaplin and 50 Cent, for example. Or the Egyptian pharaohs and the woolly mammoth -- albeit not in the same place. And Herbert Hoover and Barack Obama.

Not that Hoover knew about Obama, of course. Obama was just a kid, living in Hawaii (be quiet, Mr. Trump), and not someone who would attract the attention of a former president. (Obama was no Trace Adams.)

We were curious how frequently the lives of presidents overlapped. So, we figured it out.

Rutherford B. Hayes was alive at the same time as John Adams and at the same time as Dwight Eisenhower. That's pretty remarkable.

The chart is not (and will never be) complete, of course. There are lots of future presidents out there, some of them not named Clinton and Bush. We'll only know whose lives they overlapped with once we know who they are. And the odds are good that none of them will have ever met Barack Obama.