Bernie-Sanders_westmountmag

The young and the old
in political leadership

A listing of the oldest and youngest current political leaders worldwide

By Byron Toben

Selection of political leaders has involved candidate’s sex or race.

The current USA assemblage of candidates for the 2020 presidency has also elevated the consideration of age.

On the Republican side, incumbent Donald Trump, 72, has (so far) only one competitor, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, 73.

Jackie and John F. Kennedy - WestmountMag.ca

Jackie and John F. Kennedy – Image: The original uploader was Jeff Dean at English Wikipedia. [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

On the Democratic side, with 22 contenders (so far), ages range from as young as 37 to as old as 88. Excluding that oldest one, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, who states that he is entering not to win, but to express his concerns, the remaining 21 (and poll leaders) are Bernie Sanders, 77, and Joe Biden, 76.

Historically, the oldest ever to be elected was Ronald Reagan, 69 when first elected and 73 when later re-elected.

The youngest was John F. Kennedy at 43.

The U.S. Constitution requires a minimum age of 35.

Below is my listing of the oldest and youngest current political leaders worldwide.

The ten oldest worldwide by age, name, country and title

93 – Mahatmir Mohamad – Malaysia (Prime Minister)
93 – Elizabeth II – United Kingdom (Queen)
92 – Beji Caid Essebsi – Tunisia (President)
89 – Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah – Kuwait (Emir)
86 – Marguerite Pindling – Bahamas (Governor General)
86 – Colville Young – Belize (Governor General)
86 – Paul Biya – Cameroon (President)
84 – Michel Aoun – Lebanon (President)
83 – Mahmoud Abbas – Palestine National Authority (President)
83 – Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – Saudi Arabia (King and Prime Minister)

Ronald and Nancy Regan - WestmountMag.ca

Ronald and Nancy Regan – Image: White House Photographic Office [Public domain]

The ten youngest worldwide by age, name, country and title

32 – Sebastian Kurz – Austria (Chancellor)
35 – Michelle Muratori – San Marino (Captain Regent)
36 – Kim Jong-Un – North Korea (Supreme Leader)
36 – Mamuka Bakhtadze – Georgia (Prime Minister)
38 – Jacinda Ardern – New Zealand (Prime Minister)
38 – Tamim bin Hamad al Thani – Quatar (Emir)
39 – Jigme Wangchuck – Bhutan (King)
39 – Carlos Alvarado Quesada – Costa Rica (President)
40 – Leo Varadkar – Ireland (Taoiseach)
40 – Juri Ratas – Estonia (Prime Minister)

Below are the current ages of the 22 (so far) candidates for the Democratic nomination. Note that 16 men are contesting with 6 women and that 20 have elected political office backgrounds (9 as Senators, 5 as Representatives, 3 as Mayors, 1 Vice President).

Democratic contenders for US President by age, name and most recent position

88 – Mike Gravel – US Senator (Alaska)
77 – Bernie Sanders – US Senator (Vermont)
76 – Joe Biden – US Vice President (Delaware)
68 – Jay Inslee – Governor (Washington)
67 – John Hickenlooper – Governor (Colorado)
67 – Elizabeth Warren – US Senator (Massachusetts)
66 – Marianne Williamson – Motivational Speaker (California)
58 – Amy Klobucher – US Senator (Minnesota)
56 – John Delaney – US Representative (Maryland)
54 – Michael Bennet – US Senator (Colorado)
54 – Kamala Harris – US Senator (California)
52 – Kirsten Gellibrand – US Senator (New York)
50 – Cory Booker – US Senator (New Jersey)
46 – Beto O’Rourke – US Representative (Texas)
45 – Tim Ryan – US Representative (Ohio)
44 – Julian Castro – Mayor (San Antonio, Texas)
44 – Wayne Messam – Mayor (Miramar, Florida)
44 – Andrew Yang – Entrepreneur (New York)
40 – Seth Moulton – US Representative (Massachusetts)
38 – Tulsi Gabbard – US Representative (Hawaii)
38 – Eric Swawell, Jr. – US Representative (California)
37 – Peter Buttagieg – Mayor (South Bend, Indiana)

Feature image: US Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, by Tim Pierce [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsBouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.ca

Read more articles from Byron Toben


Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.

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