He's already one of the most polarizing figures in U.S. history, but it turns out that Donald Trump has beat all of his predecessors in at least one other thing: At 70 years old, Trump is the oldest man to be elected president in U.S. history. Despite the precedent, it's likely that few people will be focused on Trump's age on Inauguration Day.
On his inauguration date of January 20, 2017, President Trump will be about six months shy of his 71st birthday, which will take place in June. His age will officially make him the oldest president to take office in the U.S., but not by much. Former President Ronald Reagan was 69 years old when he was inaugurated in 1981 — and, on the day of his inauguration, Reagan was only about two weeks from his 70th birthday. Although popular while in office, speculation swirled as to whether or not Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's disease while in office. He was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1994, six years after his second term ended.
For his part, Trump will serve at least until the age of 74. If he were to win a second term — a thought unthinkable for many distraught voters after last week's win — he would serve until the age of 78. It's important to note that when Trump released his medical records to TV's Dr. Mehmet Oz, the then-candidate seemed to be in good health, with a weight-loss goal of 15 pounds.
Still, Trump's age is just another way that he contrasts with President Obama. When Obama was first inaugurated back in 2009, he was one of the younger presidents in U.S. history, at 47 years old. Only Ulysses S. Grant, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, and Theodore Roosevelt were younger upon taking office.
No matter how old a given president is when taking office, he's likely to feel — and look — much older once he's held the job for a short time. In 2011, Dr. Michael Roizen theorized that American presidents age twice as fast while they're in office, according to CNN. During Obama's tenure, the American people watched the president's hair gray and his face crease notably. (You'd struggle to argue that Obama has lost any energy or enthusiasm though. If you don't believe me, watch any of the recent viral videos that have shown Obama in action, or his performance from this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner.)
As a white, Republican man, there's probably not many "firsts" that Trump can claim when he takes office. However, he will undoubtedly be the oldest man to do so. Rather than worry about his age, though, it's likely going to be more important to pay attention to his policies on Inauguration Day and beyond.