Definitive Ranking Of U.S. Presidents By How Many Of Their Bones We Could Obtain

In its 238-year history as a nation, the U.S. has had 43 different presidents. People have long debated which ones were better (or worse) than others. Which ones rose to the challenge of the office and which ones found themselves defeated by it. This is the definitive ranking of U.S. presidents by how many of their bones we could obtain.

43. George W. Bush

We currently possess none of the 43rd president’s bones.

42. Barack Obama

We’ve collected a few of President Obama’s molars, but no bones.

41. George H.W. Bush


40. Bill Clinton

Fragments of first and second thoracic vertebrae (T1 and T2).

39. Jimmy Carter

Four bones: the inferior nasal concha, the left patella, and two ribs.

38. Warren G. Harding

Nine out of 10 distal phalanges.

37. Lyndon B. Johnson

15 bones. (Special thanks to the late Lady Bird Johnson!)

36. Calvin Coolidge

16 bones.

35. William Howard Taft

19 bones and some pelvic fragments.

34. Ronald Reagan

Full skull (22 bones).

33. Ulysses S. Grant

We opened up Ulysses S. Grant’s tomb and found that it had been robbed long ago. We still managed to find 23 bones, and what we believe to be the femur of Robert E. Lee, for some reason.

32. Chester A. Arthur

30 bones.

31. Harry S. Truman

36 bones.

30. James Madison

38 bones.

29. Andrew Jackson

45 bones and a lock of hair.

28. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

49 bones.

27. James K. Polk

Skull (22 bones), spine (26 bones), and all five distal phalanges of the right foot, for a total of 53 bones.

26. Millard Fillmore

55 bones.

25. James Monroe

55 1/2 bones.

24. Zachary Taylor

58 bones.

23. Dwight D. Eisenhower

64 bones.

22. John Adams

79 bones.

21. Benjamin Harrison

111 bones exactly.

20. Woodrow Wilson

113 bones.

19. Andrew Johnson

123 bones, but we’ve been finding a lot of his lately, so in all likelihood, much more to come.

18. Grover Cleveland

140 bones.

17. James A. Garfield

142 bones.

16. John F. Kennedy

146 bones that were harder to obtain than you might think.

15. Gerald R. Ford

154 bones.

14. John Tyler

169 bones.

13. Thomas Jefferson

173 bones and a fossilized mandible.

12. William McKinley

185 bones.

11. James Buchanan

188 bones.

10. William Henry Harrison

190 bones and some skull fragments.

9. John Quincy Adams

We bought 192 bones off a guy who claimed they belong to John Quincy Adams. Until they’re verified by osteologists, we’ll include them here along with this disclaimer.

8. George Washington

195 bones.

7. Martin Van Buren

196 bones.

6. Rutherford B. Hayes

198 bones, including a perfectly preserved tibia.

5. Herbert Hoover

200 bones.

4. Richard M. Nixon

205 bones (so close!).

3. Abraham Lincoln

Full skeleton.

2. Franklin Pierce

Full skeleton with teeth.

1. Theodore Roosevelt

1,857 bones.

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