Presidents, Vice Presidents, and First Ladies of the United States

Find contact information and other facts about presidents, vice presidents, and first ladies, past and present.

President of the United States

The President of the United States is the head of state of the U.S., the chief executive of the federal government, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The United States was the first nation to create the office of President as the head of state in a modern republic. 

Current President

The 44th and current President of the United States is Barack Hussein Obama. He was sworn in for his second four-year term on January 21, 2013.

Requirements to Hold Office - Section One of Article II of the U.S. Constitution

The President must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.

State of the Union Address 

The Constitution requires the President to give Congress a State of the Union, which is a report that addresses a President's legislative proposals and other plans for the country. There is no requirement stating what form or how often the report occurs; however, it normally occurs annually in the last week of January. You can view President Obama's State of the Union address from January 20, 2015.   

Contact the President

The President does not have a public direct telephone number. However, you can contact the White House by submitting your comments or questions online or by phone or fax.

Phone: 1-202-456-1414

Comments Line: 1-202-456-1111

TTY: 1-202-456-6213

Fax: 1-202-456-2461

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Vice President of the United States

The 47th and current Vice President of the United States is Joe Biden. He was sworn in for his second, four-year term on January 21, 2013. 

The Vice President of the United States of America is the President of the Senate and takes over the role of President if the President is unable to perform his/her duties. This can be because of the President's death, resignation, or temporary incapacitation, or if the Vice President, and a majority of the Cabinet, judge that the President is no longer able to discharge the duties of the presidency.

Contact the Vice President

The Vice President does not have a public direct telephone number. However, you can contact the White House by submitting your comments or questions online or by phone or fax.

Phone: 1-202-456-1414

Comments Line: 1-202-456-1111

TTY: 1-202-456-6213

Fax: 1-202-456-2461

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First Ladies

The First Lady of the United States has traditionally been the wife or close female relative of the President of the United States. First Ladies are the hostesses of the White House, serve as advisors to the President, and are often involved in social activism. Over the course of American history, the role of the First Lady has changed and evolved. Read the biographies of the First Ladies to learn about their contributions to the presidential administrations and to the nation.

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC features a First Ladies exhibition, one of the museum's most popular attractions. Its virtual First Ladies interactive tour provides a visual experience of the First Ladies' gowns and other artifacts. 

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Former U.S. Presidents

Information on former U.S. Presidents, including biographies, is available from the White House website. You may also find information on past presidents through the Library of Congress (LOC).

If you wish to contact former President George W. Bush, you may do so at:

Office of George W. Bush
PO Box 259000
Dallas TX 75225-9000

If you wish to contact former President Bill Clinton, you may do so at:

The Honorable William J. Clinton
55 West 125th Street
New York NY 10027

If you wish to contact former President George H.W. Bush, you may do so at:

Office of George H.W. Bush
PO Box 79798
Houston TX 77279-9798

If you wish to contact former President Jimmy Carter, you may do so at:

Office of Jimmy Carter
The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway NE
Atlanta GA 30307

When sending letters to former Presidents, the proper form for addressing the envelope is:
The Honorable (President's name)

The proper form for the salutation in the letter is:
Dear Mr. (President's last name)

Further information is also available through Presidential Libraries and Museums.

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Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day occurs every four years on January 20 (or January 21 if January 20 falls on a Sunday) at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC.  On this federal holiday, the President-elect and Vice-President-elect are sworn in and take office.

The Vice-President-elect is sworn in first, and repeats the same oath of office, in use since 1884, as Senators, Representatives, and other federal employees: 

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Around noon, the President-elect recites the following oath, in accordance with Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The inauguration is planned by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.   Nine common activities typically occur:

For more information on the history of presidential inaugurations, explore the inaugural materials from the collections of the Library of Congress.

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Order of Presidential Succession

The U.S. Constitution and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 give guidelines for the presidential order of succession.

If the President of the United States is incapacitated, dies, resigns, is for any reason unable to hold his/her office, or is removed from office, he/she will be replaced in the following order:

  • Vice President
  • Speaker of the House
  • President Pro Tempore of the Senate
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • Secretary of Defense
  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of the Interior
  • Secretary of Agriculture
  • Secretary of Commerce
  • Secretary of Labor
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Secretary of Transportation
  • Secretary of Energy
  • Secretary of Education
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Secretary of Homeland Security

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Presidential Election Process

The election process begins with the primary elections, during which political parties each select a nominee to unite behind; the nominee in turn selects a Vice Presidential running mate. The candidates then face off in the general election, usually participating in debates and campaigns across the country to explain their views and plans to the voters.

An election occurs every four years. Unlike other political elections, presidential elections use the Electoral College. The President and the Vice President are the only two nationally elected officials in the United States. To win election, a candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes, or if no candidate receives a majority, the House of Representatives and Senate choose the President and Vice President.

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Presidential Greetings, Photographs, and Invitations

White House Greetings Request

To request a greeting from the White House, fill out the Greetings Request webform. The form details the policies and procedures, how and when to request a greeting, and a full list of eligible events. Eligible events include but are not limited to:

  • Births (available within a year of birth date)
  • Birthdays (80 years and older or 70 years and older for veterans)
  • Anniversaries (50  or more years)
  • Weddings and civil unions
  • Retirements (20 or more years of service)

The Greetings department recommends sending in your request six to eight weeks in advance of the occasion. However, for events including births and adoptions, send your request after the event date.

If you already submitted a request and need to make sure your information is correct, contact the White House Comments Line at 1-202-456-1111.

Photo Requests

Order official portraits of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden online through the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).

Invitations for the White House and All Other Requests

If you would like to extend an invitation to, have questions for, or would like information about the President, the White House, or the status of a request, contact the White House online, by phone, fax or by mail.

Phone: 1-202-456-1414
Comments Line: 1-202-456-1111
TTY: 1-202-456-6213
Fax: 1-202-456-2461
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20500

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