Occupational Firsts

The presidential firsts related to the occupation and previous government roles of the Presidents of the United States.

Please visit the Other Political Offices Held and Occupations fact pages to learn more about the presidents' pre-presidential work.

 Presidents
First president to have served as an ambassador to a foreign countryJohn Adams
First president to have served as Vice PresidentJohn Adams
First president to win election as a non-incumbent Vice PresidentRichard M. Nixon
First president to have served as Secretary of StateThomas Jefferson
First president to have served as GovernorThomas Jefferson
First president to have served as member of the House of RepresentativesJames Madison
First president to have served as Speaker of the House of RepresentativesJames K. Polk
First president to win election as a current member of the House of RepresentativesJames A. Garfield
First president to have served as a SenatorJames Monroe
First president to win election as a current SenatorWarren G. Harding
First president to serve in Congress after his presidencyJohn Quincy Adams
First president to serve in the Senate after his presidencyAndrew Johnson
First president who had not served in any previous elected officeZachary Taylor
First president to have been head of a unionRonald Reagan

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