News Organizations Claimed Biden and Trump Are Oldest US Presidential Candidates Ever. Here's What We Found

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Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the two oldest U.S. presidential candidates ever.


Rating: Mostly True
Rating: Mostly True


As of this writing, Biden and Trump have all but officially secured presidential nominations from their respective political parties. When that happens at party conventions in the coming weeks, they will indeed be the two oldest presidential nominees representing a major political party. There have been older third-party and independent candidates, as well as older candidates who sought but did not receive a major-party nomination.


In a post made on June 26, 2024, the official Reuters X account claimed that U.S. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump were the two oldest candidates ever to run for U.S. president.

The same claim was also made in a March 11, 2024, op-ed debate published on CNN's website on May 5, 2024, as well as in a Facebook post from the official account of U.K. newspaper The Guardian.

The truth is a little more complicated. It is correct to say that, when Biden and Trump officially secure their parties' nomination for president in 2024 (that will happen at party conventions), they will be the two oldest presidential nominees representing a major political party. But there have been older third-party and independent candidates. There have also been older presidential hopefuls who sought but did not receive a major party's nomination. For this reason, we have rated the claim as "Mostly True."

Then-President Ronald Reagan, born Feb. 6, 1911, became the oldest major-party candidate to be nominated when he ran for reelection in 1984. He was 73 years old.

In 2020, Biden, who was born Nov. 20, 1942, and was 77 years old at the time, took over Reagan's spot for oldest major-party presidential candidate, as The Associated Press reported. Trump, then 74 (he was born June 14, 1946), was knocked to second place.

In other words, when Election Day rolls around, Biden will be 81 years old and Trump will be 78.

That said, there have been older candidates who ran for president as third-party nominees or independents, as well as older candidates who sought but failed to secure nominations from major parties. One such figure was Harold Stassen, a "perennial candidate" who unsuccessfully campaigned for the Republican Party nomination nine times between 1948 and 1992, when he was 85 years old. Another example is fringe politician Lyndon LaRouche, who campaigned for the final time in 2004, at the age of 82. 

As The Hill reported in February 2024, the phenomenon of advanced age in major-party presidential candidates emerged fairly recently in American history:

Since 1976, the two parties have combined to nominate nine presential candidates who are 60 years or older, five of whom were 70 or older. In the period before 1976, the oldest nominee in American history, William Henry Harrison, was 67 when the election took place (and he died after a month in office). From 1880-1976, there were only four candidates over 60: Benjamin Harrison, Franklin D. Roosevelt (for his third and fourth term), Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

In sum, it is correct to say that, when the GOP and Democratic parties officially nominate Trump and Biden for president, respectively, they will be the two oldest presidential candidates nominated by a major political party. However, they are not the two oldest candidates to ever declare a presidential campaign. For this reason, we rate the claim as "Mostly True."


"Biden vs. Trump: General Election Battle Is Now Set." AP News, 9 Apr. 2020,

Debate: How Old Is Too Old to Be President? Accessed 27 June 2024.

"Donald J. Trump." WHHA (En-US), Accessed 27 June 2024.

"Harold Edward Stassen." University Archives and Records Center, Accessed 27 June 2024.

"Joseph R. Biden Jr." WHHA (En-US), Accessed 27 June 2024.

McGregor, Jena. "Analysis | Clinton and Trump Are the Oldest Candidates Ever. No One Seems to Care." Washington Post, 5 Dec. 2021.,

Severo, Richard. "Lyndon LaRouche, Cult Figure Who Ran for President 8 Times, Dies at 96." The New York Times, 13 Feb. 2019.,

Spivak, Joshua. "Actually, Americans Like Older Presidential Candidates." The Hill, 28 Feb. 2024. Accessed 27 June 2024.


June 28, 2024: This article was corrected to report that before Biden did, Reagan attained the title "oldest major-party candidate to win nomination" when he ran for reelection in 1984 at the age of 73.