As with my various other statistical projects, this series is basically an enormous analysis of a given set of data. In this case, instead of instigating the data set my, I relied entirely on the information given in one book, The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 5th edition, by William A. DeGregorio (Gramercy Books, New York, 2002).
The book is just a huge collection of unrelated facts; I searched out the informational themes that weave throughout its 800-odd pages and collated them together into vignettes from the great narrative that is American presidential history. Together, they create a portrait of the presidency through trivia.
My series has two parts: tables and charts. The tables are mostly black and white sets of pure data in numerical form, and are made for anyone who really likes reams of pure information; they were in turn used as the basis for the charts, which are a collection of the most vivid, exciting-looking presidential statistics anyone has ever seen–an eye-popping blaze of color, geometry, and numbers! All in all, the series is a conflation of fun facts with fun colors. When I made these, it was really the first time I got into making charts, so in retrospect the charts are a little amateurish, but I also thought of them as sort of a chart version of abstract painting, in terms of how the shape and colors interact to form a whole. The tables are also interesting in hindsight, after the continuing progress of a data society; at the time they were made, this information still took work to put together, but now all the information in these tables are probably available in a wiki somewhere.
This series is from 2006, and has not been updated, so it only includes information up through the middle of George W. Bush’s second term. I may update the series after Joe Biden is inaugurated, since some fairly significant changes to the existing data sets have now occurred.
There are approximately 100 tables and 40 charts; a representative selection from both sets can be seen below.
Presidents by Previous Major Jobs
Presidents by Forms of Higher Education
Presidents by Maximum Number of Living Ex-Presidents During Each President’s Term
Presidents by Lengths of Time Spent Before, During, and After Presidency
Months of Presidential Births, Beginnings of Terms, and Deaths
Presidents by Number of Vice Presidents
Presidents Who Served Multiple Terms
Presidents by States Added During Their Administration
Presidential Third-Party Candidates and Their Success Rates
Presidents by Percentage of Popular Vote, Electoral Vote, and States Won per Election
Presidents and Their First Ladies
Presidents by Administration, Chronologically
Presidents by Number of Constitutional Amendments Added, from Most to Least
Presidents Who Went to College
Presidents Who Have Been Married While President
Presidents, Chronologically by Birth, Presidency, and Death
Presidents by Height, from Most to Least
Presidents by Number of Other Living Ex-Presidents, Chronologically by Administration
Presidents Who Have Been in the Military
Presidents Who Served More Than One Term, Chronologically
Presidents Who Are Immediately Related to Each Other
Presidents by Number of States Added, from Most to Least
Presidents, Presidential Contenders, and the States They Won in the Electoral College
Presidents by Number of Supreme Court Appointees, Chronologically by Administration
Presidents with Vice Presidents Who also Served under Another President
Presidents by 3rd-Party Contenders, by Percentage of States Won, from Most to Least
Presidents Who, upon Leaving Office, Were Still Younger Than the Person Succeeding Them, from Largest to Smallest Disparity in Age
Presidents and Their Relationship to the Vice Presidency
Presidents by Percentage of Popular Vote, Chronologically by Administration