How Many U.S. Presidents Have Had Tattoos? An Investigation

Man getting tattoo on chest from professional tattoo artist.

How Many U.S. Presidents Have Had Tattoos? An Investigation

When you think of a president, you probably picture a straight-edged, white-haired dude bent over an ancient scroll at a large mahogany desk. Or you picture an overweight Oompa Loompa shouting “Sad!” at everyone who disagrees with him. Whatever the case, you probably don’t envision someone with tattoos. But as it turns out, a number of presidents have sported some badass ink. The rest are either hella lame, or really good at keeping their tattoos a secret.

1. Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States, serving from 1829 to 1837. These days, his popularity has dwindled because of his notorious support for slavery. His presidency was tarnished by his removal of Native Americans from the South, and his overall use of federal power against minorities was the reason for the Trail of Tears. That’s why it’s particularly strange that he has a giant Tomahawk, a general purpose tool used by Native Americans, tattooed on his inner thigh.

2. James K. Polk
Polk was the United States’ eleventh president, acting as the leader from 1845 to 1849. He spent most of his time acquiring land for America, whose territory grew by more than a third during his time in office. He accomplished the annexation of Texas in 1845 and led the nation into the Mexican-American War, gaining much of the Southwest. He only sought to be president for one term, which is ironic when you consider the fact that his ink was a Chinese character that translates to “eager.”

3. Theodore Roosevelt
Teddy was the twenty-sixth President of the United States, serving from 1901 to 1909. He was an energetic and bold politician who became known as the great “trust buster,” due to his efforts to break up corporate monopolies. He set aside millions of acres of forests and won a Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Russo-Japanese War. Pretty wholesome guy, which is why we’re not surprised to find that he proudly bore a family crest on his chest.