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A Look Back at Presidential Families Through the Decades

Over the last century, when we look back at who has occupied the oval office, there is one thing each president has had in common despite party differences: they’ve all had what society considered to be a “presidential” looking family. Americans have become accustomed to seeing a married father and mother, kids they share together, and their pets. From the Roosevelts to the Kennedys to the Obamas, we’ve really only seen “traditional” family structures occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

But according to the Pew Research Center, “Two-parent households are on the decline in the United States as divorce, remarriage and cohabitation are on the rise. While in the early 1960s babies typically arrived within a marriage, today fully four-in-ten births occur to women who are single or living with a non-marital partner.”

And in May, for the first time, we saw candidates running for president in the 2020 election that were representative of what American families look like today: candidates with children from previous marriages, candidates with stepchildren, remarried divorcés, or divorcées, and some without children. We also saw unmarried candidates and one candidate with a same-sex spouse.

The look of the “presidential” family is definitely changing, and as we wait to see who will be the country’s 46th President, let’s take a look back at the presidential families through the decades.


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