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President of the United States

The President of the United States of America was the political leader of that North American nation, elected — according to American Peri Brown — by ordinary citizens once every four years. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Scorpion)

The president's traditional residence was the White House in Washington, DC. Arguably the most famous room in the White House was the Oval Office, the president's symbolic seat of power. By at least 1969, the president was regarded as one of the most powerful people on Earth. (TV: Day of the Moon)

Indeed, it was plausible to infer the long-lasting impact of the office from the fact that the White House was the official residence for the President of Earth from the 26th century (AUDIO: Scorpius) until at least 4041, (COMIC: Return of the Klytode) long after the United States had become part of a world government.

In 2011, Dr Samantha Madigan told Clyde Langer that the famous Native American curse, the Curse of Tippecanoe, was supposedly placed on the US Presidents. (TV: The Curse of Clyde Langer)

The front page story of an issue of the Daily Spotter claimed that the President of the United States had taken to bathing in cranberry sauce. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark)


18th century[]

Wax replicas of many past U.S. Presidents, including George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Abraham Lincoln and Herbert Hoover. (TV: Spearhead from Space)

George Washington served as President of the United States of America after being a general in the American War of Independence. (PROSE: The Revolutionaries, TV: Spearhead from Space)

John Adams was one of America's Founding Fathers who served as president. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut)

19th century[]

Also regarded as a Founding Father, (TV: The Impossible Astronaut) Thomas Jefferson was president in 1804 when he sent a search party to find woolly mammoths living in the American midwest. (PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street)

During Jefferson's possession by the Loa of the Nine Angles in late 1803, his Vice President, Aaron Burr, served as president for five months. The Loa was ultimately driven out of Jefferson by the sacrifice of the Great Houses' Agent J. (PROSE: The Annotated Autopsy of Agent A)

Andrew Jackson served as president prior to the 1840 election, when Martin Van Buren was in office. (PROSE: System Shock) In a weak diversification event during the War in Heaven, the second term attributed to Van Buren was actually held by Jebadiah Whipple MD. (PROSE: The Annotated Autopsy of Agent A)

James Buchanan was president in 1860 and was perceived as being friendlier to the Southern United States than Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was elected that year and would serve during the American Civil War. (PROSE: Blood and Hope) Ulysses S. Grant was a Union Army general during the Civil War. (PROSE: Blood and Hope) In 1863, the Third Doctor provided Abraham Lincoln with a hand drawn map of the Confederate lines. Lincoln gave the map to General Grant and helped the Union Army win the Battle of Gettysburg. (COMIC: Backtime) President Lincoln was assassinated on 14 April 1865. (AUDIO: Assassin in the Limelight)

During the Civil War, Jefferson Davis served as the first and only President of the Confederate States of America that seceded from the United States of America.

Chester A. Arthur was the twenty-first president of the United State and served in the 19th century. (PROSE: The Sommerton Fetch)

Grover Cleveland was president in the 1880s. (PROSE: Peacemaker)

At one point, the First Doctor watched the assassination of President William McKinley. (PROSE: Byzantium!)

20th century[]

Theodore Roosevelt was a President of the United States. (PROSE: The Turing Test, TV: Spearhead from Space)

President Woodrow Wilson authorised the invasion of Haiti in 1915 to protect American citizens on the island, secure its natural resources, and to prevent the free black people of Haiti giving African Americans any "funny ideas". (PROSE: White Darkness)

Calvin Coolidge was president in the 1920s and did not feel able to run for another term.[1] (PROSE: Blood Harvest)

The Tenth Doctor noted that Herbert Hoover was the thirty-first President of the United States. His term started in 1929 and oversaw the beginning of the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression. By 1930, homeless people moved into Hoovervilles which were named after the president. (TV: Daleks in Manhattan)

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was keeping the United States out of World War II. (PROSE: Illegal Alien) He ultimately oversaw the United States entering the war until his death in 1945. (PROSE: Endgame) Roosevelt's Vice President Harry S. Truman succeeded him that year and oversaw the end of the war. Truman won the 1948 election against Thomas Dewey and served until at least 1951. (PROSE: Endgame)

Dwight D. Eisenhower was president from at least 1957 to at least 1958. (PROSE: First Frontier, TV: Dreamland, PROSE: Loving the Alien)

John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) He oversaw the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. (PROSE: Heart of TARDIS) By one account, he was the 37th President and died of a heart attack on 19 January 1976, at the end of his second term. However, due to Kennedy's infection with life-spores, Agent A travelled back in time to assassinate him (PROSE: The Annotated Autopsy of Agent A) in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963. (TV: Rose, et al.) By other accounts, Kennedy was assassinated by either the Time Lord Berenyi manipulating Lee Harvey Oswald (PROSE: Untitled) or by James Stevens. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) The Ninth Doctor was present at the assassination. (PROSE: Rose)

The Presidential Seal. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut)

Lyndon B. Johnson became president following Kennedy's assassination. He set up the Warren Commission which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in the assassination. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) In 1965, a spokesman for the Ku Klux Klan believed President Johnson would "besmirch the Klan’s name". (PROSE: Salvation) On 4 January 1969, the Washington Post reported that the symbol of the Revolution Man was carved into the blacktop at a US Air Force base in Tennessee. President Johnson called Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev who insisted they had no weapon that could have carried out this attack. (PROSE: Revolution Man)

Richard Nixon's presidency began in 1969; he publicly oversaw the first moon landing and privately oversaw the end of Silents occupying the Earth. When he asked about his legacy, the Eleventh Doctor stated: "They're never going to forget you". (TV: The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon)

The Second Doctor was once encouraged to run for president. (COMIC: Martha the Mechanical Housemaid)

Following the successful deterrence of a Quark invasion in 1971, the Second Doctor was advanced as a possible candidate for president in the upcoming election, even though he was not born an American citizen and would have been disqualified from the presidency. (COMIC: Martha the Mechanical Housemaid)

In the 1970s, President Nixon was involved in the Watergate scandal. (PROSE: Dancing the Code) In 1974, he authorised a nuclear strike on Great Britain to prevent the Remoraxians from flooding the Earth. This order was called off when the Remoraxians fled. (COMIC: In With the Tide)

At the beginning of the Third Doctor's exile on Earth, Madame Tussauds' wax museum depicted Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. (TV: Spearhead from Space)

Gerald Ford was president in 1975. (PROSE: Presence) When President Ford was up for reelection, an old actor almost received the Republican nomination instead of him. (PROSE: The Assassin's Story)

Prior to becoming president, Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer. (PROSE: The Assassin's Story) He'd pledged to reveal what was known about aliens, only to change his mind when he read the Axos file and visited Hanger 13. (PROSE: Prelude No Future)

When the Eighth Doctor was recalling presidents from the 1970s onward, he listed Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Tom Dering, Bruce Springsteen, and Chuck Norris. (PROSE: Interference - Book One)

An attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan took place on 30 March 1981 outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. (PROSE: The Assassin's Story) Bernice Summerfield noted that even this would not make him budge. (PROSE: The Left-Handed Hummingbird)

President George H. W. Bush served between Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. (PROSE: Interference - Book One)

According to one account, President Carrol was in office in 1994. He promoted Joseph Rennigan to Commander in the White House. (PROSE: Rennigan's Record)

President Bill Clinton ran for reelection in 1996. (PROSE: Eternity Weeps) According to one account, President Clinton won reelection and was president in 1997 (PROSE: Placebo Effect) and in June 1999, he awarded Rosa Parks the Congressional Medal. (TV: Rosa)

According to conflicting accounts, Tom Dering followed Bill Clinton as president (PROSE: Interference - Book One) and was in office in 1998 and 1999. He was looking towards running for a second term as president. (PROSE: Option Lock, Millennium Shock)

21st century[]

President George W. Bush was in office in 2000, (PROSE: Cyberon) yet one account held that Bruce Springsteen was in office in 2003. Bernice Summerfield noted that he was a rock-star before being elected president. (PROSE: Eternity Weeps)

President Norris served in the early 21st century (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Warhead) following President Springsteen. (PROSE: Interference - Book One)

In 2006, a president planned to address the nation from the White House after a Slitheen craft hit Big Ben. (TV: Aliens of London) On Christmas Eve that year, the President demanded that he should take control of the situation regarding the approaching Sycorax ship. Prime Minister Harriet Jones insisted that "he [was] not [her] boss, and he [was] certainly not turning this into a war". (TV: The Christmas Invasion)

President Arthur C. Winters was in office in 2008. He was the designated representative of the United Nations for First Contact with the Toclafane. He was killed by the Toclafane on live television under orders from the Saxon Master, who had become Prime Minister of Great Britain under the guise of Harold Saxon. (TV: The Sound of Drums) When the Year That Never Was reversed one year and one day, President Winters had just been assassinated. (TV: Last of the Time Lords)

Faction Paradox rewrote the history of the early 21st century, making Barack Obama president instead of Felix Mather. (HOMEVID: Ex-President)

Originally, former astronaut Felix Mather served as president circa the 2010s. He reencountered the Eighth Doctor decades after meeting him in 1989. (PROSE: Trading Futures) However, after refusing to make a deal with Faction Paradox, Mather found his Presidency erased from the timeline. Instead, (HOMEVID: Ex-President) the first African American president was elected in 2008 (TV: Rosa) in the form of Barack Obama, who was the active President by 2009. (COMIC: Ghosts of the Northern Line) On Christmas Day that year, he proposed a radical solution to end the global recession and to enter a new era of prosperity. During this speech, the Saxon Master utilised the Immortality Gate to transform every person on Earth into the Master Race, including President Obama. This was reversed by Rassilon. (TV: The End of Time)

In 2012, President Obama conveyed his personal best wishes for Henry van Statten's birthday. Van Statten, however, wanted the president replaced, noting that he was ten points down, firing his assistant when he disagreed. Though he offered Diana Goddard a choice of party for the next President, Van Statten was soon usurped by Goddard following the Metaltron incident. (TV: Dalek) Obama remained as President and, in August 2016, he condemned Donald Trump as an unsuitable candidate for president. (PROSE: Buccaneer)

According to another account, Sampson was Democratic president for eight years in the early 21st century. He was succeeded by President Matt Nelson of the newly formed Radical Party. He was assassinated at his inauguration and was succeeded by his Vice President "Lola Denison", the alias of a humanoid timeship named Lolita. (PROSE: Head of State)

Donald Trump was a presidential candidate in 2016 (PROSE: Buccaneer) and British youth considered him to be unstoppable. (PROSE: What She Does Next Will Astound You) In 2017, Bill Potts remarked that she did not know the president and she would not have voted for him because he was "orange". (TV: The Pyramid at the End of the World) The Twelfth Doctor regarded Donald Trump as "inevitable". (TV: The Doctor Falls) In 2018, businessman Jack Robertson claimed he had hated Trump for decades and planned to run for president against him in the 2020 election. (TV: Arachnids in the UK) In 2020, Trump was kidnapped by Sorb and Sarg and stored on their ship. Lucy Wilson and Hobo Kostinen later freed him along with the rest of the human race. (PROSE: The Edge of Glory)

A toxic waste scandal had forced Robertson to abandon his political dreams but after he took credit for the thwarting the Dalek invasion, rumours circulated that he might make another attempt at the Presidency. (TV: Revolution of the Daleks)

By another account, the President in 2017 was the 45th, Daniel Strunk. (PROSE: The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Enemy)

In 2049, the President of the United States was a woman. The Twelfth Doctor remarked that Courtney Woods "rather bizarrely" became the President of the United States in her future. (TV: Kill the Moon)

Historical records in later centuries[]

In the 26th century, a synthespian was made of President Hillary Clinton. (PROSE: Digging up the Past)

After discovering that fragmentary historical records available in the year 4000 erroneously stated that the television presenter Bruce Forsyth was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1977, Charlotte Willis jokingly asked the Fourth Doctor if they thought that Gene Kelly was the U.S. President. (AUDIO: The Foe from the Future)

In 200,100, Trine-E described Jack Harkness' appearances as having a "tweak of President Schwarzenegger". (TV: Bad Wolf)

Alternate histories[]

There were a few people who were presidents in alternate timelines, such as Benjamin Franklin. (AUDIO: Seasons of Fear, Neverland)

In an alternate timeline in which John Hart married Queen Victoria in the late 19th century, an American president was coerced to surrender the United States to the British Empire under the threat of a fictional death ray aimed at New York City. (AUDIO: The Death of Captain Jack)

On a Shadow Earth in 2017, created by the Monks, the American president was sent a translation of the Veritas document. Upon reading the document and learning that he was part of a fake Earth, the President committed suicide in the Oval Office. (TV: Extremis)

In a parallel universe, the United States had a female president. Her conversation with British Prime Minister Margo Kinnear led to the truth about that world's climate change crisis being revealed to the public. (AUDIO: The Flood)

Behind the scenes[]

Ulysses S. Grant served as the eighteenth President of the United States, but his mentions in the DWU only concern his role as a general in the American Civil War.

Limiting term length[]

Exact term length of individual presidents is pretty fuzzy, perhaps because it is irrelevant to most narratives where presidents appear. However, Peri does nail down the generic term to four years when Erimem asks her how the Americans' leaders are chosen in The Eye of the Scorpion. This was consistent as known elections years were 1840, 1860, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1996, 2012, and 2020. (PROSE: System Shock, Blood and Hope, Who Killed Kennedy, COMIC: Martha the Mechanical Housemaid, PROSE: Eternity Weeps, TV: Dalek, Arachnids in the UK)

The wilderness years[]

One major problem area for presidential terms is in the novels which appeared during the 1990s and early 2000s. Here, a variety of not-particularly-reconcilable problems ensue. Not only did some of these "prose presidents" never serve in real life, but they do pretty massively conflict with each other. Most novels seem to agree that presidential order conforms to real history through Bill Clinton's first term, but thereafter, there are a variety of other people — and rather too many of them to all be serving four-year terms. It is completely impossible to fit all the presidents from Clinton to Barack Obama (the latter being confirmed in the Russell T Davies era TV story The End of Time) into any kind of sensible timeline. Later, in the Chris Chibnall era episode Rosa, Clinton is established as being president in 1999 (in the real world, his second term ran from 1997 to 2001), which further limits the room for presidential terms in the novels between Clinton and Obama.

The Winters problem[]

One of the more famous presidential conundrums is that caused by Russell T Davies calling Arthur Winters the "President-elect" during The Sound of Drums.

While there are many differences between the real world and the DWU, such a statement is particularly difficult to understand, just within the context of DWU narratives alone. It's hard to see how he could, in the spring/summer in which Drums appears to occur, be the President-elect, when Day of the Moon gives a very clear indication that Richard Nixon's presidency began about six months prior to the Moon landing, which is positively dated to July 1969. He also seems to have been elected after another president mentioned in The Christmas Invasion, but before Barack Obama, who is actually seen and heard in The End of Time. The timing of all this is simply impossible to figure out — not to mention the fact that Trinity Wells says in Drums that Winters arrived in the UK on Air Force One — which wouldn't be the case if he were merely the President-Elect. Eventually, in a commentary, [which?] Davies admitted that he had simply been wrong to call Winters the "President-elect" — which makes that an ignorable production error.

Donald Trump[]

Main article: Donald Trump

In the real world, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, and was inaugurated in 2017. Prior to the election, he was established as a DWU politician in the year 2016 in the novel What She Does Next Will Astound You. However, an unnamed president in a simulation created by the Monks in the 2017 episode Extremis was a dark haired individual who did not have much physical resemblance to Trump. According to Steven Moffat, the then-showrunner of Doctor Who and the writer of Extremis, Extremis was written before but filmed after the 2016 election.[2]

Trump is later stated to have become president in the DWU in 2018 in the episode Arachnids in the UK, written by Moffat's successor as showrunner, Chris Chibnall.

Invalid sources[]

An unnamed President appeared in the invalid story Death Comes to Time, based upon then-current President George W. Bush.


  1. The synopsis places this novel in 1929 but that is not stated in the text and would deviate from the real world regarding Coolidge.
  2. Doctor Who exclusive: Steven Moffat reveals the secrets of Extremis