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Presidents In College (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/01/10 06:23 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 05:55 PM ET

With the exception of Harry Truman, every 20th and 21st century president's path to the White House began with a stint in college. Some were athletes, some were performers and others were war heroes -- check out the photos and let us know which one you like the best. (And if you're wanting more, don't miss First Ladies In College!)

Happy Fourth of July!


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  • Barack Obama

    Before Obama transferred to Columbia University in 1981, he studied at <a href="http://www.oxy.edu/x7992.xml" target="_hplink">Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA,</a> where he was <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jan/29/local/me-oxy29" target="_hplink">known as Barry and protested investments in South Africa</a>. Obama has said that he chose Occidental because he "met a girl from Brentwood" while she was on a trip to Hawaii.

  • George W. Bush

    George W. Bush <a href="http://2004.georgewbush.org/bios/yale-transcript.asp" target="_hplink">wasn't exactly a bookworm</a> at Yale, but he was a frat boy at Delta Kappa Epsilon and a member of the famous Skull and Bones secret society. See his school transcript <a href="http://2004.georgewbush.org/bios/yale-transcript.asp" target="_hplink">here.</a>

  • Bill Clinton

    After meeting President John F. Kennedy in high school, Clinton became inspired to serve the public and enrolled at Georgetown University and studied foreign service. He went on to win a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University.

  • George H. W. Bush

    George H. W. Bush served in World War II as a pilot and then <a href="http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/bus0bio-1" target="_hplink">graduated from Yale in less than three years with a B.A. in economics.</a> During college, Bush was a star baseball player, a member of Skull and Bones and a new husband to Barbara Pierce.

  • Ronald Reagan

    Reagan was an active student at <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/29/sarah-palin-eureka-colleg_n_629183.html" target="_hplink">Eureka College in Illinois</a>, participating in activities from football to drama. Though he studied <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/ronaldreagan" target="_hplink">economics and sociology, he became a radio announcer after he graduated</a>.

  • Jimmy Carter

    A transfer to the U.S. Naval Academy from Georgia Southwestern College, Carter graduated 59th in his class in 1947. He went on to <a href="http://www.usna.edu/admissions/Notables/Presidents/bios/carter.htm" target="_hplink">serve on submarines and eventually became a lieutenant</a>.

  • Gerald Ford

    <a href="ttp://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/geraldford" target="_hplink">Ford (born Leslie Lynch King Jr.) was a star center on the University of Michigan's football team</a>, leading them to two national titles. He was voted MVP and his number, #48, was retired by the university. He turned down a professional football career to attend Yale Law.

  • Richard Nixon

    Although Nixon was granted entry to Harvard and Yale, he couldn't afford the tuition, so <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/richardnixon" target="_hplink">he instead enrolled at Whittier College in California,</a> where he ran track and played basketball and football. He went on to law school at Duke.

  • John F. Kennedy

    Kennedy spent a good portion of his time at Harvard traveling and doing research for his thesis, titled "Appeasement in Munich." He graduated cum laude in 1940 and joined the Navy shortly thereafter.

  • Herbert Hoover

    Hoover graduated from Stanford University in 1891, the first year of the school's operation. Legend has it <a href="Herbert Hoover may not have had the greatest timing when it came to his Presidential years, but he couldn't have picked a better time to enter college. Hoover claimed to be the first student ever at Stanford, by virtue of having been the first person in the first class to sleep in the dormitory. He later went on to serve as student manager of both the baseball and football teams, making him the one and only U.S. President to serve as team manager in "The Big Game." " target="_hplink">Hoover used to claim that he was the first student at Stanford in history</a>, as he slept in the dorms before anyone else.

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