Most Underrated U.S. Presidents In History

The Top Ten
1 William Clinton William Jefferson Clinton (Born August 19th 1946) is an American politician who was the 42nd President of the United States. He previously served as governor of Arkansas. He became president after unseating incumbent president George H.W. Bush in 1992. He was re-elected in 1996 after defeating Senator ...read more.

Brilliant, relatable and left us with a surplus! Great president. I was proud of our country with him at the helm.

Amazing president who did so much good for the country and had innumerable achievements...even with a republican, obstructive, congress!

Bill Clinton usually ranks about 15th in presidential rankings. I feel he should be in the top ten (6-10 range).

Educated and well spoken. Relates well to all types of people. Large hearted

2 Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II served as the 44th president of the United States of America. He was elected in 2008 after serving in the Senate from 2005-08, beating John McCain and becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the United States. He was elected again in 2012, beating Mitt ...read more.

Only because Republicans hate his guts, which forgets literally anything good he did, like expanding LGBT rights, and recovering from the Great Recession.

This President has faced more opposition as President than all the others, yet God always brings h out of it smelling like a rose. If God is for you, who can stand against you. When God opens or closes a door no one can close it or open it. Let's remember if God ordained it, it is so and our arms are to short to box with Him. His will be done.

Terrible president. He did nothing good for this country! The democratics didn't kill bin laden the republicans did! It took ten years to kill the bastard eight years under bush two under Obama! Therefore the republicans did 80% of the work and the democrats only did 20% of the work!

He gets so much hate, but he was a great president.

3 George H. W. Bush George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 - November 30, 2018) was an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Prior to assuming the presidency, Bush served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States under Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989.

George Bush Sr. is way underrated as a president. Think of all the things that was on his watch in four short years: the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, German reunification, tensions with China (Tiananmen Square), the cleanup of the saving and loans crisis, the first Gulf War, and the overthrow of Manuel Noriega. Most presidents didn’t have this many important circumstances in the course of eight years, where he dealt with all of this in four. He handled them all very well. With almost all presidents you can look back on their presidency and find things that would have been better if they would have handled a particular situation differently; not so much for Bush Sr. He is usually ranked about 20th, this is way too low for how well he handled these significant events.

The media has always been rigged against the Bush's. Both are very underrated! And only focused on their failures and not their many achievements.

Such a kind hearted and intelligent man and president. Much better and more thoughtful than reagan ever was! 1

An intelligent and gentle soul. The only republican I've ever liked!

4 Chester Alan Arthur

Chester Arthur took over for James Garfield after he was assassinated. And did a pretty good job!

5 James Monroe James Monroe was an American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fifth President of the United States from 1817 to 1825.

Dude literally ran, effectively, unopposed. That should be a sign of how good he is.

Definitely the most underrated founding father just forgotten, If you asked people alive from 1788 to 1820 and asked who is your favorite president so far, most would say monroe, He was extremely popular and did so many great things as president. I would call him "Great"

Good president. Not great. But good.

James Monroe. Who is he? He was the last Founding Father to be president (that's why he's in the shadow of the first four), he nearly got rid of sectionalism and political parties during the Era of Good Feelings. he was so popular he ran unopposed for a second term. He was prominent supporter of the colonization of Liberia (a slave free country) and the American Colonization Society (he even has the capital of Liberia named after him). He established the Monroe Doctrine so Europe wont make colonies in Latin America to stop the rebellion there. He fought in the America Revolution and took a bullet to the shoulder. He was the Secretary of State and Secretary of War during Madison's presidency and was more than prepared to take on the role of a president.

So yeah, he's really underrated as both president and Founding Father.

6 Lyndon B. Johnson Lyndon Baines Johnson, often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician who served as the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969.

The best and most accomplished domestic President ever. Vietnam stands out but he was great

Crooked as a country back road. Responsible for thousands of dead people voting, but really the Gulf of Tonkin Incident alone makes him possibly the worst ever, given how Viet Nam has resonated in our history since then.

Possibly the most corrupt president in US history, but most of it was not uncovered until after his death, so he seems to get a pass.

I don't think this guy get enough love. (No, not that kind of love. gross.)

7 James K Polk

I wouldn't say most underrated president but yes a very good president the didn't get enough credit.

The only president who actually did everything he said he would do

The most underrated president by far..

Great president!

8 Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States from 1969 until his resignation in 1974, the only president to resign from office. He had previously served as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, and prior to that as a U.S. Representative and also Senator ...read more.

Nixon was a crook overall, he was underrated because of the things that made him the worst president in US history. Sure, he withdrawn troops from Vietnam, Opened relationships with Communist China as well as the USSR and Introducing an Environmental Protection Agency. But, the reality of Nixon was the Watergate Scandal, spying on political opponents which made him win the 1972 election proves to much of a corrupt president he was.

I disagree to an extent. I believe that, yes, Richard Nixon had some good policies, and some terrible ones, but what makes him awful is the fact that he tried to cover up a scandal that he wasn't even involved in! It was a dumb move caused by his paranoia that he feared getting kicked out of office. We gave him power, and look what he decided to do with it!

Actually, even though I am a Democrat, I kind of agree with this one, especially when you compare him with the hideous Republican Party of today...

Nixon did many good things, but, to most, that doesn't matter.

9 Jimmy Carter James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician and author who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center.

He created the Department of Energy.
He appointed Volcker to the Fed.
He had a relatively peaceful presidency.

He didn't cause the horrible economy of the 70s. He inherited it. Not only that, but he tried to fix it twice, but the American people wouldn't let him. He suggested transitioning to nuclear energy, but he couldn't get that through. Then, he suggested that people cut down on unneccisary consumption, but people got angry about that. It wasn't until Volcker, the person Carter appointed to the Fed, hiked up interest rates that the economy began to improved.

Reagan didn't end the stagflation, Carter did.

Admittingly not a good president but better than you think. He got Egypt and Israel, two very different countries, to get along with each other. He also appointed Paul Volcker who was the best Federal reserve chairman or close to the top. He also decided to help the hostages in Iran without bombing and allowed more hostages to come out alive and not dead. Basically all the effects his successor Ronald Reagan gets credit for was an effect of Jimmy Carter.

Man he just never gets respect even though he’s 94 and still making houses for homeless people and created peace between Egypt and Israel

He was a good president. Much better than Reagan or Ford.

10 Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States; he was the grandson of the ninth President, William Henry Harrison.

Yes a tad underrated. But how do you beat someone and then four years later you lose to them? I don't understand that. But still a good president.

The Contenders
11 John Tyler John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States. He was also, briefly, the tenth Vice President, elected to that office on the 1840 Whig ticket with William Henry Harrison.

No. He was one of history's worst.

What did he really do wrong, though?

12 Grover Cleveland Stephen Grover Cleveland was an American politician and lawyer who was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office.

Criminally underrated. - Alpha101

The last honest Democrat to serve the oval office, comming from a conservative. I say that because there is no way in hell he would be a Democrat today.

13 John Adams John Adams was born on October 30, 1735 in Quincy, Massachusetts, United States. Adams served as the president of the United States from March 4, 1797 to March 4, 1801. He died on July 4, 1826 at the age of 90.

The 2nd president of the United States of America! He did a great Job as president. A founding father. Amazing president.

Don't want to bring up all the old Canadian-American arguments, Alpha101, but... we won the War of 1812!

You guys didn't win the war of 1812 though :/

He’s better than George Washington!

14 Zachary Taylor Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Before his presidency, Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army, rising to the rank of major general.

I'm not saying that he was a good president. What I'm saying is that if he lived longer then we might have known him for being one of the best. People misjudge him because he was a slave owner.

He is my third to favorite president. Super underrated. Remove Grant and place Taylor and remove Jefferson for Madison

Only 16 months in office but in those 16 months he did a great job.

Also my third to favorite president. He was a veteran in the Mexicon war

15 Harry S. Truman Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States, an American politician of the Democratic Party.

Truman Doctrine... Enough said.

Had to make one of the most important decisions in the history of the human race, with almost no warning or knowledge about what it even was [atomic weapon], or that he would have to be the decision-maker [Roosevelt's death during WW2].

16 James Madison James Madison, Jr. was a political theorist, American statesman, and served as the fourth President of the United States.

James Madison is almost the forgotten founding father and an underrated president. Jefferson gets a lot of the attention, Hamilton is on the $10 bill, and Ben Franklin is on the $100. Where is James Madison’s due? Like the other person’s review in this article wrote, he is the Father of the Constitution for crying out loud. He usually ranks around 18th; I think he should be a little higher than that. My main gripe is he seems to take the back seat with the other founding fathers. In my view he is the most important founding father.

He was the Father of the Constitution for crying out loud!

He rocks

17 Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson became president as he was vice president at the time of the assassination of [Abraham Lincoln].

How could someone think he is underrated? - Alpha101

Helped pass 13 14 and 15 amendments

18 Martin Van Buren Martin Van Buren was an American statesman who served as the eighth President of the United States from 1837 to 1841.
19 Rutherford B. Hayes Rutherford Birchard Hayes was the 19th President of the United States from 1877 to 1881, an American congressman, and governor of Ohio. Hayes was a lawyer and staunch abolitionist who defended runaway slaves in court proceedings.
20 Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant was an American soldier and statesman who served as Commanding General of the Army and the 18th President of the United States, the highest positions in the military and the government of the United States.

Held the country together after the Civil War. Created lasting positive relations with Great Britain after the Alabama affair. Brought diversity to the government and protected the rights of African Americans and Native Americans in an era of extreme racism while being aware of the need to also protect States Rights. His major downfall was he trusted too many dishonest men and was considered corrupt by association. This is just plain wrong and unjust for one of the most under rated men to ever hold the office of president

21 Dwight D. Eisenhower Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American politician and general who served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe.

Yes underrated! First president of all 50 states! And created the highway system! Great president. And he did a lot with the war!

Most underrated in my opinion, I never heard anyone bring him up in the discussion for greatest presidents

22 William Howard Taft William Howard Taft served as the 27th President of the United States and as the tenth Chief Justice of the United States, the only person to have held both offices.

Better than Trump and George W. Bush.

23 Gerald Ford Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. was an American politician who served as the 38th President of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977.

A good, steady, underrated president.

24 Calvin Coolidge John Calvin Coolidge Jr. was an American politician and the 30th President of the United States. A Republican lawyer from New England, born in Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor.

Coolidge did much to restore dignity to the office after Harding's scandals. He also presided over one of the greatest periods of economic growth throughout most of the 1920s. It wasn't his policies that led to the Great Depression, rather it was the attempt by Hoover to micromanage the economy.

Well under 5% for unemployment, lowered taxes, higher wages, fewer strikes, new technology, shrinking federal budget, the jazz age. What else can you say, ranked 26th on average.

Most underrated without a doubt. He was humble, honest, and just overall a great dude. Best president in my eyes.

He was an amazing president

25 John Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was an American statesman who served as the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829 at the peak of a political career during which he served in various capacities as diplomat, United States Senator, United States Secretary of State, ...read more.
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