The Bald and The Beardiful: A Celebration of Presidents

Posted January 31, 2013 by Adam Gautsch

A bald eagle with a beard. The perfect mascot.

We need more brave bearded men (and women) in office and fewer plastic department store clothing mannequins. Let’s face it, figuring out the solutions to the terrible unemployment numbers and the potential meltdown of the Euro is hard work. Even the smartest and most skilled politician might not be able to solve these problems.2 Nonetheless, we are sure a President who thinks while stroking his beard stands a much better chance.

Darwin, Einstein, and Santa Claus all prove that substantial facial hair leads to true genius. Barack, Mitt, and Newt: if you want our vote, throw the razor away and embrace the beard.3

What’s the Big Idea

For the month of February, the month of Presidents’ Day, we celebrate the bearded and bald Presidents of the United States. Roxy Koranda and Evan Tishuk took turns creating 10 minute4 pieces of art inspired by the 16 Presidents who were bald, bearded, moustached, sideburneded, mulleted, or any combination of those. We’ve shared these drawings here and on Dribbble. If anyone else wants to join in with their own art, we encourage you to do so.

Which Presidents Make the Cut

George Washington by Roxy

George Washington by Roxy

George Washington didn’t have a beard. Nor did he have a moustache. Some people claim he was bald and wore a wig, but others claim that he let his natural hair flow freely. Either way, sideburns are present in most depictions of Washington that I’ve seen, and that’s the reason he made the cut. Sure, some images show fuzzier sideburns than others, but they really don’t get enough credit. Even though his teeth weren’t real, knowing he had noteable sideburns should’ve given George something to smile about.

John Adams by Evan

John Adams

It's pretty clear to rise high in the Freemasons you need to grow facial hair. Is it a coincidence that many of the founding fathers also had mighty facial hair? Maybe. What is clear is John Adams hits a trifecta with sideburns, a mullet and a substantial bald spot. Freemasons don't give damn. Not that he is a Freemason. Maybe.

John Quincy Adams by Roxy

Mutton Chops

John Quincy Adams had mutton chops, a pet alligator, and swam naked in the Potomac River every day.

Martin Van Buren by Evan

Martin Van Buren

Let’s be honest. We’ve all asked ourselves, “What would it look like if Doc Brown was President?” Thanks to 1.21 gigawatts and a little artistic license we now know. On a side note, the most exciting thing about the Martin Van Buren presidency was his hair. Good for him.

James K. Polk by Roxy


James K. Polk: the first president with a mullet. He was all ready for the 1980s more than a century early.

Zachary Taylor by Evan

Zachary Taylor was easily one of the most disheveled-looking American presidents. Just look at one of his more famous mug shots. It's day three of one of his epic whiskey benders somewhere on the frontier, which might be close to the truth because he died only 16 months into his term. His official cause of death is "bilious diarrhea," so perhaps we should cut him some slack.

Some interesting side-notes:

Abraham Lincoln by Roxy

Laser Lincoln

Aside from holding séances in the White House and shooting lasers out of his eyes, Lincoln also had a beard.

Ulysses Grant by Evan


Grant was, by most accounts, a bad president that happened to have a thick beard and a full head of hair

Evidently there are many people here in the South that will not accept $50.00 bills to this day. So I made him a cartoon demon-zombie

Rutherford Hayes by Roxy

Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes really liked guns and croquet. More notably, he had the longest beard of all the presidents, and it looks pretty good recreated in wool

James Garfield by Evan

James Garfield

Chester Arthur by Roxy


Chester A. Arthur had expensive taste when it came to clothing and furniture, and he rarely went to bed before 2 a.m. because he enjoyed nightclubs and late-night walks. Like many other presidents, he also enjoyed ham.

Benjamin Harrison by Roxy


Benjamin Harrison was the last president with a beard. Though he was the one who decided to have electricity installed in the White House, he had the staff operate all light switches for him because was terrified of being electrocuted.

William Howard Taft by Roxy

get on a raft with Taft

Taft was the last president with facial hair. He also was the last president to ride a water buffalo.

Honorable Mention

  • Grover Cleveland
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower


  1. Back in 2001 I worked in politics. Bob Peeler was running for governor. At one big event, someone came up to me and said, “I’ll never vote for Bob Peeler. He has mustache and men with facial hair have something to hide.” (Back)
  2. That’s a lie. The jobs one is easy. Educate our damn workforce to be able to handle work at modern jobs. Now, figuring out how to pay for the education, that’s a little tougher.(Back)
  3. Newt still probably won’t get our vote. Colonies on the moon are cool and all, but we can’t pull the lever for a man name Newt. (Back)
  4. So far, they’ve all taken longer than 10 minutes, but we use our whole ass here at OrangeCoat and sometimes that takes longer than one would like. (Back)


Kevin C ~ February 06, 2012

Both Abe Simpson and I are deeply sadded to see Grover Cleveland listed only once.

Carp ~ February 29, 2012

As follow up, you guys should draw each of the presidential candidates with a beard or balding and provide a small bio on how much cooler they would be because of the modification.

Mark Schweizer ~ April 19, 2012

In the golden days of history no public figure in his right mind would venture out into the world without a beard at least the size and shape of a beer barrel and that made up at least a quarter of his total body weight. A beard was a status symbol, something to be cherished by all the family. Not only that but a really enviable face-bush was also an indication of intelligence and respectability, even heroism and genius. In Victorian London there were clubs for which to gain entry a member was expected to sport a beard of length reaching at least to mid-chest level. During some periods of history it was popularly said that a man was not truly a gentleman if his beard was not of a size capable of concealing at least a medium sized turkey.

Visitor ~ March 09, 2013

These are sweet. I teach government at community college - any chance you'd let me paste these into the slides I use for class presentations?

Adam Gautsch ~ March 09, 2013

Of course. Just remember, when you speak of us-- be kind.

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