The last U.S. president to have a mustache in his official presidential portrait was William Howard Taft, who served as the 27th President of the United States from 1909 to 1913. His official presidential portrait, painted by artist Anders Zorn, features Taft with a full mustache.

Since Taft, no other U.S. president has sported a mustache in their official presidential portrait.

Why Presidents Don’t Grow Facial Hair For Their Portraits Today

Out of all the presidents in U.S. history, only 13 have had and displayed their facial hair in photographs. Beards were considered a sign of masculinity, virility, and wisdom.

Sporting a beard was most popular in the mid-to-late 19th century, especially in Europe and the Americas. During this time, roughly 90% of men sported facial hair. Another time beards became popular was during the Civil War, when soldiers grew bears to keep their faces warm in the winter.

However, by the turn of the century, shaving became the trend. Safety razors became more popular as men’s fashion changed between the 1870s and 1880s. In addition, many people began associating bears with radical political and social movements, causing their popularity to dwindle.

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Who Were The Other Presidents Who Had Facial Hair In Their Presidential Portraits?

Technically, only five U.S. presidents sported full beards during their candidacy and in their presidential portraits. These fully bearded presidents included:

  • Abraham Lincoln: While he entered office clean-shaven in March 1861, Lincoln started growing a beard after receiving a letter from 11-year-old Grace Bedell, who wasn’t a fan of his baby-faced look.
  • Ulysses Grant: After Lincoln, Grant was the first U.S. president to sport a full beard, dethroning Lincoln’s smaller chinstrap.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes: Hayes sported the longest beard of all five bearded U.S. presidents.
  • James Garfield: Garfield’s beard was likened to Rasputin’s, black with gray streaks.
  • Benjamin Harrison: The fifth bearded president sported facial hair all four years of his candidacy in the White House.

Other presidents who had facial hair but didn’t have full beards include:

  1. John Quincy Adams
  2. Chester Arthur
  3. Martin Van Buren
  4. Grover Cleveland
  5. Theodore Roosevelt
  6. William Taft
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The Bottom Line

After medical experts perceived facial hair as “unhygienic” in the 20th century, fuzz-faced presidents grew scarce. Nowadays, there is a blatant absence of bearded politicians in office. When we’ll see another bearded face in the White House remains a mystery.