List of speakers of the United States House of Representatives

The speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution. The speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House, and is simultaneously the body's presiding officer, the de facto leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head.[1] Speakers also perform various administrative and procedural functions, all in addition to representing their own congressional district. Given these several roles and responsibilities, the speaker usually does not personally preside over debates. That duty is instead delegated to members of the House from the majority party. Neither does the speaker regularly participate in floor debates. Additionally, the speaker is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president and ahead of the president pro tempore of the Senate.[2]

The House elects a new speaker by roll call vote when it first convenes after a general election for its two-year term, or when a speaker dies, resigns or is removed from the position intra-term. A majority of votes cast (as opposed to a majority of the full membership of the House) is necessary to elect a speaker.[1] If no candidate receives a majority vote, then the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected.[3] The Constitution does not require the speaker to be an incumbent member of the House, although every speaker thus far has been.[4] Altogether, 56 individuals, from 24 states, have served as speaker of the House.

List of speakers

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The House has elected a speaker 128 times since 1789:[3] at the start of each of the 118 congresses, plus on 10 occasions when a vacancy arose during a Congress via death, resignation, or motion to vacate. Of the 56 people who have served as speaker of the House over the past 235 years, 32 served multiple terms; seven of them served nonconsecutive terms: Frederick Muhlenberg, Henry Clay, John W. Taylor, Thomas Brackett Reed, Joseph W. Martin Jr., Sam Rayburn, and Nancy Pelosi. Altogether, there have been 65 occasions on which a new speaker took office. Every speaker of the House has been a member of a political party or faction; the number affiliated with each is:

  Democratic – 22;[a]   Republican – 18;   Democratic-Republican – 6;[b]   Jacksonian – 3;[a]   Whig – 3;   Federalist – 2;   Pro-Administration – 2;[c]   National Republican – 1;[b]   American – 1;   Anti-Administration – 1.[c]


List of speakers of the United States House of Representatives
Congress Term Portrait Name Party District[d]
1st April 1, 1789

March 4, 1791
  Frederick Muhlenberg Pro-Administration Pennsylvania at-large
2nd October 24, 1791

March 4, 1793
  Jonathan Trumbull Jr. Connecticut at-large
3rd December 2, 1793[e]

March 4, 1795
  Frederick Muhlenberg Anti-Administration Pennsylvania at-large
4th December 7, 1795

March 4, 1797
  Jonathan Dayton Federalist New Jersey at-large

5th

May 15, 1797

March 4, 1799
6th December 2, 1799[e]

March 4, 1801
  Theodore Sedgwick Massachusetts 1
7th December 7, 1801

March 4, 1803
  Nathaniel Macon Democratic-
Republican
North Carolina 5
8th October 17, 1803

March 4, 1805
North Carolina 6
9th December 2, 1805[e]

March 4, 1807
10th October 26, 1807

March 4, 1809
  Joseph Bradley Varnum Massachusetts 4
11th May 22, 1809[e]

March 4, 1811
12th November 4, 1811

March 4, 1813
  Henry Clay Kentucky 5
13th May 24, 1813

January 19, 1814[f]
Kentucky 2
January 19, 1814[g]

March 4, 1815
  Langdon Cheves South Carolina 1
14th December 4, 1815

March 4, 1817
  Henry Clay Kentucky 2
15th December 1, 1817

March 4, 1819
16th December 6, 1819

October 28, 1820[f]
November 15, 1820[e][g]

March 4, 1821
  John W. Taylor New York 11
17th December 4, 1821[e]

March 4, 1823
  Philip P. Barbour Virginia 11
18th December 1, 1823

March 6, 1825[f]
  Henry Clay Kentucky 3
19th December 5, 1825[e]

March 4, 1827
  John W. Taylor National Republican
(Pro-Adams)
New York 17
20th December 3, 1827

March 4, 1829
  Andrew Stevenson Jacksonian Virginia 9
21st December 7, 1829

March 4, 1831
22nd December 5, 1831

March 4, 1833
23rd December 2, 1833

June 2, 1834[f]
Virginia 11
June 2, 1834[e][g]

March 4, 1835
  John Bell Tennessee 7
24th December 7, 1835

March 4, 1837
  James K. Polk Tennessee 9
25th September 4, 1837

March 4, 1839
Democratic
26th December 16, 1839[e]

March 4, 1841
  Robert M. T. Hunter Whig Virginia 9
27th May 31, 1841

March 4, 1843
  John White Kentucky 9
28th December 4, 1843

March 4, 1845
  John Winston Jones Democratic Virginia 6
29th December 1, 1845

March 4, 1847
  John Wesley Davis Indiana 6
30th December 6, 1847[e]

March 4, 1849
  Robert Charles Winthrop Whig Massachusetts 1
31st December 22, 1849[e]

March 4, 1851
  Howell Cobb Democratic Georgia 6
32nd December 1, 1851

March 4, 1853
  Linn Boyd Kentucky 1
33rd December 5, 1853

March 4, 1855
34th February 2, 1856[e]

March 4, 1857
  Nathaniel P. Banks American Massachusetts 7
35th December 7, 1857

March 4, 1859
  James Lawrence Orr Democratic South Carolina 5
36th February 1, 1860[e]

March 4, 1861
  William Pennington Republican New Jersey 5
37th July 4, 1861

March 4, 1863
  Galusha A. Grow Pennsylvania 14
38th December 7, 1863

March 4, 1865
  Schuyler Colfax Indiana 9
39th December 4, 1865

March 4, 1867
40th March 4, 1867

March 3, 1869[f]
March 3, 1869[g]

March 4, 1869
  Theodore M. Pomeroy New York 24
41st March 4, 1869

March 4, 1871
  James G. Blaine Maine 3
42nd March 4, 1871

March 4, 1873
43rd March 4, 1873

March 4, 1875
44th December 6, 1875

August 19, 1876[h]
  Michael C. Kerr Democratic Indiana 3
December 4, 1876[g]

March 4, 1877
  Samuel J. Randall Pennsylvania 3
45th October 15, 1877

March 4, 1879
46th March 18, 1879

March 4, 1881
47th December 5, 1881

March 4, 1883
  J. Warren Keifer Republican Ohio 8
48th December 3, 1883

March 4, 1885
  John G. Carlisle Democratic Kentucky 6
49th December 7, 1885

March 4, 1887
50th December 5, 1887

March 4, 1889
51st December 2, 1889

March 4, 1891
  Thomas Brackett Reed Republican Maine 1
52nd December 8, 1891

March 4, 1893
  Charles Frederick Crisp Democratic Georgia 3
53rd August 7, 1893

March 4, 1895
54th December 2, 1895

March 4, 1897
  Thomas Brackett Reed Republican Maine 1
55th March 15, 1897

March 4, 1899
56th December 4, 1899

March 4, 1901
  David B. Henderson Iowa 3
57th December 2, 1901

March 4, 1903
58th November 9, 1903

March 4, 1905
  Joseph Gurney Cannon Illinois 18
59th December 4, 1905

March 4, 1907
60th December 2, 1907

March 4, 1909
61st March 15, 1909

March 4, 1911
62nd April 4, 1911

March 4, 1913
  Champ Clark Democratic Missouri 9
63rd April 7, 1913

March 4, 1915
64th December 6, 1915

March 4, 1917
65th April 2, 1917

March 4, 1919
66th May 19, 1919

March 4, 1921
  Frederick H. Gillett Republican Massachusetts 2
67th April 11, 1921

March 4, 1923
68th December 5, 1923[e]

March 4, 1925
69th December 7, 1925

March 4, 1927
  Nicholas Longworth Ohio 1
70th December 5, 1927

March 4, 1929
71st April 15, 1929

March 4, 1931
72nd December 7, 1931

March 4, 1933
  John Nance Garner Democratic Texas 15
73rd March 9, 1933

August 19, 1934[h]
  Henry Thomas Rainey Illinois 20
74th January 3, 1935

June 4, 1936[h]
  Jo Byrns Tennessee 5
June 4, 1936[g]

January 3, 1937
  William B. Bankhead Alabama 7
75th January 5, 1937

January 3, 1939
76th January 3, 1939

September 15, 1940[h]
September 16, 1940[g]

January 3, 1941
  Sam Rayburn Texas 4
77th January 3, 1941

January 3, 1943
78th January 6, 1943

January 3, 1945
79th January 3, 1945

January 3, 1947
80th January 3, 1947

January 3, 1949
  Joseph W. Martin Jr. Republican Massachusetts 14
81st January 3, 1949

January 3, 1951
  Sam Rayburn Democratic Texas 4
82nd January 3, 1951

January 3, 1953
83rd January 3, 1953

January 3, 1955
  Joseph W. Martin Jr. Republican Massachusetts 14
84th January 3, 1955

January 3, 1957
  Sam Rayburn Democratic Texas 4
85th January 3, 1957

January 3, 1959
86th January 7, 1959

January 3, 1961
87th January 3, 1961

November 16, 1961[h]
January 10, 1962[g]

January 3, 1963
  John W. McCormack Massachusetts 12
88th January 9, 1963

January 3, 1965
Massachusetts 9
89th January 4, 1965

January 3, 1967
90th January 10, 1967

January 3, 1969
91st January 3, 1969

January 3, 1971
92nd January 21, 1971

January 3, 1973
  Carl Albert Oklahoma 3
93rd January 3, 1973

January 3, 1975
94th January 14, 1975

January 3, 1977
95th January 4, 1977

January 3, 1979
  Tip O'Neill Massachusetts 8
96th January 15, 1979

January 3, 1981
97th January 5, 1981

January 3, 1983
98th January 3, 1983

January 3, 1985
99th January 3, 1985

January 3, 1987
100th January 6, 1987

January 3, 1989
  Jim Wright Texas 12
101st January 3, 1989

June 6, 1989[f]
June 6, 1989[g]

January 3, 1991
  Tom Foley Washington 5
102nd January 3, 1991

January 3, 1993
103rd January 5, 1993

January 3, 1995
104th January 4, 1995

January 3, 1997
  Newt Gingrich Republican Georgia 6
105th January 7, 1997

January 3, 1999[i]
106th January 6, 1999

January 3, 2001
  Dennis Hastert Illinois 14
107th January 3, 2001

January 3, 2003
108th January 7, 2003

January 3, 2005
109th January 3, 2005

January 3, 2007
110th January 4, 2007

January 3, 2009
  Nancy Pelosi Democratic California 8
111th January 6, 2009

January 3, 2011
112th January 5, 2011

January 3, 2013
  John Boehner Republican Ohio 8
113th January 3, 2013

January 3, 2015
114th January 6, 2015

October 29, 2015[f]
October 29, 2015[g]

January 3, 2017
  Paul Ryan Wisconsin 1
115th January 3, 2017

January 3, 2019
116th January 3, 2019

January 3, 2021
  Nancy Pelosi Democratic California 12
117th January 3, 2021

January 3, 2023
118th January 7, 2023[e]

October 3, 2023[j]
  Kevin McCarthy Republican California 20
October 25, 2023[g][e]

Incumbent
  Mike Johnson Louisiana 4
References:[5][6]

Speakers by time in office

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The durations mentioned below are calculated based on date differences; if one were to count by the number of calendar days, all the values would be one day longer.

Additionally, since many speakers held office for multiple terms, often with non-consecutive periods, the time listed for each speaker represents the total length of their time as speaker. It is important to note that the period between the adjournment of one Congress and the convening of the next Congress is not included in the calculations. For instance, Nathaniel Macon served as speaker during both the 8th and 9th Congresses, but the eight-month gap between the two Congresses is not included in his service duration. The exact dates of service for each individual speaker is shown in the Term of service column of the above table.

 
Official seal of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
 
Sam Rayburn, longest serving speaker of the House, 17 years, 53 days (cumulative)
 
Tip O'Neill, longest uninterrupted tenure of office, 9 years, 350 days
 
Theodore M. Pomeroy, shortest tenure of office, 1 day
Rank Name Time in office TE Year(s) in which elected
1 Sam Rayburn 17 years, 53 days 10 1940; 1941; 1943; 1945; 1949; 1951; 1955; 1957; 1959; 1961
2 Henry Clay 10 years, 196 days 6 1811; 1813; 1815; 1817; 1819; 1823
3 Tip O'Neill 9 years, 350 days 5 1977; 1979; 1981; 1983; 1985
4 John W. McCormack 8 years, 344 days 5 1962; 1963; 1965; 1967; 1969
5 Nancy Pelosi 7 years, 364 days 4 2007; 2009; 2019; 2021
6 Dennis Hastert 7 years, 359 days 4 1999; 2001; 2003; 2005
7 Champ Clark 6 years, 357 days 4 1911; 1913; 1915; 1917
8 Carl Albert 5 years, 337 days 3 1971; 1973; 1975
9 Joseph Gurney Cannon 5 years, 285 days 4 1903; 1905; 1907; 1909
10 Tom Foley 5 years, 209 days 3 1989; 1991; 1993
11 James G. Blaine 5 years, 93 days 3 1869; 1871; 1873
12 Frederick H. Gillett 4 years, 341 days 3 1919; 1921; 1923
13 John Boehner 4 years, 297 days 3 2011; 2013; 2015
14 Schuyler Colfax 4 years, 176 days 3 1863; 1865; 1867
15 Thomas Brackett Reed 4 years, 172 days 3 1889; 1895; 1897
16 Nicholas Longworth 4 years, 133 days 3 1925; 1927; 1929
17 William B. Bankhead 4 years, 102 days 3 1936; 1937; 1939
18 Andrew Stevenson 4 years, 83 days 4 1827; 1829; 1831; 1833
19 Joseph W. Martin Jr. 4 years 2 1947; 1953
20 Newt Gingrich 3 years, 361 days 2 1995; 1997
21 Nathaniel Macon 3 years, 317 days 3 1801; 1803; 1805
22 John G. Carlisle 3 years, 267 days 3 1883; 1885; 1887
23 Samuel J. Randall 3 years, 215 days 3 1876; 1877; 1879
24 Paul Ryan 3 years, 66 days 2 2015; 2017
25 Frederick Muhlenberg 3 years, 64 days 2 1789; 1793
26 Joseph Bradley Varnum 3 years, 49 days 2 1807; 1809
27 Jonathan Dayton 3 years, 14 days 2 1795; 1797
28 Charles Frederick Crisp 2 years, 295 days 2 1891; 1893
29 James K. Polk 2 years, 268 days 2 1835; 1837
30

(tie)

Linn Boyd 2 years, 182 days 2 1851; 1853
David B. Henderson 2 years, 182 days 2 1899; 1901
32 Jim Wright 2 years, 151 days 2 1987; 1989
33 John White 1 year, 277 days 1 1841
34 Galusha A. Grow 1 year, 243 days 1 1861
35 John W. Taylor 1 year, 198 days 2 1820; 1825
36 Henry Thomas Rainey 1 year, 163 days 1 1933
37 Joseph W. Byrns Sr. 1 year, 153 days 1 1935
38 Jonathan Trumbull Jr. 1 year, 131 days 1 1791
39 John Wesley Davis 1 year, 93 days 1 1845
40 Theodore Sedgwick 1 year, 92 days 1 1799
41

(tie)

Philip P. Barbour 1 year, 90 days 1 1821
John Winston Jones 1 year, 90 days 1 1843
43 J. Warren Keifer 1 year, 89 days 1 1881
44 Robert Charles Winthrop 1 year, 88 days 1 1847
45

(tie)

James Lawrence Orr 1 year, 87 days 1 1857
John Nance Garner 1 year, 87 days 1 1931
47 Robert M. T. Hunter 1 year, 78 days 1 1839
48 Howell Cobb 1 year, 72 days 1 1849
49 Langdon Cheves 1 year, 44 days 1 1814
50 William Pennington 1 year, 31 days 1 1860
51 Nathaniel P. Banks 1 year, 30 days 1 1856
52 John Bell 275 days 1 1834
53 Kevin McCarthy 269 days 1 2023
54 Michael C. Kerr 257 days 1 1875
55 Mike Johnson 238 days 1 2023
56 Theodore M. Pomeroy 1 day 1 1869

Timeline

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Mike Johnson (Louisiana politician)Kevin McCarthyPaul RyanJohn BoehnerNancy PelosiDennis HastertNewt GingrichTom FoleyJim WrightTip O'NeillCarl AlbertJohn W. McCormackJoseph W. Martin Jr.Sam RayburnWilliam B. BankheadJo ByrnsHenry Thomas RaineyJohn Nance GarnerNicholas LongworthFrederick H. GillettChamp ClarkJoseph Gurney CannonDavid B. HendersonCharles Frederick CrispThomas Brackett ReedJohn G. CarlisleJ. Warren KeiferSamuel J. RandallMichael C. KerrJames G. BlaineTheodore M. PomeroySchuyler ColfaxGalusha A. GrowWilliam PenningtonJames Lawrence OrrNathaniel P. BanksLinn BoydHowell CobbRobert Charles WinthropJohn Wesley DavisJohn Winston JonesJohn White (Kentucky politician)Robert M. T. HunterJames K. PolkJohn BellAndrew StevensonPhilip P. BarbourJohn W. Taylor (politician)Langdon ChevesHenry ClayJoseph Bradley VarnumNathaniel MaconTheodore SedgwickJonathan DaytonJonathan Trumbull Jr.Frederick Muhlenberg

Notes

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  1. ^ a b During James K. Polk's tenure as Speaker, the Jacksonian bloc amalgamated into the modern Democratic Party.
  2. ^ a b John Taylor served as speaker twice in the 1820s; initially he was as a member of the Democratic–Republican Party, and later, when the party began to fracture, he sided with its pro–Adams faction.
  3. ^ a b Frederick Muhlenberg served as speaker twice in the 1790s, before political factions coalesced into formal parties; initially he identified with the pro–administration faction, but later he aligned himself with the anti–administration faction.
  4. ^ The district listed is the district the speaker represented at the time they were in office, which may be different in different Congresses due to redistricting.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Multi-ballot election.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Resigned from office and from Congress.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Intra-term special election.
  8. ^ a b c d e Died in office.
  9. ^ Resigned from Congress and declined re-election for speaker.
  10. ^ Vacated by a vote of the House

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b Forte, David F. "Essays on Article I: Speaker of the House". Heritage Guide to The Constitution. Heritage Foundation. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Relyea, Harold C. (August 5, 2005). "Continuity of Government: Current Federal Arrangements and the Future" (PDF). CRS Report for Congress. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, the Library of Congress. pp. 2–4. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Speaker Elections Decided by Multiple Ballots". history.house.gov. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  4. ^ Heitshusen, Valerie; Beth, Richard S. (January 4, 2019). "Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913–2019" (PDF). RL30857. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "List of Speakers of the House". Washington, D.C.: Office of the Historian, United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  6. ^ Speakers of the House of Representatives, 1789-2021. Amenia, New York: Grey House Publishing. 2021. ISBN 978-1-64265-834-7.

  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Federal government of the United States.

Further reading

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