These 6 Hilarious Doodles by Former Presidents Are What Politics Needs Right Now
The president’s pen signs bills into law, affirms declarations of war, and, on occasion, draws happy little fishies. Like anyone else subjected to long, boring meetings, the Big Boss doodles. Here, from the book ‘Presidential Doodles’ by historian David Greenberg, are six essential executive scribbles.
“Sister in Charge” by Theodore Roosevelt
Courtesy Houghton Library, Harvard University
Theodore Roosevelt, father of six, routinely drew “picture letters” for his kids when not busy running the country. In this 1904 dispatch, he depicts daughter Ethel dispensing “necessary discipline” to her youngest brothers, Archie and Quentin.
“Out Fishing” by Franklin Roosevelt
Courtesy Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
Franklin Roosevelt doodled what he loved, from ships to stamps to his own family tree. He drew this trio to cap a nine-day fishing cruise in the Gulf of Mexico in 1937.
“I am Ike” by Dwight Eisenhower
Courtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
Dwight Eisenhower painted every week and doodled through countless meetings. This buff self-portrait adorns Ike’s notes about the 1954 coup in Guatemala.
“Untitled” by Lyndon Johnson
Courtesy Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum
Lyndon Johnson apparently saw all White House letterhead as unfinished art. His address became the foundation of flags, pagodas, and three-faced thingamajigs, like this one. (Did you know these mind-blowing facts about the White House?)
“The Square” by Richard Nixon
Courtesy Richard Nixon Presidential LIbrary and Museum
Richard Nixon admitted that during missile talks in 1972, he tried to deconstruct Brezhnev’s doodles for negotiating tips. Maybe that’s why Dick’s own art was so inscrutable. He called himself a “square doodler.”
“Football Star” by Ronald Reagan
Courtesy Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
Ronald Reagan wrote fan mail to Charles Schulz and considered a cartooning career. This jock joins a page of portraits that includes a horse, a baby, and a gal resembling Nancy, who kept it framed on her desk. Here are more surprising talents of U.S. presidents.