How Many Speakers of the House Became President of the United States?

James K. Polk: Speaker of the House AND President of United States

I am going to take a wild guess here and say that Paul Ryan would like to one day be President of the United States.  If he does aspire to the highest office in the land he may want to think twice about running for Speaker of the House.

Only one former Speaker of the House was ever elected President of the United States.  That was James K. Polk.  He was Speaker from 1835-1839 and President from 1845-1849.

Henry Clay came close.  He was Speaker from 1811-1821 and again from 1823-1825. He was a serious contender for the presidency in 1824, 1832, and 1844.

The presidential election of 1844 pitted two former Speakers: Polk and Clay.

Something for Paul Ryan to think about.