Politics can take its toll on those who decide to enter the profession. Just compare these famous 20th and 21st century world leaders from the time they first emerged on the public stage/entered their major public office to when they left office (or today if they’re still in office).
Barack Obama was 47 years old when he was elected as president of the United States in 2008. Here, he and his wife Michelle can be seen during one of the presidential primaries that same year.
When President Obama left office in 2017, he had considerably more gray hair. He had, however, managed to kick his smoking habit while in office. President Obama is seen below giving a speech on Veterans Day in November 2016.
George W. Bush
George W. Bush — who followed in the presidential footsteps of his father, George H.W. Bush — was sworn into office in January 2001. Less than a year later, the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. He’s pictured below at a July 2001 press conference.
George W. Bush
By the time President Bush left office in January 2009, after two terms, his wrinkles had deepened and his hair had grayed. He’s had an active post-presidential “retirement,” during which he’s nurtured his interest in painting.
George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush started off his single term as U.S. president in 1989. He’s seen here in his official presidential portrait in 1989.
George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush left office in 1993 after being defeated by Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential elections. Looks like he picked up a bit more gray around the temples. Bush passed away in November 2018 at the age of 94.
Veteran politician Angela Merkel became the German chancellor in 2005. She’s seen here shortly after coming to power.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t been in office very long. He was elected in 2015. He is pictured below in 2012 sporting a longer hairstyle and posing with his wife, Sophie Grégoire. This was less than a year before he became the leader of Canada’s Liberal Party.
As of 2019, Trudeau has been prime minister for four years. He’s kept his hair shorter during his time in office and has also gotten a few more wrinkles. Trudeau recently announced he will run again in the fall 2019 Canadian elections for prime minister.
Theresa May has often been in the news over Brexit since she became Britain’s prime minister in July 2016. She was only the second female British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher being the first. May is seen below in 2012 when she was still Britain’s Home Secretary.
May will leave office in July 2019. Since her time as Home Secretary, her hair has gotten shorter and she’s embraced its natural gray.
Bill Clinton served two terms as U.S. president, from 1993 to 2001. He’s seen below on election night in November 1992.
Clinton is seen below shortly after leaving office in 2001. He’s a decade older than he was when he was first elected. Since then, he’s also become a vegan and lost a considerable amount of weight.
Lyndon Johnson became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. He is pictured below less than a week after JFK’s death. He won his own four-year presidential term the next year.
Johnson seems more weathered in this July 1968 image. His term ended in 1969 and he did not run for a second. He passed away in 1972 from a heart attack.
Nancy Pelosi is one of the most prominent political leaders in the U.S. Here she is seen in 2001 shortly after becoming the new Democratic Whip. Pelosi has since been speaker of the House of Representatives twice, first from 2007-2011 and then again from January 2019 to today.
Pelosi has changed her hair since her 2001 Democratic whip days. Here she is in May 2019.
Jimmy Carter won the 1976 U.S. presidential elections. He’s pictured below while campaigning for that election. He was in office for one term, until 1981.
President Carter seemed a little more weather-worn but happy in this post-presidential picture from 1982. He’s had an extremely active post-presidential life and is now the longest-living U.S. president.
Vladimir Putin was elected president of Russia in 2000. He’s pictured below a few months after entering into office.
Putin was Russian’s prime minister from 2008-2012 and became its president again in 2012. He was reelected in 2018 and is currently serving.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern is still relatively new to the world scene but has made headlines as of late for having a baby while in office and for her response to the 2019 mosque shootings in her country.
Here she is at a 2012 Labour Party rally when she was a list MP (member of parliament), a role she earned in 2008.
Jacinda Ardern was elected as a prime minister in October 2017, the youngest female world leader ever.
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy is seen here in 1953 when he was a U.S. senator and due to marry Jacqueline Bouvier. He served as U.S. president from 1961 to 1963, when he was assassinated.
John F. Kennedy
Here President Kennedy is pictured on the day he died, Nov. 22, 1963.
Indira Gandhi, no relation to Mahatma Gandhi, was the daughter of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. She became the country’s prime minister in 1967, a few years after her father’s death. Gandhi is seen here in 1963.
Gandhi served as prime minister from 1967 to 1977 and then again from 1980 to 1984 when she was assassinated. The signature gray streak in her hair expanded between the time she entered office and the year she was killed.
Benjamin Netanyahu became Israel’s prime minister in 1996, the year in which his official portrait below was taken. He served in that role until 1999. He was reelected in 2009 and again in 2015.
It is not known whether Netanyahu will continue as prime minister past this year after recent scandals. But as of July 20, he will be Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. He’s seen here in October 2018 looking considerably older than in his 1996 portrait.
U.S. Senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, has served in the Senate since 1985. He became the Senate Majority Leader in 2015 after serving as the Minority Leader and the Majority Whip before that. He’s pictured, below, in 1987.
After nearly 35 years in the Senate, the now-77-year-old McConnell certainly looks different than he did as a freshman Senator. He’s pictured, below, in Jan. 2019.