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George W. Bush appears at the opening of his presidential library at Southern Methodist University. | Corbis Images
History

The White House, Then What?

After leaving the White House, a former president can do almost anything or entirely nothing. Past presidents have tried both.

April 29, 2013
7:30 AM EDT
George Washington's retirement, though well earned, was short-lived. | Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson went from scholar to president and back again. | WhiteHouse.Gov
John Quincy Adams was devastated after losing out on a second term as president, but that didn't end his career in public service. | Library of Congress
Ulysses S. Grant's autobiography was a bestseller in his day. | Library of Congress
William Howard Taft was a distant third in his race for reelection. | National Park Service
Harry Truman is the reason presidents have a pension. | Library of Congress
Despite the unpopularity of his administration, Herbert Hoover's reputation recovered somewhat in his years away from the White House. | Library of Congress
Jimmy Carter's career outside the White House outshines his work in it. | WhiteHouse.gov