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Political Figures Who Played a Musical Instrument

And those who still do


There are many famous people in history who played a musical instrument but chose to pursue a career in politics. To this day, some of them continue to play a musical instrument, perhaps as a hobby. Here are several familiar names:

Political Figures

John Quincy Adams (1767 - 1848) - The sixth president of the United States noted for formulating the Monroe Doctrine. He reportedly played the flute.

Chester Alan Arthur (1829 - 1886)- He became the 21st president of the United States after the assassination of President James A. Garfield. Arthur supported the Pendleton Civil Service Act. He reportedly played the banjo.

Bill Clinton (born August 19, 1946) - The 42nd president of the United States who was impeached in 1998 but was then acquitted on February 1999 by the Senate. He plays the saxophone.

Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790) - American diplomat who helped draft the Declaration of Independence. He possessed many talents, he is known as the inventor of the wood-burning stove. Franklin also played different musical instruments among them are the guitar and violin.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) - Leader of India's Nationalist movement known for his peaceful and nonviolent ways of resolving conflicts. He reportedly played the concertina.

Sir Edward Heath (1916 - 2005) - Served as British Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974. He was an organist and conductor, in 1971 he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra.

Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799) - American orator best known for saying "give me liberty or give me death" on a speech he gave in 1775. He was the first governor of Virginia. Said to have played the flute and fiddle.

Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) - Third president of the United States, drafted the Declaration of Independence. Also noted for his role on the Louisiana Purchase. Said to have played the cello, clavichord and violin.

Richard Nixon (1913 - 1994) - The 37th president of the United States, resigned from office in the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal. He played the piano and accordion.

Ross Perot (born June 27, 1930) - Millionaire and independent candidate for U.S. Presidency in 1992 and again in 1996. He plays the accordion.

Condeleeza Rice (born November 14, 1954) - Served as U.S. National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005 and became the 66th U.S. Secretary of State. Earlier in her career she wanted to become a concert pianist before pursuing a degree in international relations and economics.

Harry Truman (1884 - 1972) - The 33rd president of the United States who served during the conclusion of World War II. He played the piano.

Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924) - The 28th president of the United States and creator of the League of Nations. He played the violin.

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