Wednesday, October 7th, 2020
Former president D. Wire Newman turns 90
Former president D. Wire Newman turns 90 today, becoming only the third president to reach that milestone.
Newman and his wife of 64 years, Cissy, still live in his hometown of Elberta, Alabama (population 1,746) and has no public celebration scheduled.
Newman served as the nation's 41st president from 1987 to 1991, the first president elected after Ronald Reagan's second term was truncated, resetting the presidential election cycle. The Democratic former governor of Alabama served only one term before being defeated for reelection in 1990 by Owen Lassiter. He has spent the three decades since leaving office as the head of several nonprofits, although he has stepped back his involvement in recent years owing to age.
The last living president who served in the 20th century, Newman has been supportive of President Sam Seaborn, although he has felt free to air some of his grievances with the incumbent's performance in his old age. Notably, the former president has expressed annoyance that he was "the last Democratic president who knew how to pick a [good] running mate the first time around", but also praised the selection of Olivia Emmett Franklin for the Supreme Court, expressing his belief that the country should always have at least one African-American justice on the Supreme Court.
He joins John Adams and Herbert Hoover (other one-term presidents) as the only presidents to reach the age of 90; only Hoover has had a longer post-presidency than Newman (who left office 29 years and 261 days ago), having spent 31 years as a former president when he died in 1964.
Former acting president George P. Bush, who acted as president between Reagan's incapacitation in August 1985 and Newman's inauguration, is the longest-lived person to have ever acted as president. Bush turned 92 in September, and has for the most part eschewed the public spotlight since his term as vice president and acting president ended.
Newman (photo by James Cromwell)