Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How many presidents are left-handed?

Most of us know that Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States. I noticed today in this news story image that he's left-handed.

It made me wonder how many U.S. presidents are or were left-handed. The answer, apparently, is that the number is disproportionately higher than in the general population.

It is estimated that less than 10% of the population of the U.S. is left-handed. Yet, at least eight of the 44 presidents are or were left-handed -- that's nearly double the norm. These include recent presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Gerald Ford.

The reason people say at least eight is that up to about a hundred years ago, left-handedness was often thought of as a disability, and one that was to be cured by forcing left-handed children to use their right hand. Thus, there may have been even more left-handed presidents who learned to be right-handed.

Some people have even jokingly termed this curious phenomenon of left-handed presidents as A Vast Left-Handed Conspiracy. I don't think so, but it is pretty curious.

So, any left-handers out there thinking about running for President?

No comments: