U.S. Presidents / George Washington

Image of President Washington

1732 - 1799

George Washington

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all. Farewell Address


George Washington was born to Mary Ball and Augustine Washington on February 22, 1732. As the third son of a middling planter, George probably should have been relegated to a footnote in a history book. Instead, he became one of the greatest figures in American history.

A series of personal losses changed the course of George’s life. His father, Augustine, died when he was eleven years old, ending any hopes of higher education. Instead, Washington spent many of his formative years under the tutelage of Lawrence, his favorite older brother....

Fast Facts

George Washington
Pope’s Creek, Virginia
The equivalent of an elementary school education
Soldier, Planter
“Father of His Country”
January 6, 1759, to Martha Dandridge Custis (1731–1802)
Family vault, Mount Vernon, Virginia
Consulting Editor Lindsay Chervinsky

Chicago Style

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “George Washington.” Accessed July 16, 2024. https://prod.millercenter.org/president/washington.

Senior Fellow

Lindsay M. Chervinsky

Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University and a Professorial Lecturer at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. She received her B.A. with honors in history and political science from George Washington University, her masters and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, and her postdoctoral fellowship from Southern Methodist University. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Magazine, The Daily Beast, The Bulwark, Time Magazine, USA Today, CNN, NBC Think, and the Washington Post.