President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet – The West Wing

Played by Martin Sheen

President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet – The West Wing

Born and raised in New Hampshire, President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet’s first claim to fame is that he is a direct descendant of a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. He also owned a carving knife forged the Boston silversmith Paul Revere, before giving it to Charlie Young.  Prior to entering a life in politics, he considered the idea of becoming a Roman Catholic priest. After entering politics, he remains devout, showing the influence of his mother — and not necessarily his father, who, besides being Protestant, physically abused him as a child.

Despite his rocky upbringing, or perhaps hardened by it, Jed went on to achieve greatness, starting with a series of degrees from prestigious schools including Notre Dame, where he met his future wife Abbey, and the London School of Economics. He speaks multiple languages and is generally considered a master of economic thought and theory. Jed is a stern, but loving father to three daughters with Abbey: Elizabeth Anne “Liz” Westin, Eleanor Emily “Ellie” Bartlet, and Zoey Patricia Bartlet. He is also viewed as paternal to his staff.

His list of achievements in his time in office is long and distinguished, but interestingly, and quite realistically, does not include balancing the budget. Often seen sparring with his Republican counterparts, he is nevertheless viewed as a man of integrity, intellect, compassion and stoicism, earning the label of the “most popular Democratic President in recent history.”

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