|23 US Presidents have appeared on US coin and paper currency (as of Aug. 26, 2010). Below we have compiled a chart of the US currency with presidential portraits that includes the President’s term in office, when the portrait was added to currency, and the number of years after the President’s death he appeared on the currency.
By law (US Code, Title 31, Section 5114(b)), “only the portrait of a deceased individual may appear on United States currency.” The US Secretary of the Treasury usually determines which people and which of their portraits appear on US currency, however legislation passed by Congress can also determine currency design.
Republican lawmakers have led various efforts to have Ronald Reagan’s image on US currency; however, none of those efforts have been successful to date. On Nov. 21, 2003, Representative Mark Souder (R-IN) introduced the “Ronald Reagan Dime Act” (H.R. 3633) to have Reagan’s likeness replace Franklin Roosevelt’s portrait. Representative Jeff Miller (R-FL) followed suit with the “Ronald Wilson Reagan Half Dollar Act” (H.R. 4525), introduced on June 8, 2004, to put Reagan’s portrait on the fifty cent piece.
Two legislative attempts were made to replace Ulysses Grant with Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill. The first was by Representative John Kline (R-MN) with the “President Ronald Reagan $50 Bill Act” (H.R. 766) on Feb. 10, 2005. The second bill, H.R.4705, had the same name and was introduced by Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) on Feb. 25, 2010.
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