Thomas Jefferson (1789–1793)
Thomas Jefferson was born in Goochland (now Albemarle) County, Virginia, on April 13, 1743, and attended, but did not graduate from, the College of William and Mary.
Jefferson's celebrated political career began in a most auspicious manner, as the young lawyer earned six consecutive elections to Virginia's House of Burgesses from 1769 to 1775. That stretch was the first of three he would have in that house, the second being from 1776 to 1779, and the third coming in 1782.
Jefferson furthered his political reputation in Virginia with his election to the colony's first provincial convention in 1774, and his service, by selection of the House of Burgesses, as Virginia's governor (1779-1781).Jefferson extended his political influence far beyond the boundaries of his home state, beginning with his role in the Second Continental Congress (1775-1776) and continuing with his drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Solidifying his status in national politics with another term in the Continental Congress (1783-1784), Jefferson went on to make an impact overseas, serving as commissioner to France in 1784 and as U.S. minister to Paris from 1785 to 1789. Upon returning home in 1789, Jefferson accepted an appointment as secretary of state from President George Washington, serving in that capacity until 1793. Absent from politics for four years, Jefferson returned as vice president under John Adams (1797-1801). He gained the presidency in 1801, won reelection for a second term in 1805, and stepped down from the executive office in 1809. Jefferson retired soon thereafter to his Monticello estate in Albemarle County, Virginia, where he was instrumental in helping to establish the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1819. Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello on July 4, 1826.