Josiah Bartlet
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Josiah Bartlet

The West Wing

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About Him

Grew up… Catholic, following in the footsteps of his mother. “Jed” never took to his father’s Protestantism because of his personal dislike for the man. He would do anything to distance himself from his sadistic, abusive father.

Living… as the current occupant of the most famous address in America: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. The White House is certainly swanky, but President Bartlet hardly has time to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom or anywhere else with the kind of schedule he keeps. He often jokes about his stress: “And then if you could just ask the Secret Service to step in and kill me, please.”

Profession… leader of the free World. But he's still humble. As he tells his staff, “I’m the President of the United States, not the President of the people who agree with me.” President Bartlet juggles dozens of important issues in every hour of every day. His job has become his life, but luckily he’s got a team of intelligent, dedicated people working around-the-clock to help him run the nation.

Interests… trivia. In order to bring a little bit of entertainment into his life in the Oval Office, President Bartlet routinely quizzes his staff on all kinds of subjects. He’ll test their knowledge in literature, Latin, mathematics and science. He’s got a vast amount of information stored up in his powerful brain. Jed would kill it on Jeopardy.

Relationship Status… married to Dr. Abigail Bartlet, a professor of Thoracic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Jed Bartlet found his intellectual equal in Abbey.

Challenge… fixing America’s economic, social and political problems while dealing with threats from abroad and political challenges at home. The President of the United States has the most difficult job in the world. Jed has to juggle a hundred separate things at once, yet he’s able to do it all while battling a life-threatening condition, multiple sclerosis.

Personality… witty, intelligent, and strong. President Bartlet has all of the qualities of a great leader. He’s a pragmatic, charming, and tough man who is known for his ability to be graceful under pressure. If only he could be President for life. That pesky Constitution!

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