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The following is a list of Presidents of the Republic of Liberia, made up of the 24 heads of state in the history of Liberiamarker. At the foundation of the Republic the term of office was two years, which was increased to four years on May 7, 1907. This list includes only presidents sworn in after the declaration of independence of Liberia on July 26, 1847. From 1980 to 2006, the office was interrupted three times due to a 1980 coup d'etat, and the First and Second Liberian Civil War. The heads of state of Liberia during these periods are shown on a separate list below the list of presidents. Samuel Doe served as both Head of People's Redemption Council and President of Liberia; he is therefore placed on both lists in his respective roles. Furthermore, both Joseph Jenkins Roberts and James Spriggs-Payne served non-consecutive terms and are each counted twice in the list. Because of this, the list below contains 24 presidencies, but only 22 people.

The colors indicate the political party affiliation of each President.

List of Presidents of Liberia

# President Took office Left office Party Vice President(s)
1 Joseph Jenkins Roberts January 3, 1848 January 7, 1856 none
(Republican policies)
Stephen Allen Benson
2 Stephen Allen Benson January 7, 1856 January 4, 1864 none
(Republican policies)
Beverley Yates
3 Daniel Bashiel Warner January 4, 1864 January 6, 1868 Republican Party James M. Priest
4 James Spriggs-Payne January 6, 1868 January 3, 1870 Republican Party Vacant
5 Edward James Roye January 3, 1870 October 26, 1871 True Whig Party James Skivring Smith
6 James Skivring Smith November 4, 1871 January 1, 1872 True Whig Party Anthony W. Gardiner
7 Joseph Jenkins Roberts(2nd time) March 1, 1872 January 3, 1876 Republican Party Anthony W. Gardiner
8 James Spriggs-Payne(2nd time) January 3, 1876 January 7, 1878 Republican Party Vacant
9 Anthony W. Gardiner January 7, 1878 January 20, 1883 True Whig Party Alfred Francis Russell
10 Alfred F. Russell January 20, 1883 January 7, 1884 True Whig Party John Tyler
11 Hilary R. W. Johnson January 7, 1884 January 4, 1892 True Whig Party Vacant
12 Joseph James Cheeseman January 4, 1892 November 12, 1896 True Whig Party William D. Coleman
13 William D. Coleman November 12, 1896 December 11, 1900 True Whig Party J. J. Ross
14 Garretson W. Gibson December 11, 1900 January 4, 1904 True Whig Party Vacant
15 Arthur Barclay January 4, 1904 January 1, 1912 True Whig Party J. J. Dossen
16 Daniel E. Howard January 1, 1912 January 5, 1920 True Whig Party Samuel George Harmon
17 Charles D.B. King January 5, 1920 December 3, 1930 True Whig Party Samuel Alfred Ross

Henry Too Wesley
18 Edwin Barclay December 3, 1930 January 3, 1944 True Whig Party James Skivring Smith
19 William V.S. Tubman January 3, 1944 July 23, 1971 True Whig Party Clarence Simpson

William Richard Tolbert, Jr.
20 William R. Tolbert, Jr. July 23, 1971 April 12, 1980 True Whig Party James Edward Greene
Bennie Dee Warner
21 Samuel K. Doe January 6, 1986 September 9, 1990 National Democratic Party of Liberia Henry Fumba Moniba
22 Charles G. Taylor August 2, 1997 August 11, 2003 National Patriotic Party Enoch Dogolea
Moses Blah
23 Moses Blah August 11, 2003 October 14, 2003 National Patriotic Party Vacant
24 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf January 16, 2006 present Unity Party Joseph Nyumah Boakai
  • Left office early:
Assassinated in a coup d'etat.
Died in office of natural causes.

Interim and Non-Presidential Heads of State

President Position Took office Left office Party
Samuel K. Doe Head of People's Redemption Council April 12, 1980 January 6, 1986 National Democratic Party of Liberia
Dr. Amos Sawyer President of the Interim Government of National Unity November 22, 1990 August 8, 1993 Liberian People's Party
Bismarck Kuyon Chairman of the Council of State August 18, 1993 November 13, 1993 None
Philip Banks Chairman of the Council of State November 13, 1993 February 28, 1994 None
David D. Kpormakpor Chairman of the Council of State February 28, 1994 September 1, 1995 None
Wilton G. S. Sankawulo Chairman of the Council of State September 1, 1995 September 3, 1996 None
Ruth Perry Chairwoman of the Council of State September 3, 1996 August 27, 1997 None
Gyude Bryant Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia October 14, 2003 January 16, 2006 Liberian Action Party


  1. There has been some confusion as to whether Smith actually served as President of Liberia following the removal of Edward James Roye from office. However, evidence does show that Smith did in fact serve as president from the time of Roye's departure until the inauguration of Joseph Jenkins Roberts.[1]
  2. Despite the fact that Doe assumed power immediately after the execution of William R. Tolbert, Jr. on April 12, 1980, he was not in fact sworn in as president until January 6, 1986.[2]

See also


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