AP Style President

When to Capitalize President

The AP Stylebook holds that you should capitalize president only as a formal title that is before one or more names. For example,

  • President Barack Obama
  • Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton

President should be lowercase is all other uses. Example,

  • The president will make an announcement tomorrow.
  • I am now announcing my candidacy for president.
  • Roosevelt was president during the Great Depression.

Full Names

According to AP Style, use the first and family name on the first reference to a current or former U.S. president or the president-elect.

  • former President Ronald Reagan
  • President Barack Obama
  • President-elect Barack Obama

On all subsequent references, use only last names.


Presidential should be lowercase unless a part of a proper name. For example,

  • This is a scandal of presidential proportions.
  • This is the 50th Presidential Inauguration.

Presidents of Other Nations

Capitalize president as a formal title before a full name for the presidents of other nations and of organizations and institutions.

  • President François Hollande
  • President Larry Faulkner, the University of Texas at Austin

On all subsequent references, use only the last name.

For more information and titles in AP Style, please see our full page.


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