Which US president signed the most executive orders?
Answered by: Chris O,Former Marine. Political Nerd. History Buff. Married a Doc.
I used to have to argue this on social media during the Obama years because there were just a ton of people under the impression it was Obama.
Not like Anthony Zarrella's typical criticism which is more about the WAY President Obama used executive orders; there were just a ton of people who actually thought Obama was running around tossing EOs out like candy.
Oddly, now when I hear this kind of thing, it’s normally people under the impression that Trump has signed a historic number. (He hasn’t.)
Obama actually issued fewer EOs per year than any President since Grover Cleveland's first non-consecutive Term, 1885–1889.
Not that it actually matters. Most people who complain about EOs don't really understand what they are: directives to the departments of the Executive Branch of the government which report directly to the President.
The undisputed king of the EO was FDR. Roosevelt signed 3,721 Executive Orders, 307 per year he was in office.
By contrast, Obama signed 35 per year. Trump has signed 51 per year, George W 36.
In my lifetime, Carter had the highest average, 80. No one else since Truman's 115 per year had a higher average than JFK’s 75.