Pint-Sized Politicians

10 youthful trailblazers from America’s past, present, and fiction

Earlier this month, 18-year-old Saira Blair broke the record for youngest lawmaker ever elected in the state of West Virginia, after winning her seat on the state’s House of Delegates. Currently finishing her first semester of college, she may be the only elected official that had to go to class the morning after her victory. Beating out a two-year Republican incumbent for the nomination back in May (when she was only 17 years old) Blair’s story and passionate defense of her platform show that perhaps young people are not as apathetic as their cliched portrayal, whatever their political persuasions.

Blair, however, is not the only one to have taken responsibility for districts, states, or the entire country at an astonishingly young age. She’s not even the only incumbent to gain a similar honor at the 2014 polls. Throughout the United States’ history, it has often been the youngest of our leaders who dare to make changes and express the unpopular opinions, for better or for worse. Here’s 10 youthful trailblazers from America’s past, present, and fiction.