Harry S. Truman

U.S President

Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as vice president. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO. 1 2 3

Daily Routine

Harry S. Truman rose at 7:30 am and begun his day, as advised by his physician, with a shot of bourbon and a big glass of orange juice. Accompanied by the secret service, the US president then embarked on a brisk walk around the compound before sitting to eat a typical breakfast of eggs, bacon, cereal, toast and milk at 8am. Truman’s working day commenced at 9am with a staff meeting in the lawn, followed by responding to various presidential documents and at 11am he swum and sunbathed at Fort Zach.

The president’s early afternoon was occupied with working lunches and meetings and it wasn’t until the late afternoon that he could afford more time to relaxation. For instance, Truman frequently allowed his staff to go deep-sea fishing although rarely did he accompany them, preferring instead to swim, read or take the occasional nap.

Evenings were usually a very social occasion with Truman inviting up to 14 guests to join him for dinner. After which, movies were screened in the living room for whoever was interested. Truman was also an avid poker player and would challenge guests to game.

Nelson Mandela

South African President

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. 1 2 3

Daily Routine

Nelson Mandela had a deep love for boxing that motivated him to wake up each morning at 5 am and practice this passion.

Even during his 27 year stretch of imprisonment, in which hard labour was part and parcel of daily life, Mandela religiously followed his old boxing workouts.

From Monday to Thursday, Mandela jogged for 45 minutes, completed 100 finger tip press-ups, 200 sit-ups, 50 knee deep-knee bends and various calisthenics exercises. All within the confines of his 2.1 metre cell. Friday to Sundays were usually set aside as days of rest.

After being granted his freedom and claiming victory as the first democratically elected black head of state, Mandela days were consumed by diplomatic meetings, appearance and signings. Even as president, he habitually tried to uphold his morning exercise routine that served him so well across the decades.

Eleanor Roosevelt

First Lady of the United States

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. She served as the First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933, to April 12, 1945, during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, making her the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. 1 2 3

Daily Routine

Eleanor Roosevelt had an extremely busy lifestyle. Her daily routine usually consisted of speaking at conferences and personal appearances. She also had vast amounts of mail to respond to, sometime up to 200-400 letter per day. The First Lady routinely had naps before speaking in public, a habit that stuck with her throughout her life. At night, Eleanor often only slept 4-5 hours.

Margaret Thatcher

British Prime Minister

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, DStJ, PC, FRS, HonFRSC was a British stateswoman who served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. 1 2 3

Daily Routine

Thatcher would have breakfast with her family and her husband, although she usually just had a coffee with milk. Margaret Thatcher did not indulge in large meals throughout the day. Sometimes she may eat some fruit like a grapefruit. She’d leave her house by 9 am to head to the House of Commons and begin work. Lunch was also a simple affair, consisting of some meat, or fish and a salad.

The Iron Lady notoriously got by with little sleep, her former press secretary said “she slept four hours a night on weekdays.” She often kept her officials up into the early hours of the morning, around 2 to 3 am, working on her speeches and she’d be awake again at 5 am to listen to farming today on the radio. Thatcher was even known to have worked through Christmas.

Winston Churchill

British Prime Minister

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British politician, army officer, and writer. He was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. 1 2 3


Winston Churchill rose at 7:30 am and started the day by eating breakfast and reading the newspaper in bed. After breakfast he’d remain in bed for the next couple of hours and dictate to his secretaries. At 11 am, Churchill would then take a morning stroll around the garden before heading to his study where he’d pour himself a whisky with soda.


At lunchtime, typically 1pm, Churchill lunched with family and guests. The meal was 3 courses and Churchill enjoyed a drink of Pol Roger, port or brandy as well as some cigars. After which he would continue working in his study, supervise his estate, or play cards or board games such as backgammon with his wife – Clementine Churchill. The British prime minster developed the habit of taking 1 ½ hour naps in the late afternoon, usually around 5pm, as it improved his productivity for the remainder of the day.


Churchill awoke from his nap at around 6:30 pm to bathe and prepare himself for dinner with his guests. Dinner was 8 pm and was accompanied with more drinks and cigars. Dinner would typically last until midnight or later.


When the guests retired, Churchill would sometimes return to his study to work for roughly another hour before bed.