President Obama’s Oval Office Chair

March 1, 2009 at 11:15 pm 13 comments

The President of the United States is a very powerful person. And a lot of perks come with the job.  As Bill Clinton said: “You never stop at a red light, ever, every time you walk into a room they play a song, and your airplane is so cool that they make movies about it.” And you get to work in the most powerful office in the world, full of history.

The swivel chair that President Barak Obama sits on behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office is the Concorde Presidential Office Chair manufactured by Global Group. The Concorde Presidential chair was also used by Obama’s predecesor George W. Bush, and follows an array of very comfortable luxury ergonomic chairs in the Oval Office.

The Concorde Presidential chair is available to purchase from Global Group’s distributors in the USA, Canada and the UK. Chellgrove was the first to introduce the chair into the UK in 2008, encouraging Global Group to make the chair generally available over here.

Replica’s of the Resolute Desk are available from The History Company of Ithaca, New York. (Wikipedia confirms that The History Company produced the replica Resolute Desks for the William J Clinton Presidential Center and Park and the George and Barbara Bush Center.) A Canadian company called The Presidents Desk also claims to make replicas.

Photos of the Concorde Presidential Chair in the Oval Office

President Obama meets with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office at the White House on his first day at his new office. Image credit: Chicago Tribune (White House photo by Pete Souza / January 21 2009).

President Barak Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House on his first complete day as President. Image credit: Chicago Tribune (White House photo by Pete Souza / January 21 2009).

U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (L) and retired military officers stand behind and watch U.S. President Barak Obama (2nd-L) sign executive orders to close down the detention center at Guantanamo Bay Cuba in the Oval Office at the White House. Obama had promised to close the prison camp throughout his presidential campaign. Image credit: Chicago Tribune (Getty Images by Mark Wilson / January 22 2009).

A photo taken on February 29, 2008 shows the Concorde Presidential Chair inside the Oval Office of President George W. Bush. Image credit: DayLife and Getty Images.

Eric Draper, a White House photographer,  took this photo from behind President George W. Bush and then president-elect Barak Obama to show the Resolute Desk. The Resolute Desk was a present from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880. It has been used by every President since Hayes except LBJ, Nixon and Gerald Ford. The full length of the Oval Office, including George W. Bush’s Concorde Presidential Chair behind the Resolute Desk, can be clearly seen in this picture. Image credit: Swamp Politics and Getty Images.

George W. Bush and his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, in front of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office at the White House.

President George W. Bush in front of the Concorde Presidential Chair in the Oval Office at the White House.

President George W. Bush in front of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office at the White House, 28 February, 2007.

President Bill Clinton’s Oval Office. (Photo of replica at the William J Clinton Presidential Center and Park.)

President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office at the White House.

Doug Band and President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office at the White House.

President Ronald Reagan’s Oval Office. (Photo of replica taken in 2006.)

President Ronald Reagan’s chair behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office at the White House.

An aide removes President Richard Nixon’s chair from the Oval Office after the president resigned. Picture taken August 9, 1974. Image credit: Corbis.

President Ford in President Kennedy’s famous Gunlocke ergonomic chair.

President Ford in the Gunlocke chair again.

President Ford in the Gunlocke chair.

John Kennedy Jnr peering through the knee hole panel of the Resolute Desk while his daddy worked. The central panel, carved with the presidential seal, was added to the Resolute Desk by President FDR to conceal his leg braces from view. This picture of John Jnr playing at President John F Kennedy’s feet brought the Resolute table to the attention of the masses.

John Kennedy Jnr playing at his father’s feet as John F Kennedy sits in the Gunlocke Chair in front of the Resolute desk in the Oval Office at the White House. Apparently, John Jnr so liked the hidding place in his father’s desk that he had to be removed occasionally by an aide before business could be done. Image credit: CBS PHOTO ESSAY Presidential Progeny.

John Kennedy Jnr playing at the feet of his father in the Oval Office at the White House.

Executive Priviledge: As President-elect Kennedy planned to move into the White House in 1961, engineers worked with his personal physician, Dr. Janet Travell. She had treated Kennedy for chronic back pain, and insisted that his working chair have the maximum comfort and support. The result was the Gunlocke Chair. At the time, it was considered to be the most stylish and comfortable chair of its kind in the world. The exclusive Gunlocke Oval Office Chair has served 9 American Presidents in the inner sanctum of the White House.

Fit for a President. This remarkable chair is still produced one at a time at the ancestral Gunlocke workshop, according to the exact historic specifications of JFK’s chair. 

The Gunlocke Chair. Shown here in Brown leather and Burgundy leather.

Before the Gunlocke. Here’s President FDR in his Oval Office chair.

President Calvin Coolidge’s Oval Office chair.

President Abraham Lincoln poses in his chair here with his son Tad. Image credits: Presidential Progeny Photo Essay from CBS.


Entry filed under: Ergonomic Chairs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Best Ergonomic Office Chair - How to Chhose.  |  March 2, 2009 at 10:40 am

    […] President Obama’s Oval Office Ergonomic Chair […]

  • 2. The Obama Chair « Bola Egunjobi  |  March 2, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    […] Click here for more information on Chellgrove Office Chairs. Click here to see more pictures of the President’s Oval Office chair. […]

  • 3. Aleks  |  March 3, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Black man in White House:)

  • 4. JLS  |  March 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Our President sits in a Global chair? I would think someone with his “Techieness” would have chosen the new Herman Miller Embody chair… or even the Herman Miller Aeron. At least Herman Miller is a US company… Global is a quasi USA company with roots in Canada.

  • 5. John Watson  |  March 15, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Bush’s chair was a high chair,

  • […] here for more photos and presidential […]

  • […] here to see pictures of Oval Office swivel chairs through the years. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Ergonomics and the Office […]

  • 8. Yomi Soyinka  |  May 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Love the histories, and the Gunlocke chair.

  • 9. Bedaso  |  July 3, 2009 at 7:29 am

    It is really a contemporary design. Obama deserves it.

  • 10. Haris k conteh  |  August 18, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Sir, with deu respect i want to see you having something to tell about my life congratulation i llov u mr presedent pls make a time that is good for you am african living in africa thjabntks

  • 11. Body Correct Living Blog » President Obama’s Ergonomic Chair  |  September 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    […] here for more photos and presidential […]

  • 12. Mike  |  September 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I have the same chair as the president….. Well hell, look at me.. (It’s way over priced) Plastic pieces on the arms both broke within 4-5 years. And the thing weighs so much I have to stand up to get it to start rolling and it’s even on a chair mat… Weighs about 100 pounds.

    • 13. officechairuk  |  September 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm

      Mike, I’m guessing you don’t like your CONCORDE Chair? If your chair has plastic armrests it’s probably the CONCORDE Executive; the CONCORDE Presidential has leather-upholstered armrests with a small plastic surround for the button on each arm. The plastic armrests of the CONCORDE Executive are VERY robust though, so I am very surprised to hear that yours broke within 5 years. (How are you using the chair?)

      You’re right about the weight of the chair though. I should know, I’ve had to carry it up several flights of stairs more than once!

      Still, in my opinion it is one of the best luxury office chairs on the market.


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