President of the United States

A History of the Most Fascinating First Family Secret Service Code Names

U.S. presidents and first families have taken part in a long-honored tradition of going by nicknames symbolic of their personalities or legacies

JFK
Bettmann via Getty Images

What's in a code name? A lot of history, that's what.

For over 75 years, U.S. presidents and first families have taken part in a long-honored tradition of going by nicknames symbolic of their personalities or legacies. Dating back to the early decades of the 1900s, the Secret Service originally began using code names for security purposes during times when electronic communications weren't encrypted.

While still used today for purposes of brevity and clarity, the practice has become more symbolic with Presidents and members of their immediate families choosing code names that all start with the same letter but hold individual personal meanings to each person (though they rarely publicly explain their choices).

Former President Barack Obama's code name was Renegade while First Lady Michelle Obama went by Renaissance. Their daughters Sasha Obama and Malia Obama were Rosebud and Radiance respectively.

Former President Donald Trump went by Mogul, a nod to his businessman background, while first lady Melania Trump, a former model, chose Muse.

As for the country's newest President Joe Biden, who was inaugurated yesterday, Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C. during a star-studded ceremony, his Irish roots inspired his name Celtic while wife and current first lady Jill Biden goes by Capri.

Scroll through the photo gallery below to see some of the most fascinating and intriguing Secret Service code names held by many past presidents and their family members.

The Bidens

Joe Biden y Jill Biden
Getty Images
U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wave while standing at the North Portico of The White House after Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Joe Biden - Celtic

Jill Biden - Capri

The Trumps

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Christopher Gregory/Getty Images
File photo: The Trump Family pose for photos on stage after Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 in New York City.

Donald Trump – Mogul

Melania Trump – Muse

Donald Trump Jr. – Mountaineer

Ivanka Trump – Marvel

Eric Trump – Marksman

Jared Kushner - Mechanic

The Obamas

US-POLITICS-OBAMA
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
File photo: President Barack Obama, daughter Malia Obama, US first lady Michelle Obama, and daughter Sasha Obama walk to Air Force One at Castle Airport June 19, 2016 in Merced County, California.

Barack Obama – Renegade

Michelle Obama – Renaissance

Malia Obama – Radiance

Sasha Obama – Rosebud

The George W. Bushes

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Shealah Craighead/The White House via WireImage/Getty Images
File photo: President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush pose with daughters Jenna (R) and Barbara (L) prior to the wedding of Jenna and Henry Hager May 10, 2008 near Crawford, Texas.

George W. Bush – Tumbler, later Trailblazer

Laura Bush – Tempo

Barbara Bush – Turquoise

Jenna Bush – Twinkle

The George H. W. Bushes

William Leblond [& Family];Dorothy W. Bush [& Family];George H. W. Bush [& Family];Sharon Bush [& Family];Margaret Bush [& Family];George W. Bush [& Family];Neil M. Bush [& Family];Mrs. Marvin P. Bush [& Family]
Diana Walker/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images
File photo: Pres. George H.W. Bush and family celebrating his inaugural on the White House lawn.

George H. W. Bush – Timberwolf

Barbara Bush – Snowbank or Tranquility

Marvin Bush – Tuner

Neil Bush – Trapline

Jeb Bush – Tripper

Dorothy Bush – Tiller

The Reagans

President Ronald Reagan Posing with Wife Nancy and Family Members
Bettmann via Getty Images
File photo: President Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Reagan with family.

Ronald Reagan – Rawhide

Nancy Reagan – Rainbow

Maureen Reagan – Rhyme, Rosebud

Michael Reagan – Riddler

Patti Davis – Ribbon

Ron Reagan – Reliant

Doria Reagan – Radiant

The Carters

President Carter and Family
Corbis via Getty Images
File photo: A portrait of President Jimmy Carter and his extended family.

Jimmy Carter – Lock Master or Deacon

Rosalynn Carter – Lotus Petal or Dancer

Amy Carter – Dynamo

Chip Carter – Diamond

Jack Carter – Derby

Jeff Carter – Deckhand

The Fords

Gerald Ford – Passkey or Pass Key

Betty Ford – Pinafore

Susan Ford – Panda

Michael Ford – Professor

Jack Ford – Packman

The Nixons

Nixon Family Portrait
Corbis via Getty Images
File photo: Portrait of the Nixon family. Left to right are, David Dwight Eisenhower II, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Richard Milhous Nixon, Pat Nixon, and Patricia Nixon.

Richard Nixon – Searchlight

Pat Nixon – Starlight

Patricia Nixon Cox – Sugarfoot

Edward F. Cox – Seminole

Julie Nixon Eisenhower – Sunbonnet

The Johnsons

LBJ & Family
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
File photo: American president Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) poses with his daughters Luci Baines Johnson (R), Lynda Bird Johnson (L), and his wife Lady Bird Johnson (seated) in front of a fireplace at the White House, Washington, D.C., circa 1966.

Lyndon Johnson – Volunteer

Lady Bird Johnson – Victoria

Lynda Bird Johnson – Velvet

Luci Baines Johnson – Venus

The Kennedys

NEW 'J.F.K.' LIBRARY MUSEUM IN BOSTON
Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images
File: John and Jackie Kennedy and their two children, Caroline and John Jr.

John F. Kennedy – Lancer

Jacqueline Kennedy – Lace

Caroline Kennedy – Lyric

John F. Kennedy, Jr. – Lark

Rose Kennedy – Coppertone

Ethel Kennedy – Sundance

The Eisenhowers

President Eisenhower And Family
Dean Conger/Corbis via Getty Images
File: President Eisenhower with his wife and in-laws, greets his son John with his family at the Stapleton Field in Denver, Colo.

Dwight Eisenhower – Scorecard or Providence

Mamie Eisenhower – Springtime

David Eisenhower – Sahara

The Trumans

Harry S. Truman, Margaret Truman, and Elizabeth Truman
Bettmann via Getty Images
File photo: U.S. President Harry S. Truman sitting with his daughter Margaret and his wife, First Lady Elizabeth "Bess" Truman.

Harry S. Truman – General or Supervise

Bess Truman – Sunnyside

The Roosevelts

Roosevelt Family
Bettmann via Getty Images
File photo: President Roosevelt with his family. From left to right: Elliott Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Curtis Dall (standing), John Roosevelt (sitting), Anna Roosevelt, James Roosevelt (standing), President Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., and Sara Delano Roosevelt.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt – Rover

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