After nearly 15 years, The Hill is bidding a beautiful bye-bye to its annual 50 Most Beautiful list.

While it’s had a remarkably gorgeous run, The Hill team feels the time has come for 50 Most Beautiful to be added to that big, beautiful list in the sky.

“It’s been a great run, but all things must come to an end,” The Hill editor-in-chief Bob Cusack said. “Rest in peace.”


Since making its debut in 2004, 50 Most Beautiful has become an extraordinarily popular summertime tradition in Washington. Every year, editors pore through hundreds upon hundreds of nominations of D.C. hopefuls.

Originally, the list featured lawmakers, journalists, congressional staffers and lobbyists. But in 2013, in honor of 50 Most Beautiful’s 10th anniversary, The Hill expanded its nomination pool to also include the White House, Cabinet departments and executive agencies.

What started from humble beginnings as the brainchild of Betsy Rothstein, a former reporter for The Hill, quickly became a Washington pop culture mainstay.

The annual 50 Most Beautiful issue even made its way onto the airwaves as part of a key plot line in HBO’s “Veep,” whose production crew reached out to The Hill to ensure a prop copy appeared authentic.

In the 2016 episode, Jonah Ryan, a fictional executive branch staffer, became obsessed with not making the cut after one of his colleagues shocked the office by earning a position on the list.

“How am I not on The Hill’s 50 Hottest Staffers list this year?” Ryan laments. 

“It’s the 50 Hottest Staffers, Jonah — not the 50 people most likely to kill themselves before trial,” one of Ryan’s co-workers shoots back.

In its more than a decade of existence, 50 Most Beautiful featured more than 80 lawmakers in its pages, and plenty of other big names. 

Then-Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaLive coverage: Gillum clashes with DeSantis in Florida debate Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Republicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat MORE (D-Ill.) snagged a spot in 2005, House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiGOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Ex-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials Pelosi heckled by Miami Republicans, Proud Boys at campaign event MORE (D-Calif.) was featured in 2007 and House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPelosi, Schumer: Trump 'desperate' to put focus on immigration, not health care Trump urges Dems to help craft new immigration laws: ‘Chuck & Nancy, call me!' Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa MORE (R-Wis.) joined the Most Beautiful ranks in 2008. The 2015 list included Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaTrump rebukes Holder, Clinton with 'jobs not mobs' refrain Nikki Haley powerfully rebuts Trump Eric Trump calls out Holder on kicking comments: 'Who says this?' MORE, while both Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump seizes on immigrant 'caravan' for midterms | WHCA criticizes Trump for praising lawmaker who assaulted reporter | Trump takes harder line on Saudis CNN's Acosta sends private message to former Melania Trump aide: 'F--- you' Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns MORE and White House senior adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpAttacks on public figures are growing The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | How Trump could work with a Dem House | Trump heads to Florida to view hurricane damage Watchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Sanders for picture with Kanye in MAGA hat MORE were among the Beautiful bunch last year.

This being Washington, The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful wasn’t without controversy, with critics every year hurling some not-so-beautiful jabs at the latest crop. It also took its fair share of lighthearted ribbing — even among those being honored.

In 2014, Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulErdoğan: Turkey to announce findings of Khashoggi investigation on Tuesday Lawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi's death Rand Paul: Saudi explanation of Khashoggi's death 'insulting' MORE (R-Ky.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBig Dem donors stick to sidelines as 2020 approaches Sanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa MORE (D-N.J.) were both featured on 50 Most Beautiful, but the Kentucky lawmaker was quick to poke fun at his Senate colleague’s ranking.

“Congrats to my friend @CoryBooker for being #44 out of 50 on The Hill’s Most Beautiful List,” tweeted Paul, who took the ninth spot. Only the top 10 were actually ranked, and Booker was simply listed 44th on the entire list. 

“I hate to tell u this Rand but I think we were late pity adds 2 this list of the young & gorgeous,” Booker quipped back.

A fair share of copycats also cropped up over the years, each trying to get a piece of the gorgeously baked pie. In 2015, Independent Journal Review launched its “Cutest Dogs on Capitol Hill” contest because, it said at the time, “Every July, a crushing, deep and mortal sadness grips the nation’s capital as offices across the Metro area stare with confused emotions at The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful list.” 

And in 2013, HuffPost was inspired to document “The 50 Hills Most Beautiful” (country singer Faith Hill landed in third place, while the green hills in Washington’s Steptoe Butte State Park was the big winner).

In a city where mudslinging, smear campaigns and partisan bickering are part of the game, 50 Most Beautiful sought to offer a fun and good-looking respite from the political noise coming out of Capitol Hill.

While we’ll certainly miss our sunny celebration of delightful Democrats, ravishing Republicans and elegant everything-in-betweens, The Hill wants to thank everyone who helped complete this beautiful chapter.