The only other world capital to share the distinction with Washington DCis Monrovia, named after the fifth President, James Monroe, who created Liberia as a home for freed slaves.
Washington often seems as remote as a saint, a half-mythologised figure from distant antiquity.
Nor did his wife Martha greatly aid the historian's cause, destroying almost entirely the correspondence of 40 years of marriage that might have given posterity a truly unvarnished portrait of the man.
Thus began Washington's career in soldiery that would culminate in victory at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, sealing American independence.
But it was during an earlier war that he learnt the skills of battle.
He spent most of the next three years surveying Virginia's frontiers, and learning the rugged outdoor skills that he would later call on as a soldier.
On the death of his brother Lawrence in 1752, George inherited the estate at Mount Vernon, on the Potomac estuary 15 miles south of present day Washington, which would be his true home for the rest of his life.
By then he was an arresting figure, slender, exceptionally tall for the period at 6ft 2in, and an outstanding horseman.
However, most crucially for US history, he took over Lawrence's position as a major in Virginia's militia – again at the instigation of the Fairfax family.
But in Washington's case, objective history more often than not takes a back seat to myth. His face adorns the dollar bill and the 25 cents coin.
Across the modern US, 26 mountains are named after him, as well as 740 schools, a dozen colleges and universities, 155 towns and counties, various bridges, parks and forts; not to mention an entire state of the union and the very capital of the country he did so much to found.
Anything connected with him – a pen, a stirrup, even a fragment of his nightgown – was treated as reverently as a holy relic.
, published in 1800, a year after the first President's death, Reems described him as "just as Aristides, temperate as Epictetus, patriotic as Regulus, modest as Scipio, prudent as Fabius, rapid as Marcellus, undaunted as Hannibal, as Cincinnatus disinterested, to liberty firm as Cato, as respectful of the laws as Socrates".
He emerged with honour from the disastrous Braddock campaign mounted by the British in 1755 in a second attempt to drive the French from the Ohio valley and in 1756 was named commander-in-chief of all Virginia's forces – he was only 24 at the time.