Throughout their time in office, numerous other presidents passed away. However, were you aware that John F. Kennedy is arguably the most widely acknowledged US President who lost his life while serving due to the astonishing circumstances of his assassination in 1963?
1. William Henry Harrison – 4 April 1841
Following his battle with pneumonia, William Harrison, the inaugural President of the United States to pass away while in office, was the enslaver whose actions as a military leader in the War of 1812 vanquished coalitions of Native Americans. He distinguishes himself as holding the record for the briefest presidency, lasting a mere 31 days.
Following a state of delirium, the 68-year-old individual succumbed, despite undergoing diverse treatments such as the application of mustard plaster to his abdomen, as well as the consumption of laxatives, laudanum, opium, and mixtures of wine and brandy. His unforeseen death occurred as a consequence of embarking on a morning stroll without a jacket and being caught in a rainstorm.
2. Abraham Lincoln – 15 April 1865
On April 15, 1865, while watching a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was shot. He was the first US president to be assassinated in office.
Throughout the duration of the Civil War, Lincoln, esteemed as a military champion for his endeavors in upholding the Union, gained widespread recognition for his fervent advocacy against slavery. Renowned by the general populace for his theatrical performances, Lincoln’s assailant, John Wilkes Booth, held sympathies towards the Confederate cause.
Following an eight-hour coma, Lincoln passed away the following day, having been shot at close range in the back of the head while his wife looked on.
3. James Garfield – 19 September 1881
James Garfield, a self-made politician known for his efforts to champion the rights of African Americans and tackle political corruption, became the 20th president of the United States after serving only 200 days in the House of Representatives.
The president, who was believed to have been denied by a post consular in Paris, was shot at the Passenger Railroad & Potomac Terminal in Baltimore by Guiteau, who was hiding in the lady’s cloakroom. Garfield, an advocate for civil rights and a staunch believer in universal education, was murdered while intending to leave Washington by train for a cooler climate.
Garfield survived for weeks after doctors probed his body with unsterilized hands to locate the bullet, but ultimately died from sepsis. Guiteau fired a revolver, hitting the president in the back and arm, when Garfield was exposed on the platform.
4. William McKinley – 14 September 1901
He was killed by an assassin when William McKinley was 58 years old. While serving as president, he was a keen advocator for high taxes, believing that it would restore prosperity. As the governor of Ohio, he made few strides to uphold civil rights. Despite this, he did not include any African Americans on his inauguration committee, making him an official who did not address African American lynching.
McKinley, who was the third president to be assassinated in Buffalo by an anarchist who fired two bullets at him during the Pan-American Exhibition.
5. Warren Gamaliel Harding – 2 August 1923
He is credited with holding progressive views on race, but is known for avoiding issues and lacking decisiveness. Kinley Warren is also viewed by some historians as having little impact, largely due to seeing his role as president as ceremonial. As a younger man working in a relatable background, he was one of the most popular presidents with citizens of the United States, as well as being a member of the Republican party.
His wife died while he was reading a complimentary review about him. Harding died from a heart attack exacerbated by pneumonia. Harding’s marriage to his previous wife was unconventional, as she had divorced and had a child with another man. However, like previous Republican presidents, he failed to curtail immigration to the US and adopt anti-lynching legislation.
6. John F. Kennedy – 22 November 1963
John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was sworn into office on April 20, 1961. He oversaw one of the most tumultuous periods in world history, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, was the youngest president when he took office. He is associated with one of the most reported and examined assassinations in history and is considered a charismatic US president.
The initial slaying of a president, which occurred while he was touring in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, was captured on domestic cameras. This charismatic cultural figure, who was adored as a progressive leader and a representation of contemporary values in American politics, tragically lost his life at an early stage of his presidency.