List of Presidents Who Breath in the Office

44 persons have served as President of the United States since the office was established back in 1789. Out of these 44 presidents, there had been eight presidents who died serving in the office only – Four died of natural causes and four were assassinated. Whenever a president died, the presidency was designated to the vice president. At present, this practice is governed by Section 1 of the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorized in 1967, according to which it is declared that “the Vice President shall become President” if the president is removed from office, dies, or resigns. At first, the confirmation for this practice was given by Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, as originally adopted, according to which it was stated that:

“In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President”.

To know about the presidents who breathe their last in the office, you will need to go through the information provided below.

List of Presidents who Breath Last in the Office

  1. James A. Garfield (1881)

James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881)

Though served for a short time, James A. Garfield planned to work with his naval secretary, William H. Hunt, to increase the US Navy reach. Garfield also intended to work with his Vice President, Chester A. Arthur, to widen the trade with Latin America. He reinforced the power of the president by appointing William H. Robertson to the Collector of New York in the open resistance of New York senator Roscoe Conkling. One of his great works included the elimination of corruption in the Post Office by preventing profiteering rings who stole millions by practicing fake contracts on key routes. Unfortunately, his presidency and his planned naval reforms couldn’t be accomplished as Garfield was shot in Baltimore Railroad Station, Washington DC, by Charles J. Guiteau. Guiteau on July 2nd,1881. Guiteau’s act was revenge against Garfield for an imagined political debt.

  1. Warren Harding (1923)

Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923)

Warren Harding not only cut taxes for wealthy individuals and corporations and wealthy individuals but also raised tariffs on exports. He set up the General Accounting Office to audit the spending of the government. Harding also nominated ex-president Taft as the Chief Justice to the US Supreme Court. His administration was defamed by the posing allegation of corruption on senior cabinet members. At the time of Teapot Dome Scandal, Albert Fall, the Secretary of the Interior, was disgraced and convicted of corruption charges after he was caught renting public lands to oil companies for personal gains. Harding died of a heart attack in the summer of 1923, however, it was not confirmed officially.


  1. William Henry Harrison (1841)

William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841)

Before Harrison allowed Daniel Webster to edit his speech before his inauguration. The speech was loaded with classical references. Harrison was nationalistic in his views, but he always believed that the will of the people should be expressed through Congress. Soon after completing a month in the office as the President, Harrison died from a cold that developed into pneumonia. Harrison was the first President to die in office.


  1. John F. Kennedy (1963)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963)

In 1961, John F. Kennedy enforced the Peace Corps by Executive Order. There were more than 170,000 Peace Corps volunteers in 135 countries by the end of the Twentieth Century. Kennedy ordered a secret mission to bring down Cuban leader Fiedel Castro – the Bay of Pigs invasion – which eventually resulted in an embarrassment for the administration of Kennedy as Castro remained in power. Because of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, where the Soviet Union sent ballistic missiles to Cuba, a Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was established between the UK, US, and the USSR. This treaty helped in minimizing the Cold War tensions and was regarded to be one of the proudest achievements of the president. On November 22nd, 1963, Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald when he made a visit to Dallas.


  1. Abraham Lincoln (1865)


Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865)

The presidency of Abraham Lincoln is remembered for the American Civil War (1861-1865), which was fought to preserve the Union. Due to his hatred of the practice, abolishing slavery also become one of his central objectives. By arranging a peace conference in 1864 between the Confederates who wanted to break away the union, and Unionists who wanted to preserve it, Lincoln was able to achieve both objectives. On April 14th, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth when he was attending a production Our American Cousin. Booth hated the President due to his perspective on slavery.


  1. William McKinley (1901)

William McKinley Jr. (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901)

In 1893, when the recession was almost over, McKinley came to office in 1897. He authorized a law which was the largest tariff in US history at that time. In 1898, McKinley brought America into the conflict between Cuba and Spain by providing a message of neutral intervention. However, Congress declared three resolutions to declare war on liberate Cuba and Spain. The US shattered the Spanish fleet at Santiago harbor in Cuba, occupied Puerto Rico, and seized Manila in the Philippines. The Philippines, Puerto Rico, and, Guam were then seized by the US with the exception of Cuba. Soon after winning the presidency a second term in 1900, in September 1901, an insane anarchist shot McKinley two times when he was standing in a line at the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition. McKinley died eight days later.


  1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1945)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt ( January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945)

It was at the time of the aftermath of the 1929 Great Depression, Roosevelt became the 32nd president in 1932. Roosevelt tried to regain public confidence and he spoke directly to the public through a chain of ‘fireside chats. The New Deal of Roosevelt brought relief, reform, and recovery by lifting the prohibition of alcohol, creating jobs through public works administrations, and establishing Social Security for US citizens. He worked with the Soviet Union and Britain to overpower the Nazis and the Japanese at the time of the Second World War, which laid the foundations for the United Nations. In April 1945, Roosevelt passed away in his office.


  1. Zachary Taylor (1850)

Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850

The presidency of Zachary Taylor’s was short-lived and was overwhelmed with problems. Taylor called for the statehood of California, the constitution of which prohibited slavery. Southerners in Congress were intended to thwart a majority of Free states from budding in Congress, this resulted in the Compromise of 1850. The Compromise resulted in the declaration of California into the Union as a free state and it prevented the withdrawn of slave states in the South. On July 9th, 1850, Taylor died of Cholera, unfortunately, he was not there to witness the Compromise becoming a reality.

So, these are the presidents of the United States who died serving in the office.

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