Third president to be successfully assassinated (an attempt on President Andrew Jackson's life failed) and the fourth president to die in office. Ironically, all presidents to have died in office since the first (William Henry Harrison in 1841) were elected 20 years apart: Harrison in 1840, Abraham Lincoln in 1860, James Garfield in 1880, McKinley in 1900, Warren G. Harding in 1920, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 and John F. Kennedy in 1960. Ronald Reagan (elected 1980) was the victim of an assassin's bullet in 1981, but he survived and broke the 120-year curse that had plagued the U.S. Presidency. There were two unsuccessful attempts made on President Gerald Ford's life, and an attempt by Puerto Rican nationalists to assassinate President Harry S. Truman was thwarted when the assassin, who didn't know that Truman wasn't at the White House, was killed in a shootout with White House guards.
U.S. Representative, 1877-1883, 1885-1891.
Governor of Ohio, 1892-1896.
25th President of the United States, 1897-1901
McKinley was the third US President to be assassinated. He was killed in September of 1901 by Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley was greeting visitors who were in line to meet him when Czolgosz approached him with a bandage on his hand. Inside the bandage was a pistol and he shot McKinley twice in the stomach. McKinley died of his wounds eight days later. Czolgosz claimed that the government was evil and sick and should be dismantled from the top down. He was tried, convicted and executed in the electric chair.
When he died in 1901, he left the bulk of his estate, valued at $200,000 to his wife Ida. He provided a $1,000 lifetime annuity to his mother, but since she had already died, it passed to his sister Helen.
Pictured on a 5¢ US postage stamp issued 30 April 1904, as part of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition series.
Pictured on a US 7¢ regular-issue postage stamp issued 1 May 1923.
His portrait graced the $500 bill in the Series of 1928 and 1934, the latter being the last series of denominations over $100 printed by the United States. Although they hadn't been printed for many years, bills over $100 were officially discontinued by the U.S. Treasury in 1969, and the McKinley $500 bill stopped circulating.
Pictured on the 25¢ US postage stamp in the Presidential Series, issued 2 December 1938.