Thursday, March 28, 2013

Presidential Deaths: Part Two

President: Benjamin Harrison
Date: March 13, 1901
Age: 67
Cause of Death: Pneumonia
Last Words: "Doctor, my lungs!"
Place of Burial: Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

President: William McKinley
Date: September 14, 1901
Age: 58
Cause of Death: McKinley was shot twice in the stomach by an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz. He later died of the infection that one of the bullets caused inside him a.k.a. he had gangrene all up in there.
Last Words: "We are all going." Said to his wife when she asked God to take her too.
Place of Burial: McKinley National Memorial, Canton, Ohio

President: Theodore Roosevelt
Date: January 6th, 1919
Age: 60
Cause of Death: Roosevelt was sickly as a young boy, and was warned that he couldn't live the strenuous life by doctors. He took this as a challenge and lived more times than any person ever. His body finally wore out after dealing with a bullet wound infection (he was shot while giving a campaign speech for the 1912 election) and the malaria he contracted while on his extremely dangerous expedition mapping the River of Doubt in South Africa. He died of a heart attack while sleeping, causing Vice-President Thomas Marshall to say, "Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight."
Last Words: "Put out the light."
Place of Burial: Youngs Memorial Cemetery, Oyster Bay, New York

President: William Howard Taft
Date: March 8th, 1930
Age: 72
Cause of Death: Heart attack. Taft was known as the fattest president of all time and even allegedly got stuck in a tub. So how come he lived a full ten years longer than Roosevelt? Taft, for one, didn't have the same nagging health issues that Roosevelt had, and secondly, he actually lost a ton of weight after his presidency, probably elongating his life by quite a few years. Death comes for all, however, and Taft was still overweight, thus making his heart attack an inevitable thing.
Last Words: Unknown
Place of Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. He was the first President to be buried there.

President: Woodrow Wilson
Date: February 3, 1924
Age: 67
Cause of Death: Cerebral Hemorrhaging. Wilson had been battling a bout of influenza in 1919, which eventually caused him to suffer a severe stroke. He was unable to function as President for much of the rest of his second term and instead sent his wife to go to cabinet meetings. The public had no idea Wilson was incapacitated, and wouldn't know until after his death. He died a few years after the presidency of another stroke and heart complications.
Last Words: "I am a broken piece of machinery. When the machine is broken, I am ready."
Place of Burial: Washington National Cathedral, Washington D.C.

President: Warren G. Harding
Date: August 2, 1923
Age: 57
Cause of Death: Stroke, Pneumonia, enlargement of the heart, take your pick. All basically caused by high blood pressure. Harding's presidency was racked with scandals made possible by the friends he put in and around his cabinet, which in turn caused his blood pressure to skyrocket due to stress. Nobody ever said being President was easy. Sometimes it can kill you.
Last Words: "That's good, go on, read some more."
Place of Burial: Harding Tomb, Marion, Ohio

President: Calvin Coolidge
Date: January 5th, 1933
Age: 60
Cause of Death: Heart attack
Last Words: "Good morning, Robert."
Place of Burial: Plymouth Notch Cemetery, Plymouth Notch, Vermont

President: Herbert Hoover
Date: October 20, 1964 (Yeah, think about that one for a while. This guy was around during the 60's)
Age: 90
Cause of Death: Internal Hemorrhaging  Hoover, having died 31 years after leaving office, had the longest retirement from the presidency, up until Jimmy Carter continued to live through 2012. Hoover, having so long to do it, partially rehabilitated his reputation. Same goes for Carter, I think.
Last Words: "Levi Strauss was one of my best friends." (Yes, that one)
Place of Burial: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, Iowa

President: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Date: April 12, 1945
Age: 63
Cause of Death: Technically he died of a stroke, but the real cause was the polio that had struck him in his early 40's. The wear on his body due to the paralysis, plus smoking, plus the immense stress of the presidency basically wore his already weak body down to nothing. He died, not in the company of his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, but his former mistress, Lucy Mercer. Yikes.
Last Words: "I have a terrific pain in my head."
Place of Burial: FDR National Historic Site, Hyde Park, New York

President: Harry Truman
Date: December 26, 1972
Age:  88
Cause of Death: Pneumonia
Last Words: Unknown
Place of Burial: Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, Independence, Missouri

President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Date: March 28, 1969
Age: 78
Cause of Death: Heart failure. He would have died from his body poisoning himself, due to his stomach being all blocked up. Doctors did he surgery to save him, though they knew it would weaken his heart. He was able to live one more month before succumbing to heart failure. The doctors were widely criticized for performing the surgery, though Eisenhower would have died sooner had they not done so.
Last Words: "I'm ready to go. God, take me."
Place of Burial: Eisenhower Presidential Center, Abilene, Kansas

President: John F. Kennedy
Date: November 22, 1963
Age: 46
Cause of Death: Shot in the head while being driven in a open roofed vehicle. Popular belief is that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the shooting, though many conspiracy theories exist that point the finger at different organizations or people.
Last Words: "That's very obvious." He said this after being told that Dallas loved him.
Place of Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. It's the one with the eternal flame.

President: Lyndon B. Johnson
Date: January 22, 1973
Age: 64
Cause of Death: Heart failure caused by many years of smoking, bad diet, and stress.
Last Words: "Send Mike immediately."
Place of Burial: Johnson Family Cemetery, Stonewall, Texas

President: Richard Nixon
Date: April 22, 1994. It's weird to think that I was alive during the same time as Nixon.
Age: 81
Cause of Death: A blood clot from his heart condition broke off and traveled all the way up to his brain, causing a stroke.
Last Words: Unknown
Place of Burial: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California. Fun Fact: Nixon was a Quaker. Bet you didn't see that coming.

President: Gerald Ford
Date: December 26, 2006
Age: 93. Ford was the longest living of all the presidents, beating Reagan by 45 days. Take that, Gipper!
Cause of Death: Cerebrovascular disease
Last Words: Unknown
Place of Burial: Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Finally, one I can easily drive to.

President: Ronald Reagan
Date: June 5, 2004
Age: 93
Cause of Death: Pneumonia brought on by Alzheimer's
Last Words: Unknown
Place of Burial: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California

That's all of them! Carter (88), Bush Sr. (88), Clinton (66), Bush Jr. (66), and our current President Barack Obama (51) are all alive and kicking. 

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