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William McKinley

William McKinley
William McKinley
Order 25th President
Term of Office March 4, 1897 - September 14, 1901
Predecessor Grover Cleveland
Successor Theodore Roosevelt
Date of Birth January 29, 1843
Place of Birth Niles, Ohio
Date of Death September 14, 1901
Place of Death Buffalo, New York
Occupation Lawyer
First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley
Political Party Republican
Vice President

William McKinley (January 29, 1843 - September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, from 1897 until his assassination in 1901.



William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, January 29, 1843 to William and Nancy (Allison) McKinley. He attended the public schools, Poland Academy , and Allegheny College. Following graduation he taught school. On June 23, 1861, at the start of the American Civil War, enlisted in the Union Army, as a private in the Twenty-third Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out as Captain and brevet Major of the same regiment in September 1865.

Following the war, McKinley studied law, being admitted to the bar in 1867. He commenced practice in Canton, Ohio. He was prosecuting attorney of Stark County, Ohio, 1869-1871, and was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, and Forty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1883). He was chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Laws (Forty-seventh Congress). He presented his credentials as a Member-elect to the Forty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1883, until May 27, 1884, when he was succeeded by Jonathan H. Wallace, who successfully contested his election. McKinley was again elected to the Forty-ninth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first Congresses (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1891). He was chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means (Fifty-first Congress). In 1890, he authored the unpopular McKinley Tariff.

McKinley was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress. He was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1884, 1888, and 1892. Standing for election with his running mate Andrew L. Harris, McKinley was elected Governor of Ohio in 1891, and reelected in 1893, serving until January 13, 1896.


William McKinley was elected President of the United States in 1896 defeating William Jennings Bryan.

In 1898, McKinley launched the trust-busting era when he appointed several Senators (and his former Lt. Governor Andrew L. Harris) to the U.S. Industrial Commission. Later, the Industrial Commission's report to Theodore Roosevelt would lay the groundwork for Roosevelt's attacks on trusts and 'malefactors of great wealth'.

McKinley led the country into the Spanish-American War, bringing the former colonies of Spain in the Philippines and Caribbean Sea under American control. Despite some vocal domestic opposition, his administration ushered the U.S. into the "New Imperialism" of the era.

He was re-elected in 1900, again beating Bryan.

Leon Czolgosz shoots President McKinley with a concealed revolver.
Leon Czolgosz shoots President McKinley with a concealed revolver.

McKinley was shot by an anarchist, Leon F. Czolgosz, on September 6, 1901 while attending the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, and died from his wounds there on September 14, 1901. He is the third of the four U.S. presidents that have been assassinated. Interment is in the McKinley Monument (adjacent to West Lawn Cemetery), Canton, Ohio. President Theodore Roosevelt, Ohio Governor Andrew L. Harris and other speakers saluted the fallen President at the McKinley Memorial.

McKinley's portrait appeared on the U.S. $500 bill from 1928 to 1946.

McKinley Administration

President William McKinley 1897–1901
Vice President Garret A. Hobart 1896–1901
  Theodore Roosevelt 1901
Secretary of State John Sherman 1897–1898
  William R. Day 1898
  John Hay 1898–1901
Secretary of the Treasury Lyman J. Gage 1897–1901
Secretary of War Russell A. Alger 1897–1899
  Elihu Root 1899–1901
Attorney General Joseph McKenna 1897–1898
  John W. Griggs 1898–1901
  Philander C. Knox 1901
Postmaster General James A. Gary 1897–1898
  Charles E. Smith 1898–1901
Secretary of the Navy John D. Long 1897–1901
Secretary of the Interior Cornelius N. Bliss 1897–1899
  Ethan A. Hitchcock 1899–1901
Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson 1897–1901

Supreme Court appointments

McKinley appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:

Significant events during presidency

Related articles

External links

  • A Loose Bandage (Beck Reilly) is an alternative 20th century following the failed assassination of William McKinley.

Preceded by:
Grover Cleveland
President of the United States
Succeeded by:
Theodore Roosevelt
Preceded by:
James E. Campbell
Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by:
Asa S. Bushnell

Preceded by:
Benjamin Harrison
Republican Party Presidential candidate
1896 (won) - 1900 (won)
Followed by:
Theodore Roosevelt

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45