Death from Natural Causes, Assassinations and Resignations Have All Shortened Terms

All the shortened presidential terms of the past in the United States of America.The list of US Presidents who didn't finish out their terms in the White House is actually quite long - longer than you might think.

There were numerous reasons for these shortened terms in office, including natural deaths, assassinations and resignations.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the longest serving US President in the history of the White House, as he served for 4,422 days.

That being said, his fourth term in office was shortened due to his death from natural causes.

On the other end of the spectrum, William Henry Harrison served just 31 days in office, as he passed away from an illness (said to be either typhoid or pneumonia) shortly after moving into the White House.

Richard Nixon served one full term in office before resigning during his second term due to the Watergate scandal. Nixon was given the choice of either resigning or being convicted by the Senate (after he was impeached), and he chose resignation. Nixon would subsequently be granted a full pardon by President Ford.

William McKinley served one full term in office before being assassinated during his second term.

Abraham Lincoln also served one full term in office before being assassinated shortly into his second term in the White House.

John F. Kennedy and James A. Garfield were both assassinated during their first terms in office.

John Tyler, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, Millard Fillmore and Gerald Ford all served partial terms in the White House (due to the deaths or resignations of their predecessors), though all finished out their partial terms.

Warren G. Harding died of a heart attack during his first term in office, while Zachary Taylor died from a stomach disease.


In total, 9 US Presidents - Franklin D. Roosevelt, William Henry Harrison, Richard Nixon, William McKinley, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, James Garfield, Warren G. Harding and Zachary Term - had their terms in office cut short for different reasons, usually after passing away.

Richard Nixon remains the only US President to have ever stepped down from his post.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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