U.S. President Warren G. Harding Vital Statistics & Early Career

About the U.S. President Warren G. Harding, his vital statistics including birth and death place and time, and early career.


29th President



Born: Nov. 2, 1865, in the village of Corsica (later known as Blooming Grove), O. He was the last of seven presidents to be born in Ohio. At the age of six, Harding moved with his family to the nearby county seat of Marion, O., and he spent most of his life there. His home in Marion, at 380 Mt. Vernon Avenue, has been preserved as a Harding museum. Admission 75?.

Died: Aug. 2, 1923, at the age of 57, the sixth of eight presidents to die in office. Harding was returning from an exhausting cross-country tour which had taken him all the way to Alaska, when he suffered a heart attack, which was incorrectly diagnosed as ptomaine poisoning by his personal physician. Resting in his room at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, Harding seemed to be nearly recovered when he died unexpectedly. The cause of death has never been firmly established, because Mrs. Harding refused to permit an autopsy on her husband's body. It has been suggested that Mrs. Harding actually poisoned the President, in order to protect him from disgrace--and probable impeachment--as the corruption in his administration became known to the public. According to another theory, her motive was revenge for Harding's marital infidelities. In any event, the medical evidence provided by five eminent doctors who examined the President before his death seems to contradict the poison rumor.


Career: Harding was the son of a poor Ohio farmer and part-time veterinarian who later turned, with a minimum of training, to the doctoring of people. Harding spent two years at a rural academy known as Ohio Central College and received his diploma at age 16. For two years he worked at odd jobs--teaching school, selling insurance, and organizing the town band. In 1884 Harding and two friends each put up $100 to buy the bankrupt local newspaper, the Marion Star. The circulation soon began to grow as Harding gave instructions that the name of every man, woman, and child in town should be mentioned at least once a year in the pages of his paper. Harding won controlling interest in the Star (beating out one of his partners in a game of poker), and as Marion (population 5,000) began to grow, the paper prospered. With his self-proclaimed editorial policy of "inoffensivism," his handsome appearance, and his membership in the Masons, Elks, and Moose, Harding was a popular figure in town, and it seemed only natural that he should enter Republican politics. Elected state senator in 1899, he soon made the acquaintance of Harry Daugherty (pronounced Dokerty), a skilled and unscrupulous political manipulator. Impressed by the young senator's distinguished features and easy-going nature, Daugherty fastened onto Harding as a hot political prospect and began to manage his career. In 1903 Harding was elected lieutenant governor of Ohio, and after an unsuccessful race for the governorship, he was rewarded for his longstanding party loyalty with nomination and election to the U.S. Senate in 1914.

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