What President Had the Shortest Term of Office?

Of all the men elected to the American presidency, William H. Harrison had the shortest reign. Harrison was elected the ninth president in 1840, and inaugurated on March 4, 1841.

Although there was a driving rainstorm in Washington, D.C., that day, Harrison rode through the streets for the inaugural parade, and caught a cold.

The cold later developed into pneumonia, and Harrison died on April 4, one month after he took office. He was the first American president to die in office.

Since Harrison, every American president elected in a year ending in “0” has died in office!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

3 thoughts on “What President Had the Shortest Term of Office?”

  1. Not true– no president has died in office since Kennedy, which means the presidents elected in 1980 and 2000 lucked out.

    However, it could be phrased that all the presidents who have died in office were elected in a year ending in -0. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it looks like it could be.

  2. Um.. colds are viral, they don’t come from being out in the rain. Harrison developed pneumonia due to the lenght of his inaugural speech. You sound like an old lady.

  3. Let’s see… year 2000… oh yeah, Bush WASN’T elected President that year… the Supreme Court crowned him king.

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