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Warren G. Harding - 29th President of the United States


Photograph of Warren G. Harding. Left profile (National Archives)
Photograph of Warren G. Harding. Left profile (National Archives)


Warren G. Harding was the 29th (1921-1923) President of the United States. He was born in Blooming Grove, Morrow County, Ohio, November 2, 1865 and graduated from Ohio Central College at Iberia.

Warren G. Harding from Ohio was the first sitting Senator to be elected President. Before becoming a Senator, he was a newspaper publisher and Governor of Ohio.

A relative unknown outside his own state, Harding was a compromise candidate, who won the Republican nomination due to the political machinations of his friends. Before receiving the nomination, he was asked whether there were any embarrassing episodes in his past that might be used against him. He had a very limited formal education, suffered from depression, had spent several years in a sanitarium, had a rocky relationship with his wife (whom he referred to as "the Duchess"), had a longstanding affair with the wife of an old friend, and was a drinker despite Prohibition. Though he answered no, each of these issues was raised by his opponents during his presidency.

Upon winning the election, he placed many of his old allies in prominent political positions. Known as the "Ohio Gang," few of them showed any real talent and some actually used their new powers to rob the government. Corruption was rampant throughout Harding's administration, though it is uncertain how much Harding actually knew about his friends' activities. One of the most famous scandals of the time was the Teapot Dome scandal, which shook the nation for many years after Harding's death. The scandal involved Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall, who was eventually convicted of renting public oil fields to private concerns in exchange for personal loans. In 1931 Fall became the first member of Cabinet to be sent to prison.

As rumors of corruption began to leak out, several members of Harding's inner circle committed suicide. When Harding died of a heart attack shortly after this, rumors were rampant that he either committed suicide or was poisoned by his wife. He died in San Francisco, California during a tour of the Western states and Alaska.

Throughout his administration, Harding did his utmost to undo the legacy of his predecessor Woodrow Wilson. The only prominent legacy of Harding's administration was a plan by Secretary of State Charles Hughes in the wake of World War I to reach an international agreement limiting the size of navies.

Interment was in Marion Cemetery, Marion, Ohio. He was reintered in the Harding Memorial Tomb.

 
Photographs and Documents of President Warren G. Harding



Message of President Warren G. Harding nominating William H. Taft of Connecticut to be Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 06/30/1921(National Archives)
Message of President Warren G. Harding nominating William H. Taft of Connecticut to be Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 06/30/1921(National Archives)





President Harding placing wreath of flowers on casket of Unknown Soldier in rotunda of the Capitol., 11/09/1921(National Archives)
President Harding placing wreath of flowers on casket of Unknown Soldier in rotunda of the Capitol., 11/09/1921(National Archives)


 
Quick Facts about President Warren G. Harding

Rank: 29th (1921-1923)
Followed: Woodrow Wilson
Succeeded by: Calvin Coolidge
Date of Birth November 2, 1865
Place of Birth: Blooming Grove, Ohio
Date of Death: August 2, 1923
Place of Death: San Francisco, California
First Lady: Florence Kling De Wolfe
Profession: publisher
Political Party: Republican
Vice President: Calvin Coolidge


 
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