Special Report

American Presidents Who Lived the Longest and Shortest Lives

27. William Howard Taft
> Age at time of death: 72 years
> Date of death: March 8, 1930
> Cause of death: Heart disease
> Place of death: Washington, D.C.

Eight years after his one term presidency, William Taft was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Warren G. Harding. Taft is the only president to have ever served on the Supreme Court. He served as chief justice for about nine years until his death on March 8, 1930. Taft died from heart disease, high blood pressure, and inflammation of the bladder. He was 72 years old at the time of his death.

28. Woodrow Wilson
> Age at time of death: 67 years
> Date of death: February 3, 1924
> Cause of death: Stroke
> Place of death: Washington, D.C.

Woodrow Wilson’s health began to deteriorate halfway into his second term, when he suffered a series of strokes in 1919. He finished his presidency in poor health, which by some accounts affected his ability to lead. Wilson’s poor health lasted until his death on February 3, 1924. Wilson’s health issues were one reason behind the 25th amendment, which makes provisions for dealing with presidents who become incapacitated while in office. Wilson was 67 years old at his time of death.

29. Warren G. Harding
> Age at time of death: 57 years
> Date of death: August 2, 1923
> Cause of death: Heart attack
> Place of death: San Francisco, California

On August 2, 1923, about two years into his first presidential term, Warren G. Harding became the sixth president to die in office. Harding died quietly and unexpectedly in San Francisco while on a West Coast speaking tour after suffering a heart attack in his sleep. Various rumors of wrongdoing circulated at the time, including that he was poisoned by his wife. That rumor was soon debunked, however. Today, historians believe Harding died of natural causes. Harding was 57 years old at the time of his death.

30. Calvin Coolidge
> Age at time of death: 60 years
> Date of death: January 5, 1933
> Cause of death: Heart failure
> Place of death: Northampton, Massachusetts

Despite his high likelihood of winning a third term, Calvin Coolidge chose not to run for reelection in 1928. By his own account, Coolidge was honoring the unwritten custom of two-term presidencies and was ready for retirement. He retired to Northampton, Massachusetts, where he wrote his autobiography and a syndicated newspaper column. He eventually died of heart failure on January 5, 1933 in his Northampton home. The former president was 60 years old at the time of his death.

31. Herbert Hoover
> Age at time of death: 90 years
> Date of death: October 20, 1964
> Cause of death: Colon cancer
> Place of death: New York City

After his one term presidency, Herbert Hoover retired to his home in Palo Alto, California. He lived another 32 years after his presidency, the second longest retirement of any president to date after Jimmy Carter. While initially absent from party politics at the beginning of his retirement after he was blamed for the Great Depression, Hoover eventually returned to public life around World War II when President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to chair an international relief organization. He remained influential until his death on October 20, 1964. At 90 years, Hoover had one of the longest lives of any president.

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