List of assassinated American politicians

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This is a list of assassinated American politicians. Individuals listed were either elected or appointed to office, or were candidates for elected office.

Politician Portrait Party Year assassinated Office held when assassinated Site of assassination Method of assassination Name of assassin Suspected motive Ref
Arndt, Charles C. P.Charles C. P. Arndt Whig 1842 Wisconsin Territorial Legislator Madison, Wisconsin (in the Old Wisconsin State Capitol gunshot Vineyard, James Russell Killed during an argument over a political appointment. [1]
Bent, CharlesCharles Bent CharlesBent-cropped.jpg 1847 Governor of New Mexico Territory Taos, New Mexico (in his home) arrows and scalping Rommero, Tomáa, Montoya, Pablo Targeted during Taos Revolt, a popular uprising against newly asserted US authority over region. [2]
Brown, DerwinDerwin Brown Democratic 2000 Sheriff-elect of DeKalb County, Georgia Decatur, Georgia (in his home) gunshot Cuffy, Patrick (a DeKalb County sheriff's deputy) Contract killing ordered by DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey, who was defeated by Brown. [3]
Bunnell, VickieVickie Bunnell 1997 Colebrook, New Hampshire District Judge Colebrooke, New Hampshire (outside her office) gunshot Carl Drega Targeted by assailant due to finding him guilty of code violations. [4]
Burks, TommyTommy Burks Democratic 1998 Tennessee State Senator Cumberland County, Tennessee (in his home) gunshot Looper, Byron (the incumbent Putnam County Assessor) Killed by his political opponent in 1998 State Senate race. [5]
Cardis, LouisLouis Cardis Democrat 1877 Texas State Representative El Paso, Texas gunshot Howard, Charles Killed as part of the San Elizario Salt War, a dispute over salt mining claims rooted in divisions between white and Hispanic settlers. [6]
Cermak, AntonAnton Cermak Anton Cermak cph.3b27410.jpg Democratic 1933 Mayor of Chicago Miami, Florida (while riding in a vehicle) gunshot to lung Zangara, Giuseppe Disputed; suspected of striking Cermak instead of intended target President Franklin Roosevelt. [7]
Chaves, José FranciscoJosé Francisco Chaves JosFChaves.jpg Republican 1904 New Mexico Superintendent of Public Instruction Pinoswells, New Mexico gunshots (through the window of his home) unknown assailant unknown [8]
Clayton, John M.John M. Clayton JMClayton-Arkansas.jpg Republican 1889 Congressman-elect from Arkansas Plumerville, Arkansas gunshots (through the window of his home) unknown assailant Unknown, but killed in the context of a disputed, fraudulent election. [9]
Daronco, Richard J.Richard J. Daronco 1988 Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York Pelham, New York (in his home) gunshot Koster, Charles Assailant was the father of a plaintiff whose harassment suit was dismissed by Daronco. [10]
Davis, James E.James E. Davis Democratic 2003 New York City Councilman New York City, New York (at City Hall) gunshots Askew, Othniel Killed by prospective challenger for 2003 Council special election. [11]
Edwards , Louis F.Louis F. Edwards Democratic 1939 Mayor, Long Beach, New York Long Beach, New York (outside his home) gunshot Alvin Dooley Killed by a city police officer and member of his security detail, the former head of the local police union, after Edwards supported a rival who thwarted Dooley's reelection to his union post; the assailant also shot and wounded another mayoral bodyguard, the officer who had unseated him. [12]
Elliott, John MiltonJohn Milton Elliott 1879 Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Frankfort, Kentucky (after a conversation on a public street) gunshots Thomas Buford (an incumbent Henry County District Judge) Assailant was brother of a plaintiff who lost a farm after Elliott dismissed motion for stay of foreclosure. [13]
Garfield, James A.James A. Garfield James Abram Garfield, photo portrait seated.jpg Republican 1881 President of the United States Washington, D.C. (at railway station) gunshot to spine (death took three months) Guiteau, Charles Targeted after being rejected by Republican officials for a patronage appointment. [14]
Goebel, WilliamWilliam Goebel William Goebel circa 1889.jpg Democratic 1900 Governor of Kentucky Frankfort, Kentucky (outside Old State Capitol) gunshot to the chest Unknown political opponents Uncertain, but killed in the context of a disputed, fraudulent election. [15]
Gwatney, BillBill Gwatney Gwatney.jpg Democratic 2008 Chairman of Arkansas Democratic Party Little Rock, Arkansas (at his office at party headquarters) gunshots Johnson, Tim Unknown; assailant was reported to have quit his job and become reclusive in days leading up to incident. [16]
Hamilton, AlexanderAlexander Hamilton Federalist 1804 Former Secretary of the Treasury Weehawken, New Jersey Gunshot Vice President of the United StatesAaron Burr Killed during an illegal duel with long-time political arch-enemy Burr, who alleged that Hamilton had publicly insulted his honor and challenged Hamilton to shoot it out. Some historians speculate that Hamilton was a reluctant duelist and deliberately did not aim at Burr when he fired, a courtesy which Burr was either unaware of or chose not to reciprocate. Burr was charged with murder but the charges were later dropped. [17][18]
Hamilton, Cornelius S.Cornelius S. Hamilton Cornelius S. Hamilton (ancestry.com).jpg Republican 1867 Congressman from Ohio Marysville, Ohio Beaten to death (in his home) Hamilton, Thomas Killed by his son, who was suffering from mental illness. [19]
Harrison, Sr., CarterCarter Harrison, Sr. Carter Harrison, Sr. - Brady-Handy.jpg Democratic 1893 Mayor of Chicago Chicago, Illinois (in his home) gunshot Prendergast, Patrick Eugene Killed after assailant was rejected for appointment to a patronage position. [citation needed]
Hasse, MarkMark Hasse Republican 2013 Assistant District Attorney for Kaufman County, Texas Kaufman, Texas (outside the County Courthouse) gunshot Williams, Eric Killed by former justice of the peace who was convicted of burglary while in office. [20]
Haughey, ThomasThomas Haughey Republican 1869 Congressman from Alabama Courtland, Alabama] (at a political rally) gunshot Collins (first name unknown) Assailant was a support of the target's rival for the Republican nomination for the Congressional race; both men exchanged verbal insults and engaged in fisticuffs before a weapon was brandished. [21]
Hindman, Thomas C.Thomas C. Hindman Hindman, Thomas Carmichael, 1828-1868-full.jpg Democratic 1868 Congressman (former) from Arkansas Helena, Arkansas (at his home) gunshots through window Unknown assailants Unknown; multiple theories proposed. [22]
Hinds, James M.James M. Hinds Republican 1868 Congressman from Arkansas Monroe County, Arkansas (while on horseback) gunshot Clark, George Killed by a Ku Klux Klan member as part of intimidation of Republican carpetbaggers. [23]
Holbrook, Edward DexterEdward Dexter Holbrook Democratic 1870 Delegate (former) to the United States House of Representatives from Idaho Territory Idaho City, Idaho (outside the County Courthouse) gunshot Douglas, Charles Killed by the brother-in-law of James Crutcher, as a result of a dispute between Holbrook and Crutcher for control of the Boise County Democratic Party. [24]
Jordan, LeonLeon Jordan Democratic 1970 Missouri State Representative Kansas City, Missouri (outside a restaurant) gunshots Unknown Unknown, but alleged to have been subject to a Mafia contract killing [25]
Kennedy, John F.John F. Kennedy John F. Kennedy, White House color photo portrait.jpg Democratic 1963 President of the United States Dallas, Texas (while motorcading) gunshots Oswald, Lee Harvey Unknown, but several theories proposed. [26]
Kennedy, Robert F.Robert F. Kennedy Robert F. Kennedy 1964.jpeg Democratic 1968 United States Senator from New York and candidate for Democratic presidential nomination Los Angeles, California (at the Ambassador Hotel) gunshot Sirhan Sirhan Targeted as a symbol of Western support for Israel in that country's conflict with Arab states. [27]
King, EdEd King 1986 Mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa Mount Pleasant, Iowa gunshot Davis, Ralph Killed during city council meeting; assailant had been in dispute with municipality over clogged sewer line. [28]
LeBreton, GeorgeGeorge LeBreton 1844 Oregon Secretary of State Oregon City, Oregon (in his office) gunshots Cockstock Killed by a Native American as part of resistance to white settlement in the area. [29]
Lincoln, AbrahamAbraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln head on shoulders photo portrait.jpg Republican 1865 President of the United States Washington, DC. (Ford's Theatre) gunshot Booth, John Wilkes, a renowned stage actor Assailant was a Confederate sympathizer. [30]
Lloyd, Sr., Russell G.Russell G. Lloyd, Sr. Republican 1980 Mayor (former) of Evansville, Indiana Evansville, Indiana gunshot van Orden, Julia Assailant suffered from mental illness and believed she was being harassed by the city; apparently targeted Lloyd under mistaken believe that he was incumbent mayor. [31]
Long, HueyHuey Long HueyPLongGesture.jpg Democratic 1935 United States Senator and presidential candidate from Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana (inside the State Capitol) gunshots Carl Weiss Uncertain, but Weiss was affiliated with a political family that opposed Long's machine. [32]
Lowenstein, Allard K.Allard K. Lowenstein AllardLowenstein.jpg Democratic 1980 Congressman (former) from New York New York City, New York (in his office) gunshots Sweeney, Dennis Assailant had a history of mental illness and believed Lowenstein had been plotting against them since their acquaintance at Stanford University. [33]
McCook, Edwin StantonEdwin Stanton McCook Edwin Stanton McCook photograph.JPG Republican 1873 Governor of Dakota Territory Yankton, Dakota Territory (at a saloon which was being used for a public meeting) gunshot Wintermute, Peter Target and assailant had initially engaged in fisticuffs over issue of financing the Dakota Southern Railroad; after feeling publicly humiliated by loss in this fight, assailant returned with pistol. [34]
McKinley, WilliamWilliam McKinley William McKinley by Courtney Art Studio, 1896.jpg Republican 1901 President of the United States Buffalo, New York (at Pan-American Exposition) gunshot Czolgosz, Leon Assailant was aligned with anarchist movement and killed target as symbol of American inequality. [35]
McLelland, MikeMike McLelland Republican 2013 District Attorney for Kaufman County, Texas Forney, Texas (in his home) gunshot Williams, Eric Killed by former justice of the peace who was convicted of burglary while in office. [20]
Milk, HarveyHarvey Milk Harvey Milk in 1978 at Mayor Moscone's Desk crop.jpg Democratic 1978 San Francisco City Supervisor San Francisco, California (in his City Hall office) gunshots White, Dan, outgoing San Francisco City Supervisor Assailant had recently resigned from office due to financial difficulties; he soon changed his mind and sought reappointment; Moscone denied this request upon the advice of Milk. [36]
Moscone, GeorgeGeorge Moscone George Moscone.jpg Democratic 1978 Mayor of San Francisco San Francisco, California (in his City Hall office) gunshots Assailant had recently resigned from office due to financial difficulties; he soon changed his mind and sought reappointment; Moscone denied this request upon the advice of Milk. [36]
Patterson, AlbertAlbert Patterson Democratic 1954 Alabama Attorney General-elect Phenix City, Alabama (walking to his vehicle) gunshots Unknown Target had been elected on promise to crack down on organized crime in the state, which was strongly rooted in Phenix City [37]
Pinckney, John M.John M. Pinckney John M. Pinckney.jpg Democratic 1905 Congressman from Texas Hempstead, Texas gunshots Unknown Killed during riot instigated by opponents of alcohol prohibition. [19]
Ramsay, DavidDavid Ramsay David Ramsay (1749-1815).jpg 1815 South Carolina State Senator and former Continental Congressman Charleston, South Carolina gunshots Linnen, William Assailant retaliated after target had deemed him insane during criminal court inquiry. [38]
Rockwell, George LincolnGeorge Lincoln Rockwell RockwellUSNRFOIANPRC.jpg American Nazi 1967 Fringe candidate for Governor of Virginia and founder of the American Nazi Party Arlington, Virginia (outside a laundromat) gunshot Patler, John Killed after expelling assailant from party due to political differences. [39]
Roll, JohnJohn Roll Chief Judge John Roll.jpg 2011 Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona Tucson, Arizona gunshots Loughner, Jared Lee Apparently caught in crossfire as assailant sought to assassinate (and succeeded in wounding) Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; assailant militantly opposed federal government authority. [40]
Romero, TomásTomás Romero 1848 Alcalde of Taos Pueblo Taos, New Mexico (while imprisoned) gunshots John Fitzgerald Killed following capture for inciting Taos Revolt; assailant retaliating for his brother's death in this uprising. [2]
Ryan, LeoLeo Ryan Leo Ryan.jpg Democratic 1978 Congressman from California Port Kaituma, Guyana (on airport tarmac) gunshots Unknown members of the People's Temple Ambushed while investigating allegations of human rights abuses at the Jonestown compound. [41]
Slough, John P.John P. Slough John potts slough.jpg Democratic 1867 Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court Santa Fe, New Mexico (at his office) gunshot Rynerson, William (an incumbent Territorial Legislator) Killed after a public dispute in which each official accused the other of corruption. [42]
Sharp, Solomon P.Solomon P. Sharp Solomon P Sharp.jpg Democratic-Republican 1825 Kentucky Attorney General, Kentucky State Senator-elect Home in Frankfort, Kentucky Stabbed (at his home) Beauchamp, Jereboam O. Killed over a longstanding dispute that was based partially on politically differences and partially on Sharp fathering a child with the woman Beauchamp later married. [43]
Smith, JosephJoseph Smith Joseph Smith, Jr. portrait owned by Joseph Smith III.jpg 1844 Mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois Carthage, Illinois (while imprisoned) Shot The Carthage Greys Killed over his status as leader of the Mormon faith. [44]
Stephens, John W.John W. Stephens 1870 North Carolina State Senator Yanceyville, North Carolina (in the County Courthouse) gunshots Unknown, mobbed by estimated 8 to 12 men Killed by Ku Klux Klan member as part of intimidation of Republican scalawags. [45]
Steunenberg, FrankFrank Steunenberg Franksteunenberg.jpg Democratic 1905 Governor (former) of Idaho Caldwell, Idaho (outside his home) Bomb, set at front gate of his home Orchard, Harry, possibly others Targeted by organized labor for breaking a violent mining strike. [46]
Strang, JamesJames Strang James Strang daguerreotype (1856).jpg Democratic 1856 Michigan State Representative Beaver Island, Michigan (at a steamship terminal) gunshot Bedford, Thomas Killed by a disgruntled former member of the Mormon sect led by Strang. [47]
Swoboda, MikeMike Swoboda 2008 Mayor of Kirkwood, Missouri Kirkwood, Missouri (during a city council meeting) Gunshot (died seven months later from complications)

[48]

Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton Assailant retaliated for fines levied by municipality for code violations. [49]
Thornton, JohnJohn Thornton 2010 Mayor of Washington Park, IL Washington Park, Illinois (in his vehicle) gunshot Jackson, Aaron Unknown; assailant was allegedly a passenger in target's car. [50]

[51]

Vance, Robert SmithRobert Smith Vance 1989 Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit Mountain Brook, Alabama (in his home) mail bomb Moody, Walter Leroy, Jr. Killed after court refused to expunge from assailant's record a previous conviction for explosives possession. [52]
Wood, Samuel NewittSamuel Newitt Wood Samuel Newitt Wood.jpg 1891 Kansas Territorial Legislator, Kansas State Senator Hugoton, Kansas (outside County Courthouse) gunshots Brennan, James Killed during series of armed conflicts in which residents of the two largest towns of Stevens County fought for county seat status. [53]
Wood, Jr., John H.John H. Wood, Jr. 1979 Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas San Antonio, Texas (outside his home) gunshot Harrelson, Charles Contract killing ordered by Jamiel Chagra due to target's harsh convictions of Latin American drug kingpins. [54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Wisconsin's Saddest Tragedy,' M.M. Qualife, Wisconsin Historical Society: 1922, vol 15, no. 5, pg. 264-283
  2. ^ a b Durand, John, ‘’The Taos Massacres’’, Puzzlebox Press, Elkhorn, WI 2004
  3. ^ "Former Sheriff Guilty in Successor's Killing". The New York Times. July 11, 2002. 
  4. ^ http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,986915-1,00.html
  5. ^ "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians". Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  6. ^ https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fca49
  7. ^ Kendall, Peter. "The shooting of Anton Cermak". Chicago Tribune. 
  8. ^ http://newmexicohistory.org/people/jose-francisco-chaves
  9. ^ Barnes, Kenneth. "John Middleton Clayton (1840–1889)". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. 
  10. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1988/05/23/nyregion/slain-judge-ruled-against-his-killer-s-daughter.html
  11. ^ http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/trends/columns/cityside/n_9038/
  12. ^ http://www.newspapers.com/image/52761883/
  13. ^ books.google.com/books?id=3TkVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA205&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=0_0
  14. ^ http://ghostsofdc.org/2012/01/25/president-garfields-assassin-charles-guiteaus-time-in-washington/
  15. ^ http://kentuckyexplorer.com/nonmembers/3-goebel.html
  16. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20080924031120/http://www.arkansasnews.com/archive/2008/08/22/News/347610.html
  17. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr%E2%80%93Hamilton_duel
  18. ^ http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jul11.html
  19. ^ a b http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/675.pdf
  20. ^ a b http://news.yahoo.com/killing-texas-district-attorney-wife-seen-targeted-004859469.html
  21. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=MQkWBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=congressman+thomas+haughey&source=bl&ots=sWdMtv7YUc&sig=hec9r-kjOBbZLmGRjY1VAfDAnKY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CmubVKqVEZWvyATdy4KoAw&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=congressman%20thomas%20haughey&f=false
  22. ^ Neal, Diane (1997). The Lion of the South: General Thomas C. Hindman. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press. ISBN 0-86554-556-1. 
  23. ^ http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=4630
  24. ^ http://www.id.uscourts.gov/Content_Fetcher/index.cfml/ILHS_Newsletter_July_2009_1943.pdf?Content_ID=1943
  25. ^ http://www.kansascity.com/2010/10/30/2372174/70s-slaying-of-kc-politician-a.html
  26. ^ http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/hsca/contents_hsca_report.htm
  27. ^ http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/palestinian_terror_stretches_back_to_rfk_killing_at_the_ambassador_hotel_20
  28. ^ "American Notes Revenge - TIME magazine". Time. 1986-12-22. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  29. ^ http://bluebook.state.or.us/notable/notsos.htm/
  30. ^ Kauffman, Michael W. (2005). American Brutus. Random House Digital. p. 185. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 
  31. ^ http://local.evpl.org/views/viewarticle.asp?id=405955
  32. ^ http://www.hueylong.com/life-times/assassination.php
  33. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=V-MiAAAACAAJ
  34. ^ http://www.sdshspress.com/index.php?&id=1885&sub_action=1&txsbpxsd=txsbpxsd&action=960
  35. ^ http://mckinleydeath.com/documents/newspapers/CST60-251b.htm
  36. ^ a b Mike Weiss, Double Play: The Hidden Passions Behind the Double Assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk (San Francisco: Vince Emery Productions, 2010) pp. 213-216, 474.
  37. ^ http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1250
  38. ^ The Analectic Magazine, September 1815 (collected in Volume 6), "Biographical Memoir of David Ramsay, M.D." (by Robert Y. Hayne but uncredited in source), p. 224.
  39. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=d0tkAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9nQNAAAAIBAJ&pg=862,4544453&dq=john-patler+stormtrooper+-wikipedia&hl=en
  40. ^ http://www.ibtimes.com/who-jared-lee-loughner-253287
  41. ^ Reiterman, Tim; Jacobs, John (1982). Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People. Dutton. ISBN 0-525-24136-1. 
  42. ^ Death Comes for the Chief Justice (1992) by Gary L. Roberts, p. 70.
  43. ^ Cooke, J.W. (January 1998). "The Life and Death of Colonel Solomon P. Sharp Part 1: Uprightness and Inventions; Snares and Nets". The Filson Club Quarterly 72 (1). 
  44. ^ "Joseph Smith: Campaign for President of the United States" (2009) by Arnold K. Garr.
  45. ^ http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9B05E6DA1539EF34BC4E51DFB4668388669FDE
  46. ^ http://steunenberg.blogspot.com/2009/01/gate-on-16th-avenue-as-it-appears-today.html
  47. ^ http://www.mormonbeliefs.com/Strang,%20The%20Martyred%20Prophet.htm
  48. ^ http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/FB655C8A51D2B402862574BC00544C98?OpenDocument
  49. ^ "6 dead in shooting rampage at Kirkwood City Council". St. Louis Post Dispatch. 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  50. ^ Suhr, Jim. "Mayor of Troubled Illinois Town Is Slain." Associated Press. April 1, 2010. Retrieved on April 2, 2010.
  51. ^ Spriggs, Afton. "Mayor of Washington Park found shot to death, 1 person in custody." KMOV. April 1, 2010. Retrieved on April 1, 2010.
  52. ^ http://blog.al.com/wire/2012/11/roy_moore_bob_vance_face_off_i.html
  53. ^ Memorial of Samuel N. Wood (1892) by Margaret Lyon Wood
  54. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1989-06-11/news/mn-3094_1_district-judge-john-wood-charles-harrelson-el-paso

Other sources for this page can be found in the articles for each person.