List of assassinated American politicians
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.|||
|Bent, CharlesCharles Bent||1847||Governor of New Mexico Territory||Taos, New Mexico (in his home)||arrows and scalping||Romero, Tomás, Montoya, Pablo||Targeted during Taos Revolt, a popular uprising against newly asserted US authority over region.|||
|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.|||
|Bunnell, VickieVickie Bunnell||1997||Colebrook, New Hampshire District Judge||Colebrook, New Hampshire (outside her office)||gunshot||Carl Drega||Targeted by assailant due to finding him guilty of code violations.|||
|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.|||
|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.|||
|Cermak, AntonAnton Cermak||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-elect Franklin Roosevelt.|||
|Chaves, José FranciscoJosé Francisco Chaves||Republican||1904||New Mexico Superintendent of Public Instruction||Pinoswells, New Mexico||gunshots (through the window of his home)||unknown assailant||unknown|||
|Clayton, John M.John M. Clayton||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.|||
|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.|||
|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.|||
|Denhardt, HenryHenry Denhardt||Democratic||1937||Lieutenant Governor (former) of Kentucky||Shelbyville, Kentucky (outside the Armstrong Hotel)||gunshots||Garr, E.S.; Garr, Roy||Killed by brothers of his late fiancée who he was charged with murdering.|||
|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.|||
|Elliott, John MiltonJohn Milton Elliott||Democrat||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.|||
|Garfield, James A.James A. Garfield||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.|||
|Goebel, WilliamWilliam Goebel||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.|||
|Gwatney, BillBill Gwatney||Democratic||2008||Chairman of Arkansas Democratic Party||Little Rock, Arkansas (at his office at party headquarters)||gunshots||Johnson, Tim||Timothy Dale Johnson; assailant was reported to have quit his job and become reclusive in days leading up to incident.|||
|Harrison, Sr., CarterCarter Harrison, Sr.||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.|||
|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.|||
|Haughey, ThomasThomas Haughey||Republican||1869||Congressman from Alabama||Courtland, Alabama (at a political rally)||gunshot||Collins (first name unknown)||Assailant was a supporter 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.|||
|Hindman, Thomas C.Thomas C. Hindman||Democratic||1868||Congressman (former) from Arkansas||Helena, Arkansas (at his home)||gunshots through window||Unknown assailants||Unknown; multiple theories proposed.|||
|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.|||
|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.|||
|Jordan, LeonLeon Jordan||Democratic||1970||Missouri State Representative||Kansas City, Missouri (outside a restaurant)||gunshots||Unknown||Unknown, alleged to have been an organized crime contract killing|||
|Kennedy, John F.John F. Kennedy||Democratic||1963||President of the United States||Dallas, Texas (while motorcading)||gunshots||Lee Harvey Oswald||Unknown, but several theories proposed.|||
|Kennedy, Robert F.Robert F. Kennedy||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.|||
|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.|||
|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.|||
|Lincoln, AbrahamAbraham Lincoln||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.|||
|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 belief that he was incumbent mayor.|||
|Long, HueyHuey Long||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.|||
|Lowenstein, Allard K.Allard K. Lowenstein||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 him since their acquaintance at Stanford University.|||
|McCook, Edwin StantonEdwin Stanton McCook||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.|||
|McKinley, WilliamWilliam McKinley||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.|||
|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.|||
|Milk, HarveyHarvey Milk||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.|||
|Moscone, GeorgeGeorge Moscone||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.|||
|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|||
|Pinckney, Clementa C.Clementa C. Pinckney||Democratic||2015||State senator from South Carolina||Charleston, South Carolina (at church)||gunshots||Roof, Dylann||Killed in a mass shooting while leading his church congregation.|||
|Pinckney, John M.John M. Pinckney||Democratic||1905||Congressman from Texas||Hempstead, Texas||gunshots||Unknown||Killed during riot instigated by opponents of alcohol prohibition.|||
|Ramsay, DavidDavid Ramsay||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.|||
|Roll, JohnJohn Roll||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 government authority.|||
|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.|||
|Ryan, LeoLeo Ryan||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.|||
|Slough, John P.John P. Slough||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.|||
|Sharp, Solomon P.Solomon P. Sharp||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 political differences and partially on Sharp fathering a child with the woman Beauchamp later married.|||
|Smith, JosephJoseph Smith||1844||Mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, candidate for U.S. President||Carthage, Illinois (while imprisoned)||Shot||The Carthage Greys||Founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or Mormon faith; June 27, 1844, an anti-Mormon mob murdered Joseph and his brother Hyrum while they were being held in a Carthage jail.|||
|Stephens, John W.John W. Stephens||Republican||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.|||
|Steunenberg, FrankFrank Steunenberg||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.|||
|Strang, JamesJames Strang||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.|||
|Swoboda, MikeMike Swoboda||2008||Mayor of Kirkwood, Missouri||Kirkwood, Missouri (during a city council meeting)||Gunshot (died seven months later from complications)||Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton||Assailant retaliated for fines levied by municipality for code violations.|||
|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.|||
|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.|||
|Wood, Samuel NewittSamuel Newitt Wood||Republican||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.|||
|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.|||
- Political murder
- List of assassinated US presidents
- List of assassinated people
- List of assassinations and acts of terrorism against Americans
- List of United States federal judges killed in office
- List of United States Congress members killed or wounded in office
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