Warren G. Harding (November 2, 1865-August 2, 1923) was an American politician and the 29th President of the United States, serving from 1921 to 1923, when he became the sixth president to die in office. A Republican from the U.S. state of Ohio, Harding was an influential newspaper publisher with a flair for public speaking before entering politics, first in the Ohio Senate (1899-1903) and later as lieutenant governor of Ohio (1903-1905).
Harding was elected to the Ohio State Senate in 1899. He served four years before being elected lieutenant governor of Ohio, a post he occupied from 1903 to 1905. His leanings were conservative, and his record in both offices was relatively undistinguished. At the conclusion of his term, Harding returned to private life, only to reenter politics ten years later as a United States Senator (1914-1921), where he again had a relatively undistinguished record, missing over two-thirds of the roll-call votes. A political unknown at the time of the 1920 Republican National Convention, Harding emerged as a dark horse to become the presidential nominee through political maneuvering. In the 1920 election, he defeated his Democratic opponent James M. Cox in a landslide, 60.36
o 34.19 404 to 127 in the electoral college). He adopted hands-off laissez-faire policies both on economic and social policy. While on the final leg of a tour of the western states and the Alaska Territory, Harding died in San Francisco, California, 27 months into his term. The cause of death was first said to have been food poisoning acquired during a stop-over in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was later believed that he died at age 57 from apoplexy or a stroke; medical scholars now believe that Harding died of end-stage heart disease. He was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge.
Because of several scandals involving others in his administration, after his death Harding gained a reputation as being one of America's least successful Presidents. In numerous polls of historians, Harding is ranked as one of the worst, or even dead last. However, some recent writers have come to different conclusions about Harding's place in history. John Dean, who wrote a 2004 biography of Harding for Times Press, has stated that "Harding is not a role model for a failed Presidency." Dr. Robert H. Ferrell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University, a Harding biographer and a leading national scholar on the presidency, concluded that Warren G. Harding was basically "a good President".