Profession: Austro-Hungarian Emperor
Why Famous: Franz Joseph is best known as the Austro-Hungarian emperor who led them into World War One—the start of which is often attributed to the assassination of his nephew and heir-presumptive, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Following Franz Ferdinand’s death, the Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This triggered a cascade of alliances which resulted in the broad conflict between European powers known as World War One.
During his reign as emperor, Franz Joseph spent much of his time resisting constitutional control and forestalling nationalist ambitions within the empire. He oversaw 45 years of peace, though suffered many personal tragedies—from the suicide of his son, Crown Prince Rudolf, to the assassination of his wife, Empress Elisabeth.
- 1854-04-24 Austria's Franz Joseph I marries Elisabeth A E "Sissi"
- 1848-12-02 Franz Joseph I becomes Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia
- 1859-06-24 Battle of Solferino, Northern Italy: a French Army under Napoleon III and a Sardinian Army under Victor Emmanuel II overcomes the Austrian Army under Emperor Franz Joseph I
- 1897-10-08 Emperor Franz Joseph I names Gustav Mahler Director of the Vienna Court Opera
- 1901-02-04 Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Joseph I, gives a speech condemning the demands of national groups and calls for economic and social reform
- 1916-11-05 Emperors Wilhelm II (Germany) and Franz Joseph I (Austria-Hungary) establish the kingdom of Poland