Profession: 20th US President
Political Party: Republican
Political Titles: Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio's 19th district
Why Famous: The 20th President of the United States (1881). His presidency lasted just 200 days, from March 4, 1881, until his death on September 19, 1881, as a result of being shot by an assassin earlier in the year. Garfield, who represented Ohio in the House of Representatives, is to this day the only president elected who was a sitting House member.
Despite his exceptionally brief period of time in office, Garfield's accomplishments as President included a controversial resurgence of Presidential authority above Senatorial courtesy in executive appointments; energizing U.S. naval power; and purging corruption in the Post Office Department. He also advocated for civil service reform which was signed into law by his successor.
Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881. The wound was not immediately fatal, but bad medical practices and uses of unwashed tools and hands by his doctors led to the wound becoming infected. He died on September 19, 1881, making him one of four presidents to have been assassinated, following Abraham Lincoln and before William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. He was succeeded by his Vice President, Chester A. Arthur.
- 1858-11-11 20th US President James Garfield (26) weds Lucretia Rudolph (26) in Hiram, Ohio
- 1880-11-02 James A. Garfield (R) elected 20th US President
- 1881-03-04 James A. Garfield inaugurated as the 20th President of the United States of America
- 1881-07-02 US President James Garfield shot by Charles J. Guiteau a disappointed office-seeker; Garfield dies 79 days later