Facts on Vice Presidents of the United States

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The seal of the Vice President

He is the second most powerful man, here are some facts about the Vice President of the United States.

Until the 25th Amendment was passed in 1967, when a Vice President died they there was no mechanism in the Constitution to fill the vacancy.

Unlike the President no Vice President has been assassinated, and all have died of natural causes.

Vice Presidents Who Have Died in Office

George Clinton, who served both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and passed away on April 20, 1812 became the first man either President or Vice President to die in office, and is the only man (so far) to serve under two different Presidents.

Clinton’s successor, Elbridge Gerry, James Madison’s second Vice President passed away on November 23, 1814. William Rufus King, Franklin Pierce’s Vice President passed away after a month in office on April 18, 1853 and is the shortest serving Vice President.

Henry Wilson, the second Vice President to Ulysses Grant died on November 22, 1875.

Thomas A. Hendricks, Grover Cleveland’s first Vice President who died on November 25, 1885, within seven months of entering office.

Garret A. Hobart, William McKinley’s first Vice President who passed away on November 21, 1899.

James S. Sherman, William H. Taft’s Vice President died on October 30, 1912, just a week from election day while running for re-election. His electoral votes where taken by Nicholas Butler, although Taft did not nominate a replacement before election day.

Vice Presidents Who Would Have Died in Office

No Vice President since Sherman has died in office. Although if they had been elected to the office, Charles W Fairbanks would have died in office in June 1918, had Charles Evans Hughes won the 1916 election. Vice President Charles Curtis who had served under Herbert Hoover would have died in office in February 1936 had Hoover won a second term in 1932.

In February 1944, Charles L McNary who had been Wendell Willkie’s running-mate four years before died, and Willkie himself died in October that year meaning it is the only time in US history when the two nominees of a party died both end of the next election cycle.

Vice Presidents Who Have Resigned From Office

Only two Vice President’ have resigned from the office. John C.Calhoun to take a seat in Congress in December 1832 and Spiro T. Agnew in October 1973 after being placed on indictment on charges of taking bribes whilst as Governor of Maryland.

Shortest Living Vice Presidents

Daniel Tompkins who severed as James Monroe’s Vice President died just ninety-ninety days after leaving office in 1825, making him the shortest lived Former Vice President, the second being Nelson T. Rockefeller who died 736 days on January 26th 1979, just two years and six days after leaving office as Gerald Ford’s Vice President, although if Ford had won, he would not been in office when he died as Rockefeller had been replaced as Ford’s running-mate by Robert Dole.

Oldest and Youngest Vice Presidents

The current Vice President Joe Biden was the sixth oldest to be in sworn into office at 66 years, and 61 days, the oldest being Alben Barkley who was 71 years and 57 days. The youngest is John C. Breckenridge who was just 36 years, 47 days old.

Vice Presidents Who Have Served Two Terms

Eight Vice Presidents have served two full-terms, they are Daniel Tompkins, Thomas Marshall, Richard Nixon, George H Bush, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, John Nance Garner and John Adams.

References:

  1. Paul F. Boller, Jr, Presidential Campaigns, Oxford University Press (2004)