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Warren Gamaliel Harding
Birth: Nov. 2, 1865
Blooming Grove
Morrow County
Ohio, USA
Death: Aug. 2, 1923
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA

US Senator and President. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 29th US President from March 1921 until his death two years later. Prior to that he served as a US Senator from Ohio from March 1915 until January 1921. Born the oldest of eight children, his father owned a farm, taught at a rural school north of Mount Gilead, Ohio, and also acquired a medical degree and started a small practice. When he was about 10 years old, his family moved to Caledonia, Ohio where his father acquired a local weekly newspaper called The Argus and he learned the basics of journalism. As a youth, he had become an accomplished cornet player and played in various bands. He continued to study the printing and newspaper trade as a college student at Ohio Central College in Iberia, Ohio while working at the Union Register in Mount Gilead. He became an accomplished public speaker in college, and graduated in 1882 at the age of 17 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He then worked briefly as a teacher and an insurance salesman and briefly studied law. He then went into partnership with others to purchase the failing Marion Daily Star, the weakest of the growing city's three newspapers and by 1886 he became the sole owner. He revamped the paper's editorial platform to support the Republican Party and became an ardent supporter of Governor "Fire Alarm Joe" Foraker, which put him at odds with those who controlled local politics. His hard work made the Marion Daily Star one of the most popular newspapers in the county, but it took a toll on his health. In 1889, at age 24, he suffered from exhaustion and nervous fatigue and spent several weeks at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan to regain his strength and returned to Marion to continue operating the paper. In July 1891 he married Florence Kling DeWolfe, over the strong objections of her father who then disowner her. A divorcee, she was five years Harding's senior and the mother of a young son. In 1899 he was elected to fill the Ohio State Senate seat for the 13th Senatorial District and served for two 2-year terms and in his 2nd term he was chosen as the Republican Floor Leader. He campaigned for Governor of Ohio in 1903 that was derailed by an intra-party alliance that assured the election of fellow Republican Myron T. Herrick, and he was awarded the position of Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, a post he occupied from 1904 to 1906. In 1909 he sought the Republican Party gubernatorial nomination which was deeply divided between progressive and conservative wings of the party, but ended up losing the election to incumbent Democrat Judson Harmon. In 1912 he gave the nominating speech for incumbent President William Howard Taft at the Republican National Convention. In 1914 he won the Republican nomination for US Senate after US Senator Theodore Burton decided not to run for re-election and he went on to defeat Democratic challenger Timothy Hogan in the general election and became Ohio's first US Senator elected by popular vote. During his term, he was often considered a "fence sitter" on most issues, be that labor, big business, women's suffrage, or prohibition. He did vote on legislation to protect the alcohol industry 30 times, was opposed to Philippine independence, and was staunchly opposed to government ownership of business and President Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations. He introduced 134 bills, but substantively his six-year record as US Senator was unnoteworthy. His attendance was inconsistent and he spoke minimally on the floor of the Senate and offered no major bill or debate. However, he was nevertheless popular and acquired many very close friends in the chamber, which led to his serving as Chairman of the 1916 Republican Convention as well as Keynote Speaker. At the 1920 Republican National Convention, he received the presidential nomination on the 10th ballot as the best possible compromise candidate and in the November general election, he and running mate Calvin Coolidge soundly defeated the Democratic candidates Ohio Governor James M. Cox and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt (who would go on to win the presidency in 1932 and remain for an unprecedented four consecutive terms). He received 60 percent of the popular vote the highest percentage recorded up to that time and the election results were announced live by radio for the first time I US history. He had a low-key inauguration, without the customary parade, leaving only the swearing-in ceremony and a brief reception at the White House. He was sensitive to the plights of labor, women, and minorities. During his term, he signed the first federal child welfare program and dealt with striking mining and railroad workers in part by supporting an 8-hour work day. He created the Bureau of the Budget to prepare the first US federal budget. He signed a series of agriculture bills to protect farmers, including the Packers and Stockyards Act that prohibited packers from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices, the Capper-Volstead Act, that protected farm cooperatives from anti-trust legislation, and the Emergency Agriculture Credit Act that authorized new loans to farmers to enable them to sell and market their livestock. He pushed for the establishment of the Bureau of Veteran Affairs and advocated an anti-lynching bill to curb violence against African Americans, but it failed to pass Congress. He appointed former President William Howard Taft as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. In foreign affairs, he spurned the League of Nations and negotiated separate peace treaties with Germany and Austria. His greatest foreign policy achievement came in the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-1922, in which the world's major naval powers agreed on a naval limitations program that remained for a decade. He signed the Revenue Act of 1921 that greatly reduced taxes for the wealthiest Americans and the Federal Highway Act of 1921 to improve and expand the nation's highway system. In February 1922 he became the first US President to have a radio in his office. Multiple cases of corruption were exposed during his presidency and after his death, including the notorious Teapot Dome scandal, which involved the leasing of Navy petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome in Wyoming and two other locations in California by Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall to private oil companies at low rates without competitive bidding, and was regarded in pre-Watergate times as the "greatest and most sensational scandal in the history of American politics". In 1922 his health began to decline and was rumored to be suffering from heart disease. In June 1923, to relieve his stress, he set out on a westward cross-country Voyage of Understanding, in which he planned to renew his connection with the people, away from the capital, and explain his policies. During this trip, he became the first standing US President to visit Alaska and Canada. After complained of nausea and upper abdominal pain, his doctor believed his illness was due to a severe case of food poisoning. Upon arriving at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California on the return trip, he developed a respiratory illness believed to be pneumonia and died suddenly at the age of 57. The doctors concluded the cause of death was "some brain evolvement, probably an apoplexy." In retrospect, scholars speculate that he had shown physical signs of cardiac insufficiency with congestive heart failure in the preceding weeks. Navy doctors who examined him in San Francisco concluded he had suffered a heart attack. His wife refused to allow an autopsy and the exact cause of his death will probably never be known. He was succeeded as President by Calvin Coolidge. During his life, he was reported to have had numerous extra marital affairs with claims to have fathered children by several women. Historians generally regard him as one of the worst Presidents in the nation's history whose leadership reduced the Presidency to a mere ceremonial entity. His home in Marion, Ohio has been restored to its original appearance with original furnishings and the Press Building at the rear of the house, built in 1920 for reporters working during the front-porch campaign has been transformed into a museum. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  George Tryon Harding (1844 - 1928)
  Phoebe Elizabeth Dickerson Harding (1843 - 1910)
 
 Spouse:
  Florence Mabel Kling Harding (1860 - 1924)
 
 Siblings:
  Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865 - 1923)
  Charity Malvina Harding Remsberg (1867 - 1951)*
  Mary Clarissa Harding (1868 - 1913)*
  Priscilla Elmira Harding (1872 - 1878)*
  Charles Alexander Harding (1874 - 1878)*
  Abigail Victoria Harding Lewis (1875 - 1935)*
  George Tryon Harding (1878 - 1934)*
  Phoebe Carolyn Harding Votax (1880 - 1951)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Harding Memorial Park
Marion
Marion County
Ohio, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 40.5733, -83.1233
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 445
Warren Gamaliel Harding
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Warren Gamaliel Harding
Added by: Jim Tipton
 
Warren Gamaliel Harding
Added by: Jim Tipton
 
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God bless you throughout Autumn, the beautiful, fiery season of the Harvest. Rest in Peace.
- Richard S. Barzelogna
 Added: Nov. 16, 2014
Thank you Mr. President.
- Brandon Burns
 Added: Nov. 14, 2014
Thank you Mr. President - you and the "Duchess" did so much in such little time.
-Anonymous
 Added: Nov. 6, 2014
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Current ranking for this person: (4.4 after 265 votes)
 

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