Leon Frank Czolgosz

Leon Frank Czolgosz

Alpena, Alpena County, Michigan, USA
Death 29 Oct 1901 (aged 28)
Auburn, Cayuga County, New York, USA
Burial Sennett, Cayuga County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 250 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Assassin of President William McKinley. Born in 1873 in Alpena, Michigan, he was one of seven brothers and sisters of poor Russian-Polish immigrants. In 1881, the family moved to a small farm near Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked in a variety of menial jobs, as a bottle forker. Basically an introverted young man, he rejected his parents' Roman Catholic beliefs and became interested in the plight of the working man, reading socialist and anarchist newspapers and magazines. When anarchist Gaetano Bresci assassinated King Umberto I of Italy in 1900, he collected the newspaper articles, reading them over and over. In May 1901, he traveled to Cleveland to hear famed anarchist Emma Goldman speak. The two talked briefly, and he met her again a few months later after her speech in Chicago. Other anarchists were suspicious of him, and some even thought he was a government spy on their organization. While in Chicago, he read that President William McKinley would visit the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. On September 3, 1901, he purchased a gun, and three days later, while President McKinley was in a receiving line at the Exposition's Temple of Music, Leon Czolgosz walked up to him, firing two shots. One shot hit the President in the chest; the other in the abdomen. The chest wound proved superficial, but the abdomen wound hit his stomach and kidney, and President McKinley died on September 14. Leon Czolgosz was immediately caught, and, after the death of the President tried and found guilty of the killing. The assassination set off a huge anarchist scare across the nation, and Emma Goldman was arrested (quietly released a few days later), even though Czolgosz always stated that he worked alone. Before his execution in the electric chair, his last words were "I killed the President because he was an enemy of the good people - the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

Family Members

Siblings Half Siblings


See more Czolgosz memorials in:


How famous was Leon Frank Czolgosz?

Current rating:

130 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 250
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Leon Frank Czolgosz (5 May 1873–29 Oct 1901), Find a Grave Memorial no. 250, citing Soule Cemetery, Sennett, Cayuga County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .