William McKinley (1843 – 1901) [cite this] More images » Life in Brief: For a long time, William McKinley was considered a mediocre President, a chief executive who was controlled by his political cronies and who was pressured into war with Spain by the press. Recent historians have been kinder to McKinley, seeing him in… more life in brief » Essays about William McKinley Life in Brief Life in Brief: For a long time, William McKinley was considered a mediocre President, a chief executive who was controlled by his political cronies and who was pressured into war with Spain by the press. Recent historians have been kinder to McKinley, seeing him instead as a decisive President who put America on t… Life Before the Presidency Life Before the Presidency: William McKinley was born on January 29, 1843, in the small town of Niles, Ohio. He lived there until age ten, when he moved with his family to nearby Poland, Ohio. His loving family provided William Jr., the seventh of eight children, with a fun-filled childhood that was also carefully guided b… Campaigns and Elections Campaigns and Elections: The Campaign and Election of 1896: The Panic of 1893, one of America's most devastating economic collapses, placed the Democrats on the defensive and restored Governor McKinley's stature in national politics. McKinley dominated the political arena at the opening of the 1896 Republican presi…Domestic Affairs Domestic Affairs: Among the most important domestic issues that President William McKinley had to deal with during his presidency, bimetallism and tariff legislation loomed large. Through most of 1897, the McKinley administration pursued an international agreement to include silver, along with gold, as an acceptable …Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs: As the new century loomed just over the horizon, the time seemed ripe for many Americans to look beyond their continental borders to a place of destiny in the world. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner had warned Americans, in his much-reproduced speech delivered at the 1893 Chicago World's F…Death of a President Death of the President: William McKinley traveled more than any American President up to that time, and he was on the road again on the morning of September 6, 1901. Impeccably dressed in a boiled white shirt with a starched collar and cuffs, pin-striped trousers, a black frock coat, and a black satin necktie, he was o…Family Life Family Life: With no surviving children and an invalid wife, President McKinley's private and family life was narrowly drawn. He usually spent his evenings playing cards with his wife or his personal secretary, George B. Cortelyou, answering letters, and taking walks or carriage rides. He enjoyed smoking cig…The American Franchise The American Franchise: According to the Bureau of the Census, the nation's population reached 72.2 million in 1897. Three years later, the census showed the population divided between 38.8 million men and 37.2 million women. It also reported 66.9 million whites; 9.2 million blacks; 238,196 American Indians; 24,326 Jap…Impact and Legacy Impact and Legacy: President William McKinley's reputation has undergone considerable revision in recent years. For the first sixty years of the twentieth century, historians believed that McKinley had been a weak President pressured into the war with Spain by popular passions and a nationalistic press. Most inte… About His Administration First Lady Ida McKinley Vice President Theodore Roosevelt (1901) Garret A. Hobart (1897–1899) Secretary of State John M. Hay (1898–1901) William Day (1898) John Sherman (1897–1898) Secretary of the Interior Ethan A. Hitchcock (1899–1901) Cornelius N. Bliss (1897–1899) Attorney General Philander C. Knox (1901) John W. Griggs (1898–1901) Joseph McKenna (1897–1898) Postmaster General Charles Emory Smith (1898–1901) James A. Gary (1897–1898) Secretary of the Treasury Lyman J. Gage (1897–1901) Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson (1897–1901) Secretary of the Navy John D. Long (1897–1901) Secretary of War Elihu Root (1899–1901) Russell Alger (1897–1899) Facts about William McKinley Term: 25th President of the United States (1897 – 1901) Born: January 29, 1843, Niles, Ohio Political Party: Republican Died: September 14, 1901 Nickname: “Idol of Ohio” Education: Allegheny College Religion: Methodist Marriage: January 25, 1871, to Ida Saxton (1847–1907) Children: Katherine (1871–1875), Ida (1873) Career: Lawyer Buried: Canton, Ohio (adjacent to Westlawn Cemetery) WritingsThe Tariff in the Days of Henry Clay and Since (1896) William McKinley Image Gallery More images » War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed; peace is preferable to war in almost every contingency. March 4, 1897 Citation Information Consulting Editor Lewis L. Gould Professor Gould is the Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor Emeritus in American History at the University of Texas. His writings include: The Modern American Presidency (University Press of Kansas, 2003) The Spanish-American War and President McKinley (University Press of Kansas, 1982) The Presidency of William McKinley (University Press of Kansas, 1981) Theodore Roosevelt » « Benjamin Harrison American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!