Cause of Death

  • 18 of the 39 deceased presidents died from heart or brain issues (46%).
  • Some of these cases of death are speculative as the exact cause may not have been known or understood at the time. The largest amount of speculation appears to revolve around Thomas Jefferson.
  • James A. Garfield (septic shock) and William McKinley (gangrene) died from poor medical treatment for their gunshot wounds.
  • Although Ronald Reagan had Alzheimer's, his official cause of death was pneumonia.
  • There have been scientific tests conducted on presidents corpses long after they have died to prove or disprove a theory:
    • Andrew Jackson - Tests indicated he did not have enough lead or mercury in his system to cause death.
    • Zachary Taylor - Exhumed in 1991, tests showed that Taylor was not poisoned with arsenic.


Rank#President# Presidents
1Heart Attack, Failure, or Disease9
2John Adams
4James Madison
19Rutherford B. Hayes
22 & 24Grover Cleveland
27William H. Taft
29Warren G. Harding
30Calvin Coolidge
34Dwight D. Eisenhower
36Lyndon B. Johnson
2Stroke or other Brain Disease9
6John Quincy Adams
10John Tyler
13Millard Fillmore
17Andrew Johnson
21Chester A. Arthur
28Woodrow Wilson
32Franklin D. Roosevelt
37Richard M. Nixon
38Gerald R. Ford
3Gunshot Wound4
16Abraham Lincoln
20James A. Garfield
25William McKinley
35John F. Kennedy
3Thomas Jefferson
18Ulysses S. Grant
31Herbert Hoover
23Benjamin Harrison
40Ronald Reagan
8Martin Van Buren
11James K. Polk
6Cirrhosis of the Liver1
14Franklin Pierce
1George Washington
12Zachary Taylor
6Organ Failure1
33Harry S. Truman
6Parkinson's Disease1
41George H. W. Bush
6Pulmonary Embolism1
26Theodore Roosevelt
6Renal Failure1
7Andrew Jackson
6Respiratory Failure1
15James Buchanan
5James Monroe
6Typhoid Fever1
9William Henry Harrison
-Still living6
39Jimmy Carter
42Bill Clinton
43George W. Bush
44Barack Obama
45Donald J. Trump
46Joe Biden

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