Biography – William McKinley – Writer Provides Title

Biography - William McKinley - Writer Provides Title

( – William McKinley may not have been a glamorous president, but he did play a huge role in leading the US on the path to becoming a world power. In addition, most can agree that he was a very nice man with strong Christian values and convictions that lead the US to prosperity.

Life Before the Presidency

William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, on January 29, 1843. He came from a Methodist family, and at one point, he had dreams of becoming a minister. His faith would always be important to him, but the Civil War interrupted his plans to enter the ministry.

He bravely went into war and quickly rose through the ranks to become a brevet major under Rutherford B. Hayes, who would become influential in his political career.

Upon returning home to Ohio from the war and attending Allegheny College, McKinley became an attorney. He also met and married a local banker’s daughter, Ida Saxton, in 1871.

McKinley then set his sights on politics and used his relationship with Hayes to help him drum up support within the Republican party. He won election to Congress at the age of 34 and served from 1877 to 1891.

While in Congress, McKinley made a name for himself as someone who stood up for American companies. The McKinley Tariff of 1890 was one of his biggest achievements. It protected US businesses by raising tariff rates.

After leaving Congress, McKinley became the governor of Ohio in 1891. He served two terms and quickly moved on to his next political goal: becoming president of the US.


William McKinley carried out a front porch-style campaign. He would often stand on the porch of his home in Canton, Ohio, and greet supporters. He also had the backing of lustrous businessmen who definitely helped to advance his campaign.

He won the 1896 election easily with a landslide vote. On March 4, 1897, he was sworn in as the 25th president of the United States. Four years later, he won his reelection just as easily.

One notable occurrence during his presidency was the Spanish-American War in 1898. He led the US in helping Cuba gain its independence from Spain. The war lasted 100 days, and resulted in the US gaining control over the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

McKinley also annexed the Hawaiian Islands and sent troops to help with the Boxer Rebellion in China. He continued to promote American industry, and US business developed rapidly under his leadership. He was also known for the Open Door strategy, which helped with foreign trade and American business independence.

Both the war and his work on foreign trade set the US on the road to becoming a world power.


On September 6, 1901, McKinley was in Buffalo, NY, at the Pan-American Exposition. He attended a public reception, and as he was greeting people, Leon F. Czolgosz shot him point-blank in the chest.

True to his kind personality, McKinley pleaded for his guards to not hurt Czolgosz when taking him into custody. Doctors at the hospital thought McKinley would easily survive the injury, but gangrene set in. The 25th president died eight days later on September 14, 1901.

Czolgosz had anarchist ideals and due to a lost job and other misfortunes in his life, he blamed the president. He said McKinley didn’t care about the people and was hurting them which is why he had to kill him. He died in the electric chair on October 29, 1901 for assassinating the president.

His Personal Side

McKinley had a strong political life, but it was his personal life that stands out. He wasn’t a wild president, and he didn’t make news for his behavior. He was a gentle, kind, and loving man who highly valued family.

Known for always wearing a pink carnation in his lapel that he would often give to people as a sign of friendship, McKinley was soft-spoken and strong in his Christian convictions. He often prayed prior to making any major decision, including the one to go to war.

He deeply loved his wife, and when she suffered the loss of their two infant daughters and her mother within a three-year period, he stood firmly by her side. As she developed epilepsy, McKinley became even more devoted to caring for her and ensuring she was as well as could be.

Even as he was dying, he made sure to tell his personal secretary to break the news carefully to his wife out of fear for her health.

McKinley may not have made waves or been known as one of the greatest leaders of all time, but he was well-liked, which you can’t say about many presidents. That’s a wonderful legacy to leave behind.

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