Who was the last person to die in the White House?

and has anyone died through violent means?

Covering both questions with the same answer, I’d say it was Frank Eugene Corder who crashed a Cessna into the White House on September 13, 1994.

(NY Times article, registration may be required.)

The last I can find is Ellen Axson Wilson, First Lady, August 6, 1914.


Edit: never mind.

Did the Cessna guy die in the White House or merely on the grounds?

So far, I have Louis Howe who died in the White House in 1936.

Here’s my list:

Rebecca Van Buren (infant granddaughter of Martin Van Buren) 1840
William Henry Harrison 1841
Letitia Tyler 1842
Zachary Taylor 1850
Willie Lincoln 1862 (son of Abraham Lincoln)
Frederick Dent 1873 (father in law of Ulysses Grant)
Elisha Hunt Allen (lawyer and diplomat who died after midnight at Chester Arthur’s New Year’s Eve reception)
John Witherspoon Scott 1892 (father in law of Benjamin Harrison)
Caroline Scott Harrison 1892 (wife of Benjamin Harrison)
Ellen Wilson 1914 (wife of Woodrow Wilson)
Louis McHenry Howe 1936 (friend and advisor to FDR)

Calvin Coolidge’s 16 year old son, Calvin, died in 1924, but I’m not sure if he died in the White House.

Well, it depends how you defined “died in the White House”. Howe had been living in the White House, but he got sick and moved to the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where, 8 months later, he died. So, does he still count?

Aha. I was misinformed.

What do you know about Calvin Jr.?


And, it looks like young Calvin Coolidge died at Walter Reed.

I guess it may depend on how much force it takes to get through the ceiling (or the wall, I don’t know where he hit).

From the link in post #2:


If the only noteworthy casualty was a magnolia tree, with a mention of a near miss for the patio furniture, I tentatively conclude that the Cessna Guy died in the grounds of the White House and not inside the building.

Harry Truman’s old friend and press secretary (whose name I cannot recall) keeled over from a fatal heart attack during a press conference.

Garfield and McKinley may have died in the White House but, of course, the violence that led to their deaths was done elsewhere.

McKinley died in Buffalo, NY and Garfield died in New Jersey.

But, yes, we may have a winner – or a winner, so far. Charles Griffith Ross, press secretary to Harry Truman, did, according to Wikipedia, die “at his desk in the White House in December 1950 after giving a press conference and as he was preparing to make some comments to the television news.”

Thanks for the details! (Right now I’m too busy swapping one crappy virus/firewall program for another to do research.)

I’m pretty sure this topic or a related one came up a few years ago, but I can’t find it now.

I recall that Truman’s mother-in-law, Madge Gates Wallace, also died in the White House. According to this page it was on Dec. 5, 1952, two years after the death of Ross.

Here’s the Madge Gates Wallace obituary from TIME:


Sure enough, we have a new frontrunner, so to speak.

“… below the Clintons’ unoccupied bedroom…”

There’s a joke in there, right?


No, it must be in the house.
It sounds like it has been over 50 years. I find that incredible. Aren’t there tons of people working in there everyday?

Not just that, but thousands of people going through on tours almost every day. In 55 years, nobody’s had a heart attack?

Perhaps, but they wouldn’t have Wikipedia articles about them. And unfortunately, this sounds like the sort of topic whereon a casual inquiry might result in your getting a Visit from some Large Gentlemen.

If someone had a heart-attack in the White House, I imagine it’s unlikely they’d be officially declared dead at the scene.

Would they not be whisked off to hospital and either declared dead-on-arrival, or worked on for a while and then declared dead?

Obviously not in contention but LBJ’s two dogs, Him and Her both died on the White House grounds from unusual means (not simply getting old and dying).

Her died in 1964 (possibly in the house) after swallowing a rock.
Him died on the grounds in 1966 after getting hit by a car while chasing a squirrel.