William McKinley was born in Ohio, the seventh of nine children. He was a serious student and became a teacher before enlisting in the Union army during the Civil War. After the war, his likable personality and keen intelligence helped him rise quickly in politics. He became a Congressman and then governor of Ohio before running for president in 1896. He was an extremely popular president who was known for supporting business, helping pull the nation out of a serious economic depression, and making the U.S. a major world power through its victory in the Spanish-American War. Unfortunately, during the first year of his second term as president, he became the third U.S. president to die from an assassin’s bullet when a deranged unemployed mill worker shot him.
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