There's a universally grim fascination with seeing an individual's last image before death. It's somehow compelling to look at a photo or portrait captured in the weeks, days, or even moments before they took their last breaths. So it's only natural that the last photos of presidents are also intriguing. Some US presidential death photos were taken by professionals, and show the more gentle effects of medical ailments and time; others depict them mere moments before a violent assassination.
One of John F. Kennedy's final photos, for instance, shows him in a motorcade with the smiling First Lady. He's sitting behind the Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, unknowingly driving towards those fatal gunshots in Dallas. Dozens of people are pictured in the background, cheering on the American leader.
The last known image of Franklin D. Roosevelt was snapped just one day before he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. It was taken in Warm Springs, GA, at his retreat called The Little White House. Roosevelt complained of head pain and then passed away shortly afterwards.
Just like wedding pictures, the last known pictures of US presidents capture a unique – and uniquely memorable – part of life. They're a gripping reminder that these larger-than-life figures were, in fact, men after all.
- Age: Dec. at 46 (1917-1963)
- Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts
- Age: Dec. at 93 (1911-2004)
- Birthplace: Tampico, Illinois,
- Age: Dec. at 56 (1809-1865)
- Birthplace: Hodgenville, Kentucky
- Age: Dec. at 63 (1882-1945)
- Birthplace: Hyde Park, New York