William Henry Harrison entered eternity as the first president to have died in office.
Reared in politically - fertile fields, his father - Benjamin - was governor of Virginia and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
William studied medicine, but his father's death in 1791 left him financially unable to finish his graduate studies. On the strength of a recommendation from President George Washington, Harrison was appointed to the U.S. Army's only infantry regiment.
In 1798 he was appointed secretary of the vast Northwest Territory by President John Adams, and he became the new territory's first delegate to the House of Representatives the following year. In that role, de drafted a bill making small, affordable tracts of land available to settlers.
In 1800 he was made governor of the Indiana Territory and superintendent of Indian affairs, negotiating the 1809 Treaty of Fort Wayne, which forced the Potawatomie, the Miami, the Delaware and other tribes to cede more than 2.5 million acres on the White and Wabash rivers.
He earned the nickname "Old Tippecanoe" in his frontier battles with Indians, and beginning in 1816 he was elected to the House and then the Ohio senate and the U.S. Senate. He became the oldest man elected to the presidency during the 19th century at 68 in 1841 but died of pneumonia one month after his inauguration.