: George Herman "Babe" Ruth, the famous New York Yankees outfielder, sent this letter to Mrs. Florence Harding after President Warren G. Harding's death in office. Harding died unexpectedly on August 2, 1923, after completing a speaking tour of Alaska. President Harding was an avid sportsman and a great fan of baseball. The one page letter measures 8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm).
Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923) was born in Corsica (now called Blooming Grove), a small town in Morrow County, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Central College in Iberia at the age of sixteen, and his family moved to Marion, where Harding taught school and briefly studied law. He worked occasionally as a reporter for a local paper, before buying the Marion Star in 1884. Within five years, the Star was one of the most successful small-town newspapers in the state.
Harding became popular as the leader of the Citizen's Coronet Band, which played at political rallies, and for his skill as an orator. Willing to follow the lead of political bosses, Harding advanced rapidly in Ohio politics, serving as state senator and lieutenant governor. In 1914, Harding was elected to the U. S. Senate. He launched his famous "front porch" 1920 presidential campaign from the porch of his Victorian home in Marion, Ohio, and went on to win the presidency with sixty percent of the popular vote, promising a "return to normalcy" following the wave of reforms begun during Theodore Roosevelt's administration. As President, Harding appointed several friends to federal office who proved untrustworthy. His administration was tainted by corruption, and the infamous "Teapot Dome" scandal (in which Harding's secretary of the interior leased a U.S. petroleum reserve to a private oil company) nearly destroyed his presidency. After he died in office in August 1923, additional scandals were uncovered tarnishing Harding's reputation. View on Ohio Memory.
: BabeRuthcondolencelettertoMrs.FlorenceHarding Subjects
: Presidents and Politics; Sports; Ruth, Babe, 1895-1948; Harding, Warren G. (Warren Gamaliel), 1865-1923; Condolence notes Places
: Marion (Ohio); Marion County (Ohio); New York