How Many Senators Have Died While In Office?

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Among the 10 senators that died in the 1917-1918 time period, seven died in 1918 alone, making it the worst year for serving senator mortality in U.S. history. One might assume the Spanish Flu outbreak that ravaged the U.S. that year might have had something to do with it, but according to Smart Politics from the University of Minnesota, that’s not the case. In 1918, seven senators died, but none died from flu infection. Instead, causes of senator deaths that year ranged from a heart attack, which took the life of Idaho Senator James Brady, to New Jersey Sen. William Hughes, who had a septic infection in his teeth, among other health issues. The oldest senator to die that year was Republican Jacob Gallinger from New Hampshire, who was 81.

Over the years, a number of senators — as well as U.S. representatives — have been attacked. Most recently, Sen. Rand Paul was attacked by his neighbor in 2020. 

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