Why Is Warren G. Harding Famous?

Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, is famous for the high level of government corruption exhibited during his administration and the criminal activities of some cabinet members and other officials. Plagued by scandals, including the Teapot Dome debacle, Harding's presidency lasted from 1921 to 1923.

Harding died of an apparent heart attack in 1923, and the scandals that came to light after his death tarnished his reputation, though he was not involved in any criminal financial wrongdoing. He did engage in extramarital affairs and drank alcohol in the White House, which was a violation of the 18th Amendment, also known as Prohibition.

An Ohio Republican who served in the Ohio senate and the U.S. Senate before being elected President, Harding is remembered as one of the worst Presidents. Reportedly, he knew of the corrupt activities of his friends and colleagues but did nothing to stop or publicize those activities for fear of political repercussions. In the Teapot Dome scandal, Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall rented public lands to oil companies in exchange for personal loans and gifts. Other government officials embezzled funds and accepted bribes. Vice President Calvin Coolidge was sworn into office upon Harding's death.