37 Famous Assassinations in American History

Source: Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while delivering a speech on July 8. Local media reported the gunman was “dissatisfied” with Abe, though details about the crime are still emerging.

President Joe Biden offered condolences, saying he was “stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened” by the slaying. The killing shocked Japan. The nation is one of the safest in the world and has among the strictest gun control laws. The gunman reportedly used a homemade weapon.

These kinds of attacks are much more common in the U.S., as would-be assailants have little difficulty acquiring firearms. Throughout U.S. history, dozens of politicians, activists, celebrities, and other notable people have been assassinated.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical sources such as History and Encyclopedia Britannica to compile a list of some of the most infamous assassinations in American history.

Throughout U.S. history four presidents have been assassinated, in addition to several other attempts and near misses. Activists and other political figures are common targets for these killings, particularly during the Civil Rights Era, when Black Americans were often killed while calling for equality. These are the most important moments of the Civil Rights movement.

Nearly all of the assassinations on this list were carried out using a gun. A number of other near misses, including the shooting of President Ronald Reagan, also featured firearms. A handful of others were carried out with bombs or unknown weapons. These are the most famous failed assassinations.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.