Giuseppe Zangara may not be a household name, but his actions on February 15, 1933, forever changed the course of American history. On that day, he attempted to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt in Miami, Florida, and accidentally killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak instead. He is no. 10 of the Top 10 criminal assassins of all time.


Here are ten more intriguing facts about Giuseppe Zangara:

  1. Zangara was born in Calabria, Italy, in 1900.
  2. He was only five feet tall and weighed less than 120 pounds.
  3. He had a history of mental illness and was known to suffer from hallucinations.
  4. Zangara’s stomach problems were so severe that he had to quit his job as a bricklayer.
  5. He developed a deep hatred of politicians and blamed them for his poor health and financial struggles.
  6. In the weeks leading up to the shooting, Zangara had been living in a flophouse and surviving on oranges and peanuts.
  7. Zangara initially planned to kill President-elect Hoover but changed his target to Roosevelt at the last minute.
  8. After being apprehended, Zangara reportedly told police, “I want to kill all presidents.”
  9. Zangara’s trial lasted only one day, and he was sentenced to death by electrocution.
  10. Zangara’s final words before being executed were, “Push the button!”

In summary, Giuseppe Zangara was a small man with a big grudge and a desperate need for attention. His misguided attempt to assassinate President-elect Roosevelt ended in tragedy and brought to light the dangers of radicalism and mental illness. Despite the brevity of his life, Zangara’s actions continue to have a lasting impact on the history of the United States.

You can read more about Giuseppe Zangara here.