Former United States Vice President Levi P. Morton was born on this day in 1824, in Shoreham, Vermont.
Levi P. Morton also died on this day — on his 96th birthday! — in 1920.
Morton was vice president under President Benjamin Harrison from 1889 to 1893. A rich banker from New York, Morton was offered the vice presidency earlier, by James Garfield in the election of 1880. Morton turned it down. Garfield was killed while in office, just four months into his presidency. His vice president, Chester Alan Arthur became the president.
So when Morton was again offered the job, he took it. Benjamin Harrison didn’t die in office; Harrison didn’t even get re-elected. And Morton wasn’t even asked to run for re-election, having worked his way to the wrong side of the Republican leadership.
Levi P. Morton went on to become the governor of New York (1895-97). He served one term and retired from politics.