History

How Did George Washington Die?

Legends about the deaths of American leaders are ingrained in the national psyche—Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, John F. Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald—but we don't talk a lot about what killed George Washington. That's probably because his death was tragically ordinary—he came down with a throat infection. Still, the way his death played out tells us a lot about the state of medicine in his day. Watch the videos below to learn more.

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How Did George Washington Die?

It's not pretty.

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How 18th-Century Medicine Killed George Washington

Back then, if the malady didn't kill you, the doctors certainly would.

George Washington's Dentures

By the time he was president, he only had one tooth left.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. There is only one complete surviving set of George Washington's teeth. 00:13

  2. George Washington started losing his teeth in his mid-20s. 00:26

  3. George Washington's teeth have a lead base, and the teeth are those of horses or asses, cows, and humans. 01:02

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