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A death in office is the death of a person who was incumbent of an office-position until the time of death. Such deaths have been usually due to natural causes, but they are also caused by accidents and assassinations.

The death of most monarchs and popes have been deaths in office, since they have usually held their papacy/reign for the rest of their lives. Otherwise as most office positions require that the person is constantly competent in performing the associated duties, deaths in office are usually premature deaths.


Systems differ in how they deal with the death of an office holder. In some death results in a casual vacancy, whereby the office is unfilled for a time. The office may subsequently be filled by a by-election or by appointment. A person may temporarily take the powers and responsibilities of the deceased in an "acting" capacity before a permanent replacement is made. In other systems there may be a legally defined order of succession. For example, in hereditary monarchies reigns are typically expected to end with death and the transition of power to an heir. Many presidential systems have offices of vice president, whose principle responsibility is to immediately assume the presidency if the president dies or otherwise leaves the office.


Heads of state and governmentEdit

Russian governorsEdit

Northern Rhodesia governor(s)Edit

Sir John Maybin colonial governors of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) (1941)[1]

U.S. CongressEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Martin Sylvester (January 2013). "Governor of Northern Rhodesia 5 May 1938 – 9 April 1941". Retrieved 2016-10-03.