|Marcus A. Hanna: A Featured Biography|
Mark Hanna excelled in business before applying his considerable talent and enormous wealth to politics. He used both attributes to bolster the presidential campaigns of fellow Ohioans Rutherford Hayes in 1876 and James Garfield in 1880. In 1896 he supported another Ohioan, William McKinley. Managing a savvy, well-funded campaign, Hanna kept McKinley on his front porch, where he welcomed trainloads of voters traveling at Hanna's expense. This famous "front porch campaign" put McKinley in the White House and turned Hanna into a national political figure. President McKinley offered Hanna a cabinet post, but Hanna preferred a seat in the Senate, which he gained in 1897. The unusually high-profile freshman, who served as the president's closest advisor, played a key role in business-labor relations and became such a strong supporter of the proposed Central American canal that senators nicknamed it the "Hannama Canal." By 1904 Hanna was looking for another presidential candidate to support, but he never got the chance to run another campaign. Mark Hanna died of typhoid fever in 1904, just 67 years old.