Roosevelt was considering a third Presidential campaign in 1920, and was believed to have been the front-runner for the Republican nomination until he was laid low by illness. His family and supporters threw their support to Roosevelt's old military companion, General Leonard Wood, who was ultimately defeated by Warren G. Harding.
On January 6, 1919, Roosevelt died in his sleep at Oyster Bay of a coronary thrombosis (heart attack), preceded by a 2 1/2-month illness described as inflammatory rheumatism, and was buried in nearby Youngs Memorial Cemetery. Upon receiving word of his death, his son Archie telegraphed his siblings simply, "The old lion is dead." The U.S. Vice-President at that time, Thomas R. Marshall, said that "Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight."