Scaramucci fired after 10 days: 10 other tiny tenures


As White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is fired after just 10 days in the job, we look at other examples of short-lived jobs from throughout history and around the world.

John Paul I - Pope for 33 days

Image source, Keystone

John Paul I is remembered as the "smiling pope" for his easygoing nature and personal warmth.

Just 33 days after becoming pope, he died in his bed in 1978. The Vatican doctor ruled that the cause of death was a heart attack, but rumours that he was poisoned persist to this day.

However, the shortest papacy in history was occupied by Urban VII in 1590. He started to make great strides in helping the poor of Rome, for instance ordering bakers to sell their loaves more cheaply and covering the shortfall from his own pocket. He died of illness just 13 days after being appointed, and his coronation never took place.

William Henry Harrison - US president for 32 days

Image source, Hulton Archive

The ninth president of the USA may have contracted the illness that killed him in the course of his duties.

In 1841, Mr Harrison gave the longest inauguration speech ever, in cold March weather without wearing a coat or a hat. In it he pledged "to discharge all the high duties of my exalted station according to the best of my ability".

But he caught a cold on the day, developed pneumonia and, the following month, became the first US president to die in office.

Aged 68, he held the record for oldest president right up until Ronald Reagan, nearly a century and a half later.

A competing theory holds that he actually died of enteric fever that he got from the White House water, which at the time was vulnerable to Washington's untreated sewage.

Alan Fishman - CEO for three weeks

Image source, Getty Images

Mr Fishman was hired in September 2008 to head up the savings bank holdings company Washington Mutual. "Like everyone else in the business, WaMu is facing very significant pressures," he said when he took the job. "I need to hit the ground running and I am prepared to do that."

But that running became a sprint, not a marathon. He had been in the job for a matter of weeks when a run on the bank prompted the government to step in and force its sale to JP Morgan. It was the biggest bank failure in US history.

Jack Koehler - White House communications director for 11 days

Before Mr Scaramucci, the shortest-lived communications director at the White House was Jack Koehler.

He was appointed in the communications director role for President Ronald Reagan in 1987, but resigned after it came out that he had been part of a Nazi youth group as a 10-year-old in his native Germany.

He said this was not the reason for his departure, though, calling Jungfolk "the boy scouts run by the Nazi party", and in his resignation letter he wrote only that he wanted to make space for a new team.

Lady Jane Grey - Queen for nine days

Image source, Hulton Archive

At the age of 16, Lady Jane Grey fell victim to sectarian turmoil across England in the 16th Century.

Sandwiched between her cousin Edward VI and her other cousin Mary I, she was given the crown of England and Ireland when Edward VI died because she was a Protestant like him. But as public opinion turned against Lady Jane, the monarch's advisers switched their allegiance to Mary I instead, proclaiming her queen.

Lady Jane was eventually beheaded for treason. Mary I had a five-year reign in which hundreds of non-Catholics were killed, and became known as Bloody Mary.

Duc Duc - Emperor of Vietnam for three days

Emperor Duc Duc ruled between 20 July and 23 July 1883. He had a reputation for decadence and flouted the rules of mourning for his own father by inviting gamblers and entertainers to his coronation. It was enough to cost him his throne, and after a tussle over succession in the court, he was deposed and sentenced to be executed by poisoning. Historians believe he may have been allowed to die in captivity instead.

David van Rooyen - Finance minister for four days

Image source, Getty Images

After South Africa's President Jacob Zuma sacked Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in 2015, he put Mr van Rooyen in his place.

The ANC MP vowed to "simplify issues of public finance" but the country at large did not judge him to be up to the job. His lack of experience prompted the South African Council of Churches to call the appointment "bordering on financially irresponsible".

Less than a week later, Mr Zuma backtracked - bringing in the former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who had five years' previous experience in the job and continued until this year.

Joseph Goebbels - Chancellor of Germany for a day

Image source, Central Press

Adolf Hitler wrote in his will that the role of chancellor should go to his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. As the war drew to a close and Nazi defeat became certain, Hitler committed suicide. Goebbels served just one day in the position before he and his wife murdered their children and took their own lives.

Louis-Antoine - King of France for 20 minutes

On 2 August 1830, Louis-Antoine's father Charles X abdicated after a week of protests against him.

Louis-Antoine automatically became King Louis XIX but he, too, abdicated, feeling unable to overcome the dynasty's unpopularity. Some sources say he spend the 20 minutes of his reign humming and hawing over whether to sign the papers or not, and listening to his wife who wanted him to stay on as king.

He passed the throne to his nephew, the Duke of Orleans, and lived out the rest of his days in Scotland.

Leroy Rosenior - Football manager for 10 minutes

Image source, Getty Images

Remember this name for pub quizzes. Mr Rosenior's spectacularly short tenure may never be beaten, inside or outside the world of football.

He had previously been a manager at Torquay United for years, and got tapped to take the post up again in 2007. But just 10 minutes after his inaugural press conference, a local consortium took the team over and Mr Rosenior got the sack.

He has since moved in to punditry and said: "In the media, the most important thing is that people remember you, and people remember that."

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