(Backgrounds by Craig & Karl for The Washington Post; Photo by Amy King/The Washington Post)

Only 100 days into office, President James A. Garfield was shot down in a train station in 1881 by a disturbed office seeker. The newest episode of the Presidential podcast tells the dark story of Garfield’s murder and his medical treatment, but also illuminates some of the brightest, most overlooked aspects of his life story.

"Destiny of the Republic" author Candice Millard and Michelle Krowl, of the Library of Congress, take listeners through Garfield's impoverished beginnings, his fierce intellect, his gregarious nature—and the way his death changed both American medicine and the civil service.

Listen to the episode here or on iTunes:

In previous episodes of the Presidential podcast, we've explored topics likeAbraham Lincoln's language and the violent life of Andrew Jackson. The podcast is hosted by Lillian Cunningham, editor of The Washington Post's On Leadership section.

As listeners tune in each week, the podcast reveals the ways in which our collective sense of what’s ’presidential’ has evolved over the years and how each president—esteemed, loathed or nearly forgotten—has something to tell us about what it takes to hold the nation’s highest office.

A new episode comes out every Sunday. Here's how to follow along:

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