Garret Augustus Hobart (June 3, 1844 – November 21, 1899) was an American politician who served as the 24th vice president of the United States, from 1897 until his death. He was the sixth American vice president to die in office. Prior to serving as vice president, Hobart was an influential New Jersey politician and political operative.
Hobart was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore, and grew up in nearby Marlboro. After attending Rutgers College, Hobart read law with prominent Paterson attorney Socrates Tuttle. Hobart both studied with Tuttle and married his daughter, Jennie. Although he rarely set foot in a courtroom, Hobart became wealthy as a corporate lawyer.
Hobart served in local governmental positions, and then successfully ran for office as a Republican, serving in both the New Jersey General Assembly, ending his time there by becoming Speaker, and the New Jersey Senate, where he became its president. Hobart was a longtime party official, and New Jersey delegates went to the 1896 Republican National Convention determined to nominate him for vice president. Hobart's political views were similar to those of McKinley, who was the presumptive Republican presidential candidate. With New Jersey a key state in the upcoming election, McKinley and his close adviser, future senator Mark Hanna, decided to have the convention select Hobart. The vice-presidential candidate emulated his running mate with a front porch campaign, though spending much time at the campaign's New York City office. McKinley and Hobart were elected.
As vice president, Hobart proved a popular figure in Washington and was a close adviser to McKinley. Hobart's tact and good humor were valuable to the President, as in mid-1899 when Secretary of War Russell Alger failed to understand that McKinley wanted him to leave office. Hobart invited Alger to his New Jersey summer home and broke the news to the secretary, who submitted his resignation to McKinley on his return to Washington. Hobart died on November 21, 1899 of heart disease at age 55; his place on the Republican ticket in 1900 was taken by New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt.