Died: 28th June 1914 (Assassination)
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Best known as: The man whose killing sparked WW1
Franz Ferdinand was aged 51. He was married to Sophie Chotek and had three children. Franz Ferdinand was very unpopular because he had made it clear that once became Emperor he would make changes.
Franz Ferdinand decided to visit Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovnia, to make an inspection of the Austro- Hungarian troops there. The inspection was scheduled for the 28th June 1914. It was planed that Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie would be met at the Station and taken by car to the City Hall where they would have lunch before going to inspect the troops. A Serbian terrorist group, called the called the Black Hand', had decided that Archduke should be assassinated and the planned visit provided the ideal opportunity. Seven young men who had been trained in bomb throwing and marksmanship were stationed along the route that Franz Ferdinand's car follow from the City Hall to the inspection. The first two terrorists were unable to throw their grenades because the streets were too crowded and the car was travelling quite fast. The third terrorist, a young man called Gabrinovic, threw a grenade. It hit the side of the car. Although the Archduke and his wife were unhurt, some of his attendants were injured. Realising that Franz Ferdinand was in danger, the driver of the car increased speed. At one point the road made a sharp turn and the driver had no choice but to slow down. Another terrorist, named Gavrilo Princip, was stationed at this spot. As the car passed he fired two shots. The first hit the pregnant Sophia in the stomach, she died almost instantly. The second shot hit the Archduke in the chest. He died a short while later. Gavrilo Princip was not executed because he was under 20 years old, but was sentenced to twenty years in prison. He died of TB in 1918.