Franz Joseph of Austria

The Emperor of Austria of the Habsburg dynasty, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia Franz Joseph reigned for 68 years. He was born and raised in Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace. When Chancellor Prince Metternich resigned in the wake of the Revolution of 1848, the young duke was admitted to the throne, succeeding his uncle, Ferdinand I. Soon after, however, he was sent to the Italian front and had to face his first military experience. Over the next few years, his army saw victories in Hungary and Lombardy, and his family left Vienna for the more peaceful Innsbruck in the Tirol. This is also where Franz Joseph met his future wife Elizabeth of Bavaria, known as Sisi. On February 18, 1853, Hungarian nationalist Janos Libenyi tried to assassinate the Emperor, but he survived this attempt. He suffered other personal tragedies in his life, though, including his only son's suicide in 1889 and the assassination of his wife nine years later. Emperor Franz Joseph died at the age of 86 in the middle of World War I, which started with the assassination of his nephew in Sarajevo, Archduke Franz Ferdinand.