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The Death of Pope Leo XIII and the Election of Pope Pius X: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1903, Pope Leo XIII dies and Pope Pius X is elected, but dies 11 years later. This guide provides access to materials related to “Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius X” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Leo forecasts death, expresses desire that Gotti succeed him." July 6, 1903. The Saint Paul Globe (Saint Paul, MN), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

On August 4, 1903, the College of Cardinals in Vatican City elects Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto as the new Pope after the lengthy illness and death of Pope Leo XIII. He chooses the name Pius X, and leads the Catholic Church until his death in 1914. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


July 20, 1903 Pope Leo XIII, born Gioacchino Pecci and whose papacy lasted 25 years, dies at the age of 93.
August 4, 1903 Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto is elected Pope and chooses the name Pius X.
August 20, 1914 The papacy of Pius X ends with his death.