Emperor Franz Josef

Franz Joseph (sometimes referred to in English as Francis Joseph) (August 18, 1830 – November 21, 1916) of the Habsburg Dynasty was Emperor of Austria from 1848 until 1916 and King of Hungary from 1867 until 1916. He was born in Vienna, Austria.

Franz Josef was the eldest son of Archduke Franz Karl (and Sophie Archduches of Austria and Princess of Bavaria), who was brother and heir of Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I. Because his father renounced his claim to the throne, Franz Josef became emperor when Ferdinand abdicated near the end of the Revolution of 1848.

In 1854 Franz Josef married Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria (also Princess of Bavaria through her mother’s side of the family), who became Elisabeth of Austria (“Sisi” or “Sissi”). Their only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, committed suicide in 1889 in the famous Mayerling episode with his young mistress Baroness Marie Vetsera.