Franz Ferdinand of the House of Hapsburg (18 December 1863 - 28 June 1914) was an Archduke of Austria, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and from 1896 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg were assassinated by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. His death led to the great powers of Europe invoking their alliance systems against one another and going to war, touching off World War I.
Because his and Sophie's marriage was "morganatic," none of their children were eligible for succession to the throne. When Ferdinand died, his nephew Archduke Karl became heir to the throne, and eventually the last Austrian Emperor.
Franz Ferdinand in "Last Flight of the Swan of the East"
When Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie were shot to death in Sarajevo in 1914, Austria-Hungary issued a number of ultimata against Serbia, which was supported by Russia. Austria-Hungary was in turn supported by the Empires of Germany and the Japan. Russia invoked its alliance with France, who was in turn supported by the United States, and the Great War began.
Franz Ferdinand in Southern Victory
When the vehicle transporting Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie through Sarajevo were blown up by an assassin's bomb in 1914, Austria-Hungary issued a number of ultimata against Serbia, which was supported by Russia. Austria-Hungary was in turn supported by Germany and the United States. Russia invoked its alliances with Britain, France, and the Confederate States, and the Great War began.