Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, President of the German Confederation, Other lesser titles
Franz Joseph I (18 August 1830 – 21 November 1916) of the Hapsburg Dynasty was Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary and King of Bohemia from 1848 until 1916. His 68-year reign, the fourth-longest in the recorded history of Europe, made him the longest-serving German-speaking king or emperor who is known to have at least nominally ruled. (A number of German rulers had longer reigns, but only claimed a lower title such as Prince or Duke.)
It was the assassination of Franz Joseph's nephew and heir presumptive, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, on 28 June 1914, that led to World War I. Franz Joseph did not live to see the end of the war, or the collapse of his empire.
In 1914, Franz Joseph's heir Franz Ferdinand was killed along with his wife, Sophie in Sarajevo by a "Serbianmaniac." Franz Joseph's government immediately began making demands on the Serbian government. While Serbia agreed to most of the demands, Serbia would not let Austria-Hungarian agents to help investigate the assassination. Serbia's approach insured that its allies would support it against Austria-Hungary; conversely Franz Joseph's allies would still see Austria-Hungary as aggrieved. A global war broke out in short order as the Russian Empire came to Serbia's aid, and the German Empire backed Austria-Hungary.