Long created the Share Our Wealth program in 1934 with the motto "Every Man a King", proposing new wealth redistribution measures in the form of a net asset tax on corporations and individuals to curb the poverty and hopelessness endemic nationwide during the Great Depression. To stimulate the economy, Long advocated federal spending on public works, schools and colleges, and old age pensions. He was an ardent critic of the Federal Reserve System's policies. Charismatic and immensely popular for his programs and willingness to take forceful action, Long was accused by his opponents of dictatorial tendencies for his near-total control of the state government.
At the height of his popularity, Long was assassinated by a gunman on September 8, 1935, at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. He died two days later at the age of 42. His last words were reportedly, "God, don't let me die, I have so much left to do."