Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (26) | Personal Quotes (29)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 15 September 1857Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 8 March 1930Washington, District of Columbia, USA  (debility)
Nickname Big Bill
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

William Howard Taft was born on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He was an actor, known for Taft and His Cabinet (1912), Hutchinson, Kansas, Semi-Centennial Celebration (1912) and The Latest Addition to the U.S. Navy (1912). He was married to Helen Herron. He died on March 8, 1930 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA.

Spouse (1)

Helen Herron (19 June 1886 - 8 March 1930) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (26)

Pictured on the 50¢ US postage stamp in the Presidential Series, issued 8 December 1938.
Buried with his wife at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
Pictured on a US 4¢ regular series postage stamp issued 4 June 1930.
Only person to become President of the United States and Chief Justice of the United States.
Children: daughter Helen; sons Charles and Robert A. Taft.
Chief Justice of the United States; 11 July 1921 (date took oath) - 3 February 1930 (resigned shortly before his death).
President of the United States, 4 March 1909 - 4 March 1913.
Seventh cousin twice removed of President Richard Nixon.
First President of 48 contiguous states.
First former President of the United States to receive the honor of a lying in state who did not die in office.
He become part of the only Presidential election in American history in which the men running were a former president (Theodore Roosevelt), an incumbent (Taft) and a future president (Woodrow Wilson).
Goaded into running for the presidency by Theodore Roosevelt, Taft actually hated the job. He preferred the less stressful position of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Although he was famous for his weight, he actually lost 137 pounds after leaving the office. He jokingly said it was because the weight of the job was finally off his shoulders.
At well over 300 pounds he was the heaviest of all of the American Presidents. Once he famously became stuck in the White House bathtub and had to be pried out. Afterwards a wider tub, built especially for him, was installed.
No one had more humor about Taft's weight than Taft himself. Once, he famously joked that he was the ultimate gentleman because he gave up his seat on a streetcar to three ladies.
He is the only former president ever to have sworn in a new president into office. In 1923 he swore in Calvin Coolidge while serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Taft was hand-picked to run for the presidency by Theodore Roosevelt when he announced that he would not run for a second term. But Roosevelt was unhappy that many of the policies that he had put into motion were slowly unraveling in Taft's administration. So when Taft ran for reelection Roosevelt, who had been Taft's best friend, turned on him and began to speak horribly of him in public. It hurt Taft greatly that his friend turned on him, but still he was satisfied that the office had gone to Woodrow Wilson and not the ingrate Roosevelt. The two never spoke again.
His great-grandson, Robert Alphonso Taft II (Bob Taft), was the Governor of Ohio (1 January 1, 1999 - 8 January 2007).
In 1914, he awarded the winner's cup in a fat-baby contest to the then one-year-old Lloyd Bridges.
In 1929 Taft kept forgetting the words when he swore Herbert Hoover in as President. It has been suggested that Taft may have been displaying symptoms of Alzheimer's disease at the end of his life.
One of two presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetary, the other being John F. Kennedy.
When he died in 1930, he left the bulk of his estate, valued at $475,000 to his wife, Helen.
Great grandfather of Ohio governor Bob Taft.
Father of US senator Robert A. Taft.
While a professor at the University of Cincinnati School of Law, he advised one of his students, Miller Huggins, to pursue baseball after Huggins realized that he could make more money playing baseball than practicing law. Huggins played for the Cincinnati Reds (1904-1909), and the St. Louis Cardinals (1910-1916), then managed the Cardinals (1913-1917), and New York Yankees (1918-1929).
Inducted into the International Mustache Hall of Fame in 2015 (inaugural class) in the category Politics & Leadership.

Personal Quotes (29)

Anti-Semitism is a noxious weed that should be cut out. It has no place in America.
Substantial progress toward better things can rarely be taken without developing new evils requiring new remedies.
The trouble with me is that I like to talk too much.
I am president now, and tired of being kicked around.
We live in a stage of politics, where legislators seem to regard the passage of laws as much more important than the results of their enforcement.
Enthusiasm for a cause sometimes warps judgment.
We are all imperfect. We can not expect perfect government.
Don't write so that you can be understood, write so that you can't be misunderstood.
A government is for the benefit of all the people.
Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.
No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people.
If this humor be the safety of our race, then it is due largely to the infusion into the American people of the Irish brain.
Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that today is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity.
I am in favor of helping the prosperity of all countries because, when we are all prosperous, the trade with each becomes more valuable to the other.
Politics makes me sick.
Don't worry over what the newspapers say. I don't. Why should anyone else? I told the truth to the newspaper correspondents - but when you tell the truth to them they are at sea.
I am afraid I am a constant disappointment to my party. The fact of the matter is, the longer I am president the less of a party man I seem to become.
I think I might as well give up being a candidate. There are so many people in the country who don't like me.
Action for which I become responsible, or for which my administration becomes responsible, shall be within the law.
I have come to the conclusion that the major part of the work of a President is to increase the gate receipts of expositions and fairs and bring tourists to town.
The world is not going to be saved by legislation.
Failure to accord credit to anyone for what he may have done is a great weakness in any man.
I love judges, and I love courts. They are my ideals, that typify on earth what we shall meet hereafter in heaven under a just God.
No, the only things which do not bother me are the elements. I can overcome them without a fight. All one has to do to get the best of the elements is to stand pat and one will win.
As the Republican platforms says, the welfare of the farmer is vital to that of the whole country.
I'll be damned if I am not getting tired of this. It seems to be the profession of a President simply to hear other people talk.
I do not know much about politics, but I am trying to do the best I can with this administration until the time shall come for me to turn it over to somebody else.
A system in which we may have an enforced rest from legislation for two years is not bad.
I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe.

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