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William Howard Taft

In 1909, William Howard Taft became the 27th President of the United States and stayed in office until 1913. Following his time as President, he was named Chief Justice of the United States. This made him the only person to have led both the executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government at once. He was a Republican who had a long history in politics. He was a leader in the Progressive Era, which saw a lot of social activism and political change in the United States at the same time. People in Ohio thought Taft was important because his father was a lawyer who worked for President Ulysses S. Grant as Attorney General and Secretary of War. Taft was born into a powerful family. Following family tradition, William Taft went to Yale College in New Haven. There, he showed that he was a talented and versatile student, and he was able to do many different things. He was not only good at school, but he was also good at sports and dancing. He then went on to study law and become a lawyer. During his time in government, he had a lot of high-profile jobs. He was a good lawyer, and he did well. Taft was made Secretary of War by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, and while he was in this job, he became very involved in politics. In 1908, Taft ran for president and won.

Childhood & Early Life


In 1857, in Ohio, William Howard Taft was born to Louisa Torrey and Alphonso Taft. He was born on September 15, 1857. When he was born, there were five siblings. As a young man, his father was a well-known Republican. As Secretary of War and Attorney General for President Ulysses S. Grant, he was a lawyer who worked for the government.
He was a very good student who did well in school and also played sports like golf, tennis, and wrestling. This is how long ago he graduated: in 1878.
After high school, he went to the Cincinnati Law School and earned a Bachelor of Laws in 1880. Soon, he became a member of the Ohio bar.


As soon as William Taft became a lawyer, he was named Assistant Prosecutor of Hamilton County, Ohio. It took a few years for him to rise quickly through the ranks. In 1887, he was named a judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati.
In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison named him the Solicitor General of the United States, and he took the job. He was just 32 years old when he became Solicitor General. He was a judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1892 to 1900, when he was a judge.
He was also the first dean and a professor of constitutional law at the University of Cincinnati from 1896 to 1900, when he was in charge of the school.
First, Taft became the Governor-General of the Philippines in 1901. This was the first time a civilian held this role. In this job, he was in charge of making sure the islands’ economy was growing. People in both the United States and the Philippines liked him very much when he worked in this job until 1904.
In September 1906, he started the Second Occupation of Cuba and set up the Provisional Government of Cuba. He named himself Provisional Governor of Cuba. When Charles Edward Magoon took over as Provisional Governor in October of the same year, he did the same thing. After 1908, he was Secretary of War until that job was done.
Before the 1908 US presidential election, President Roosevelt had said that he would not run for reelection in 1908. He made sure that Taft’s name was put forward for the nomination of the Republican ticket for the 1908 presidential election. Even though Taft was more interested in getting a job on the Supreme Court than becoming President, he still decided to run for President.
President William Jennings Bryan was the Democratic candidate in the election. Taft was able to win the election with ease because he was strong. As the 27th President of the United States, he was sworn into office on March 4, 1909. In the end, though, his presidency turned out to be a hard one.
He didn’t have the same aggressive leadership skills as his predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt. He was said to be progressive at first, but he sided with the more conservative members of the Republican Party. This angered the progressives, who didn’t like it. Further, the progressives didn’t like that he backed the Payne-Aldrich Tariff of 1909, which was a very protective measure at the time.
He was a supporter of free immigration and of Booker T. He put a lot of emphasis on education and entrepreneurship for blacks, and he vetoed a law that would have required literacy tests for people who were not very skilled.
Democratic Woodrow Wilson won the 1912 election. Taft tried to run again in 1913, but he lost to a Democrat. March 4, 1913, was when he stepped down from the presidency, and it was the last day.

It took him some time after he stepped down as president to be named the Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at the Yale Law School. During this time, he was made a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1914. He wrote a lot of articles and books while he was a fellow. His job was to help run the National War Labor Board between 1917 and 1918, which he did.
President Warren G. Harding named Taft Chief Justice of the United States in 1921. This was a long-term goal for him, and it came true. He was very good at this job and was a very well-liked person. Before 1930, he worked in this job.

Major Works

President: I’ve always wanted to be Chief Justice of the United States, and that’s been my goal my whole life. In this job, he went to England to learn about the structure of the English courts and pushed for the U.S. to pass the Judiciary Act of 1925. The act gave the Supreme Court more power over its docket and made the court work more quickly.

Personal Life & Legacy

She was born in 1886, and he married her in 1886. They had three children. His wife played a big role in his career and was one of his most important political advisers.
He was fat and had had heart problems for years before he died. His health got worse following his retirement from the Supreme Court on February 3, 1930. William Howard Taft died in 1930 at the age of 72.


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