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William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
(September 15, 1857 - March
8, 1930) was the 27th
(1909-1913) President of the Order: 27th President
United States, and the 10th
Chief Justice of the United Term of Office: March 4, 1909 - March 4, 1913
States. Followed: Theodore Roosevelt
Succeeded by: Woodrow Wilson
He was born on September 15,
1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. A Date of Birth September 15, 1857
prominent Republican, Taft's Place of Birth: Cincinnati, Ohio
father served as secretary Date of Death: March 8, 1930
of war under President
Ulysses S. Grant. The Place of Death: Washington, D.C.
younger Taft began his Wife: Helen Herron Taft
political career in Ohio
shortly after joining the First Ladies: Helen Herron Taft
bar in 1880. Helen Taft (daughter)
In 1900, President William Political Party: Republican
McKinley appointed Taft
chair of a commission to Vice President: James S. Sherman
organize a civilian
government in the Philippines which had been ceded to the United States at
the close of the Spanish-American War. From 1901 to 1904 Taft served
successfully as the first civilian governor of the Philippines. In 1904
Theodore Roosevelt named Taft secretary of war.
After serving nearly two full terms, popular Theodore Roosevelt refused to
run in the election of 1908. Instead, he promoted Taft as the next
Republican president. With Roosevelt's help, Taft handily defeated Democrat
William Jennings Bryan. Throughout his presidency, Taft contended with
dissent from more liberal members of the Republican party, many of whom
continued to follow the lead of former President Roosevelt.
Progressive Republicans openly challenged Taft in the Congressional
elections of 1910 and in the Republican presidential primaries of 1912. When
Taft won the Republican nomination, the Progressives organized a rival party
(the United States Progressive Party, a.k.a. "Bull Moose") and selected
Theodore Roosevelt to run against Taft in the general election. Roosevelt's
Bull Moose candidacy split the Republican vote and helped elect Democrat
From 1921 until 1930, Taft served on the Supreme Court as Chief Justice of
the United States. In an effort to make the Court work more efficiently, he
advocated passage of the 1925 Judges Act enabling the Supreme Court to give
precedence to cases of national importance.
A third generation of the Taft family entered the national political stage
in 1938. The former president's son, Robert A. Taft, was elected to the
Senate. A vociferous critic of the New Deal, Robert Taft was a Republican
leader in the Senate from 1939-1953.
Supreme Court appointments
* Horace Harmon Lurton - 1910
* Charles Evans Hughes - 1910
* Edward Douglass White - Chief Justice - 1910 (an associate justice
* Willis Van Devanter - 1911
* Joseph Rucker Lamar - 1911
* Mahlon Pitney - 1912