William Howard Taft | 27th US PRESIDENT
US Vice President: James Sherman
Political Party: Republican
Birth: September 15, 1857 at Cincinnati, Ohio
Death: March 8, 1930 (aged 72) at Washington, D.C.
Education: Yale University, Cincinnati Law School
27th President of the United States (1909 – 1913)
10th Chief Justice of the United States (1921 – 1930)
42nd United States Secretary of War (1904 – 1908)
First Ladies: Helen Herron (m. 1886 – 1930)
Children: Robert, Helen, Charles
Pictures of Helen Taft from the Library of Congress
Facts about William Howard Taft
Tafts son, Robert (also known as Mr. Republican), became one of the twentieth centuries most influential senators; his grandson”William Howard Taft IV”went on to tackle various executive duties for Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
- Taft was the last president to keep a cow at the White House to provide fresh milk. Her name was Pauline.
- For the record, Nellie called him Sleeping Beauty due to Tafts bad habit of dozing off at parties. His other nicknames included “”Big Bill”” and “”Big Lub””.
- Taft tended to fall asleep at public functions.
- From early in his career, Taft aspired to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
At over 330 pounds, Taft was the heaviest president. Concerned about how his weight would affect his health, and therefore his ability to serve, in December 1905, the soon-to-be president wrote to English physician and diet expert Nathaniel E. Yorke-Davies for advice. Taft and Yorke-Davies exchanged letters over 10 years, with the president providing intimate details of what he ate, how often he exercised, and even how frequently he had bowel movements.
- In 1890, he was appointed as U.S. solicitor general, the third-highest position in the justice department.
- Taft was the first president to throw the first ball of baseball season, beginning a tradition that continues today.
- Taft was the first president to own a car. He converted the stables into a garage.
William Howard Taft Childhood
William Howard Taft, born on September 15, 1857, in Cincinnati, Ohio, was one of six children of Louisa Maria Torrey and Alphonso Taft. Many Taft ancestors, who could be traced back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, had gone into law, including William’s father, Alphonso Taft. Alphonso Taft had served under President Ulysses S. Grant as both secretary of war and attorney general, and as an ambassador under President Chester A. Arthur.
Taft went to private school and, like his father, attended Yale College. There, he joined the now-notorious secret society Skull and Bones, which his father co-founded in 1832. Taft graduated from Yale in 1878. Departing from tradition, he went on to attend the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and was admitted to the Ohio State Bar Association in 1880. Not long after, in 1886, wooed a schoolhood friend of his only sister, Frances: Helen “”Nellie”” Herron, whom Taft had met at a sledding party.
Where is William Howard Taft buried?
Three days following his death, on March 11, he became the first president and first member of the Supreme Court to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. James Earle Fraser sculpted his grave marker out of Stony Creek granite.
How did William Howard Taft die?
He died at his home in Washington on March 8, 1930.