William Howard Taft Biography

William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States. Read this biography to learn more about his profile, childhood, life and timeline.

William Howard Taft

Quick Facts

Gender: Male
Birthday: 15 September 1857
Died: 08 March 1930
Nationality: American
Sun Sign: Virgo
Spouse/Ex-: Helen Herron Taft
Father: Alphonso Taft
Mother: Louise Taft
Siblings: Charles Phelps Taft, Henry Waters Taft, Horace Dutton Taft
Children: Robert Alphonso Taft, Helen Taft Manning, Charles Phelps Taft II
Education: Yale College, University of Cincinnati College of Law
Awards: Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 5, 1857. He came from a prominent political family and ever since he was a young boy, he dreamt of sitting on the chair of the chief justice of the United States. Taft finally achieved his dream of being elected chief justice of the United States in 1921. In 1890, Taft was also appointed as the Solicitor General of the United States. William Howard Taft was supported by fellow Republican, Roosevelt and won an easy victory in 1908 bid for presidency. During his time as president, Taft strengthened the Interstate Commerce Constitution and also furthered the economic development of nations in Asia and Latin America. Although Taft was defeated in the second term in the presidential election of 1912, he is considered one of the most influential presidents of the United States. After leaving office, Taft spent most of his time in academia, arbitration and world peace. He advocated world peace through the self-founded ‘League to Enforce Peace’. In 1921, Taft was appointed as Chief Justice of the United States by President Warren G. He served in this position for a short while before his death in 1930. If you would like to learn more about this intriguing personality, read further.

Childhood & Early Life

William Howard Taft was born on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was one of the six children born to Alphonso Taft and Louisa Maria Torrey.
Taft studied at a private school and just like his father, attended Yale College when he got older. At college, he joined the Skull and Bones guild, which his father co-founded with another student way back in 1832.
Taft graduated from Yale College in 1878.
He then went and attended the University Of Cincinnati, College Of Law, and was admitted to the Ohio State Bar Association in 1880.


As a young lawyer from a family of politicians, Taft always dreamt of sitting in the Supreme Court one day. He swiftly rose through the ranks, as country prosecutor and then finally, state judge.
At the age of 32, William Howard Taft became the youngest appointee as U.S. Solicitor General, appointed by President Benjamin Harrison. This resulted in Taft’s family’s shift to Washington, where they met Theodore and Edith Roosevelt for the first time.
A decade later, President William McKinley appointed Taft as governor general of the Philippines. Taft then shifted with his family to Southeast Asia, where they lived for four years. Here, Taft helped develop the economy, infrastructure and also expanded opportunities for governmental participation for Filipino citizens.
In 1904, Taft became President Theodore Roosevelt’s secretary of war. Two years later, when Roosevelt offered him the choice to serve as president or chief justice, he went on to choose his dream job. However, he was swayed into running for the U.S. presidency instead.
Taft won the 1908 election and assumed office from March 4, 1909. However, a couple of misunderstanding regarding policies frustrated both, his supporters and the government. Thus, during the midterm elections, he lost the republican majority.
He officially left office on March 4, 1913, defeated by Woodrow Wilson.
He became a professor at Yale University and just before the outbreak of World War I, he co-founded the League for Enforced Peace with Alexander Graham Bell—a precursor to the League of Nations.
In 1921, Taft achieved his dream. He was appointed as chief justice of the Supreme Court by President Warring G.

Awards & Achievements

In 1887, he was appointed the judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati.
He became the 27th president of the United States on March 4, 1909.
William Howard Taft was appointed as the chief justice of the United States of America in 1921.

Personal Life & Legacy

When William Howard Taft was in college, he earned the nickname ‘Big Lub’ because of his huge size. He weighed more than 240 pounds at the time. Due to his huge build, Taft became stuck to his bathtub, while he served as president and the staff had to use butter to dislodge him. His wife, Nellie, had to order a larger bathtub for the White House.
Taft married Helen Herron in 1886.
William Howard Taft passed away on March 8, 1930. He was the first president to have a funeral broadcast on the radio.
Taft’s career as president came with a wide range of ‘firsts’. He was the first president who converted the White House stables in garages and he was also the last president to have facial hair.


1857: William Howard Taft was born on September 15th in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1878: He graduated from Yale College.
1880: He was admitted to the Ohio State Bar Association.
1886: He married his childhood sweetheart, Helen Herron.
1908: He won the elections this year and officially assumed office on March 4, 1909.
1913: He officially left office on March 4th.
1921: Taft was appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of U.S. by President Warring G.
1930: William Howard Taft passed away on March 8th.

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William Howard Taft Biography


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Last Updated

May 24, 2019

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