William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen successor of Theodore Roosevelt, but was defeated for reelection in 1912 by Woodrow Wilson after Roosevelt split the Republican vote by running as a third-party candidate. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft to be chief justice, a position he held until a month before his death.
Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1857. His father, Alphonso Taft, was a U.S. attorney general and secretary of war. Taft attended Yale and joined the Skull and Bones, of which his father was a founding member. After becoming a lawyer, Taft was appointed a judge while still in his twenties. He continued a rapid rise, being named solicitor general and a judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1901, President William McKinley appointed Taft civilian governor of the Philippines. In 1904, Roosevelt made him Secretary of War, and he became Roosevelt's hand-picked successor. Despite his personal ambition to become chief justice, Taft declined repeated offers of appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States, believing his political work to be more important.
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
William Howard Taft
March 2, 2016
William Howard Taft: Plus-Sized President (1909-1913)
December 9, 2019