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William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft.jpg
27th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1909 – March 3, 1913
Vice President James S. Sherman
Preceded by Theodore Roosevelt
Succeeded by Woodrow Wilson
10th Chief Justice of the United States
In office
July 11, 1921 – February 3, 1930
Preceded by Edward Douglass White
Succeeded by Charles Evans Hughes
Personal details
Born (1857-09-15)September 15, 1857
Cincinnati, Ohio,
Died March 8, 1930(1930-03-08) (aged 72)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Helen Herron Taft

William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th President of the United States from March 4, 1909 to March 3, 1913. He is well known for being the heaviest President in U.S. history, weighing over 350 pounds. He was also six feet tall. Taft was also the only President who also served as a Supreme Court justice.

Political career

Taft served as Solicitor General of the United States, a federal judge, Governor of the Philippines, and Secretary of War before being nominated for President in the 1908 by the man who preceded him, Theodore Roosevelt. As a Republican President, Taft was most notable for trust-busting, in which he broke up large businesses that had too much control over the economy. Taft also expanded civil service, fixed up the United States Postal Service and promoted world peace. Taft also started the tradition of the president pitching the first ball of the baseball season. Early in life, Taft had played baseball. He was a good second baseman and could hit with power.

1912 Election

In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt came back into politics and ran for President against William Taft. Many Republicans split their votes between Taft and Roosevelt, and the Democratic opponent Woodrow Wilson won the election.

After the presidency

In 1921, Taft became the 10th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the only President to do so. He retired from the job on February 3, 1930 due to bad health.


Taft was the most obese president. He was 5 feet, 11.5 inches tall; his weight was at 335–340 pounds toward the end of his Presidency. He had difficulty getting out of the White House bathtub. He had a 7-foot (2.1 m) long, 41-inch (1.04 m) wide tub installed. This tub could accommodate four normal-sized men. It was replaced in 1952 with a modern tub of similar size.


Taft died on March 8, 1930 due to heart failure. Three days later, he became the first president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Images for kids

William Howard Taft Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.