Key Dates

1878 Taft Graduated from Yale University.

1892 William Taft is appointed as a federal court judge.

1904 President Roosevelt appoints Taft as Secretary of War.

1908 William Taft is elected President.

1912 Woodrow Wilson defeats Taft as President.

1921 Taft is appointed Chief Justice of Supreme Court. He is the only President to hold that position.

1930 William Taft dies.

William Howard Taft
1909 - 1913
27th President

William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 15, 1857.

William Howard Taft was his predecessors most trusted advisor. Whenever a situation became too difficult for lesser men to handle, it was Taft who was sent to "sit on the lid."

William Taft's Vice President was James S. Sherman from 1909-1912. From 1912-1913 he did not have a Vice President.

"Big Bill" was over 300 pounds and 6'2". Needing a big bathtub, he had a 7' long 41" wide tub installed that could accommodate 4 normal-sized men.

President Taft was the only ex-president to be a judge on the Supreme Court. He was appointed Chief Justice.

The heaviest president at 332 pounds, Taft struggled all his adult life with a weight problem. He got stuck in the White House bathtub and had to have an oversized version brought in for his use.

William Howard Taft was the first president to own a car at the White House (he had the White House stables converted into a 4-car garage),

He was the first to throw out the first ball to begin the professional baseball season.

He was also the first president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Arizona became a state on February 14, 1912. Making Taft the first President of 48 states.

Taft liked milk so much that he brought his own cow to the White House. The cows name was Mooly Wolly. Mooly was replaced by another cow called Pauline. Pauline was the last cow to graze on the White House lawn.

Taft had no military experience and there were no wars fought during his term.

During his administration, the U.S. parcel post system began, and Congress approved the 16th Amendment, providing for the levying of an income tax.

President Taft
William Taft.
Library of Congress

"It was by all odds the most infectious chuckle in the history of politics. It started with a silent trembling of Taft's ample stomach. The next sign was a pause in the reading of his speech, and the spread of a slow grin across his face. Then came a kind of gulp which seemed to escape without his being aware that the climax was near. Laughter followed hard on the chuckle itself, and the audience invariable joined in." (Biographer Henry F. Pringle)

William Howard Taft died on March 8, 1930 in Washington, D.C, He was 72 years and 174 days old. He was the first President to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. The only other President buried at Arlinton is President Kennedy.

Quotes from William Taft:

"I am not in favor of suffrage for women until I can be convinced that all the women desire it; and when they desire it I am in favor of giving it."
Nov. 2, 1909.



Quick Facts

27th President

Born: Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 15, 1857

Inaugurated as President: March 4, 1909.

Party: Republican

Died: Washington, DC. March 8, 1930, age 72.



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
  • James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

Additional Sources:


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This page was last modified: February 2, 2012