William Howard Taft | Biography, Presidency, Facts & Death

William Howard Taft Summary

William Howard Taft (1909–13) was the 27th President of the United States of America. He worked as a judge on Ohio high courts from 1887 to 1890 and served as the country’s solicitor general from 1890 to 1992. (1892–1900). He served as the Philippines’ inaugural human ruler and was put in charge of the Philippine Board to establish an elected government on the territory (1901–04). 

Theodore Roosevelt, who backed William Howard Taft’s candidacy for president throughout 1908, remained the nation’s defense secretary from 1904 to 1908. Although he was elected, he sided with the conservative Democrats, alienating the party’s liberals. He was once again nominated in 1912, but Woodrow Wilson won the election as a consequence of his disagreement with Roosevelt and also the Bull Moose Association.

Later, William Howard Taft supported the Association of Nations, participated in the National Historical Labor Department (1918), and lectured legislation at Yale Law school (1913–21). He implemented changes that increased the court’s effectiveness while serving as presiding judge of the U.S. Federal Judiciary (1921–30). In the significant case of Myers v. U.S. (1926), he supported the president’s right to dismiss government employees.

Facts About William Howard Taft’s

BornSeptember 15, 1857, in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, in America
DeathMarch 8, 1930, William Howard Taft’s demise in Washington, D.C.
SpouseHelen Herron Taft, (m. 1886–1930)
ParentsLouise Taft > Alphonso Taft

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William Howard Taft Early Life

Alphonso Taft married Louise Torrey and welcomed William Howard Taft into the world throughout Cincinnati, Ohio, around September 15, 1857. The William Howard Taft family, who resided in a small house in the neighborhood of Mount Auburn, was not affluent. During Governor Ulysses S. Grant, Alphonso worked as a judge, a diplomat, the war secretary for the United States, and the justice department.

Although, as a youngster, William Taft did not appear to be particularly intelligent, his demanding parents forced him, along with the four siblings, toward achievement, accepting any less. He went to Cincinnati’s Woodward Academy. The chubby, stocky Taft was a bright student and the collegiate middleweight wrestling championship at Yale University when he enrolled in 1874.

One of his classmates praised him for having ethics and working hard instead of simply being the brightest person in the class. William Howard Taft was chosen as among three presidential nominees to be a member of Skull but also Bones. His dad co-founded the Yale secretive organization. In 1878, Taft finished second out of 121 students in his class. He went to Cincinnati Graduate School and earned a Bachelor of Legal Studies degree there in 1880. He contributed to Murat Halstead’s Murat Business newspaper when he was a law student.

William Howard Taft Governmental Growth (1880-1908)

After being licensed to the Ohio law around 1879, President William Taft was appointed Hamilton Town’s deputy attorney in 1880. He was named Commissioner of Inland Revenue for Cincinnati-centered Ohio’s First County in 1882. He quit in March 1883 and informed Governor Chester Arthur inside a letter that he wanted to start a profession because he would not fire inept workers who had been wrong politically. James G. Blaine, a Conservative running for president who succumbed to Governor of New York Grover Cleveland, was supported by Taft during his campaign.

Around 1886, William Howard Taft wed Helen Herron; they had three kids together. Governor J. B. Foraker nominated Taft to fill a seat on the Cincinnati State Supreme court in 1887. Twelve of Taft’s decisions as a sitting judge are still in existence, with Moore’s case of r v Bricklayers’ Association No. 1[b] (1889) one of the most significant—if merely because they exploited it against him in his 1908 presidential campaign.

William Howard Taft was attracted to the government in the Conservative Movement. He held a number of lesser-appointed positions until being nominated to complete his tenure as an Ohio supreme judicial officer in 1887.

The sole other occasions he ever won an election by public election was when William Howard Taft was elected president, which happened the year after, to a five-year tenure of his choosing. He presided over the United Nations Sixth District Board of Appeal between 1892 to 1900, during which time he rendered numerous rulings that were unfavorable to organized labor. 

He affirmed the administration of an intervention to end a railway worker’s protest and deemed applying a supplementary boycott unlawful. However, he also expanded the authority of the injunctive to implement competition laws and maintained the rights of employees to strike, assemble, and form a union.

By March 15, 1900, Taft withdrew from his position as a judge in order to accept President William McKinley’s offer to lead the Second Philippine Committee. During the Spanish American revolution (1898), Taft was given the task of setting up a civil administration in the territories, and he quickly showed his strong leadership and administrative skills. He was appointed the first democratic administrator of the Philippines around 1901 and focused on the islands’ growth in the economy in that capacity. 

William Howard Taft, who was well-liked and well-liked among the Filipino people, twice declined to depart the territories when President Theodore Roosevelt promised him a position on the High Court. He consented to return to Washington throughout 1904 to work as Roosevelt’s minister of defense on the condition that he may still be in charge of Philippine matters.

Although physically and temperamentally unlike, the strong, nearly manic Roosevelt and the overweight, laidback Taft still became close friendships; the president viewed his chief of defense as a valued advisor. Roosevelt offered his endorsement to Taft after he decided not to seek reelection. Taft secured the Republican primary in 1908 and trounced Democratic William Bryan in the election system by a margin of 321 to 162. Revolutionary Democrats, who saw Theodore Roosevelt as their ally and advocate, now looked to Roosevelt’s hand-selected replacement to advance their reform program.

William Howard Taft Presidency Years (1909–1913)

William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft (March 4, 1909–March 4, 1913)

Appoints and Inaugurations

By March 4, 1909, William Howard Taft took office as leader of the Free World. Theodore Roosevelt, his forerunner, resigned from office after serving for a year in order to embark on a year-long reconnaissance mission in Africa. During his inauguration speech, Taft discussed the necessity of antitrust regulation and a decrease in the Dingley Tariff.

Theodore Roosevelt had a magnetic leadership behavior, but William Taft’s tenure signaled a shift to his more subdued devotion to the legal system. Franklin MacVeagh was the Commerce Secretary, while Philander Knox, who might have worked as Solicitor General during McKinley, whereas Roosevelt, was the United States Secretary. Taft had not had Roosevelt’s cordial rapport with the media and opted to make himself available for conversations or photo ops less frequently.

Sickness of the First Lady

Early in William Howard Taft’s presidency, in May 1909, his spouse Nellie suffered a massive stroke which left her speechless and paralyzed with one hand and one leg. It required Taft an entire year to care for her and several hours every day to retrain her to talk.

Foreign Affairs

Structure and Guiding Principles

In order to better represent the requirements of the nation around 1800 instead of 1900, Governor William H. Taft reformed the Foreign Office in 1881. The division was originally geographically divided, with desks for the Middle East, Latin America, and Continental Europe included. Nominees had a month visiting Washington while starting their jobs, and it developed in-service apprenticeships. Taft had a close connection with Ambassador Knox and valued his advice on both local and international issues.

On important foreign strategy objectives, Taft but also Knox broadly concurred: the United States would not meddle in European matters and would use action, if required, to uphold the Monroe Principle in the Americans. Taft’s administration saw the security of the Panama Tunnel, which was still being built, as the centerpiece of American foreign strategy throughout the Caribbean but also Central America.

Reciprocity and Taxes

William Howard Taft implemented the Dingley Tariff in 1908 to shield American businesses from international rivalry. Taft resisted attempts to change the legislation to include a taxable income on the basis that the Federal Court would probably rule it against the Constitution.

Democracy and Domestic Policy


Mainly in the early 1900s, William Howard Taft served as Governor Theodore Roosevelt’s Department of State and encouraged him to use antitrust litigation to dismantle commercial alliances. Roosevelt-initiated lawsuits against National Oil and American Nicotine resulted in rulings in the administration’s favor, even by the Judicial Branch throughout 1911. In order to obtain corporate autonomy for more than a thousand U.S. Steel affiliates, Taft’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the company in 1911. Roosevelt accused Taft’s followers of accusing him of doing illegally and of acting too slowly.

Case of Ballinger-Pinchot

With the help of like-minded officials, notably National Forester Gifford Pinchot and Decoration Department James R. Garfield, Roosevelt had been an enthusiastic environmentalist. Richard A. Ballinger, a city councilman of Seattle, was selected by his replacement, William Howard Taft, to head the Federal Property Office.

The Ballinger-Pinchot controversy was a contentious disagreement between Board Member Chester A. Pinchot and Governor William Howard Taft about how the Forest Department handled a false claim made on public property. Following the incident, Taft was perceived by Roosevelt supporters as having abandoned the president’s objectives. James Glavis, the minister of state, had claimed that George Ballinger, a previous employee of the Park Service, had represented Cunningham during his two stints in public service in violation of the laws governing conflicts of interest.

Human Rights

William Howard Taft established a rule as U.S. president prohibiting the appointment of African Americans into political departments that may result in racial conflict. Unlike President Theodore Roosevelt, who was unwilling to dismiss or transfer black appointees until regional whites refused to engage with them, this approach was different. Taft adopted this strategy, expelling the majority of black officials from the South and a small number from the North.

William Howard Taft, who was in favor of unrestricted immigration, rejected a proposal that would have limited unskilled workers by requiring a reading test. He lauded Junipero Serra around 1909, describing him as an “apostle, lawmaker, and builder” who contributed to “human civilization in California.”

Court Appointments

Even Washington but also Franklin Roosevelt submitted more Judicial Nominations than Taft’s six, who made a total of nine. William Howard Taft had his first chance when Chancellor Rufus Peckham passed away in October 1909. Horace H. Lurton in Georgia, an old acquaintance and fellow judge from the Circuit Court, was his choice. Taft didn’t replace Fuller for five months; whenever he finally did, it was alongside General Edward Douglas White.

William Howard Taft chose Mahlon Pitney as the final Supreme Court nominee without a legal degree. Additionally, he selected the initial five candidates for each seat on the Americas Commercial Court. He also nominated justices to a number of specialty courts. Taft’s suggestion for a specialist court to handle arguments from the United States Government gave rise to the Commerce Court. The court was established in the face of strong resistance, and Taft rejected a measure to dissolve it in 1912.

William Howard Taft Electoral and Presidential Candidacy of 1912

Separating From Roosevelt

Both parties anticipated that the other would initiate efforts to put their relationship on solid ground once more. Roosevelt acknowledged his displeasure with Taft’s presidency in personal writings to friends, noting that he anticipated the Republicans would nominate Taft for reelection in 1912. William Howard Taft opposed Roosevelt and the liberals’ more extreme objectives, such as limiting the bureaucracy.

The Federal Court’s Lochner v. Nyc judgment, which brought about the Reserve Bank and the Long Depression around 1905, caused a rift between Presidents Theodore Roosevelt but also William Taft. In addition to “labor relation legislation,” Roosevelt advocated for the “abolition of corporation spending for political reasons, physical assessment of railroad holdings, control of industrial mergers, formation of an exporting customs panel, and progressive federal taxes.” Personally, Taft felt that the Lochner decision was incorrect, but he was frightened by Roosevelt’s proposal to deprive the federal judiciary of its legal power.

While William Howard Taft supported the Conservative platform, Roosevelt persisted in advancing liberal values, a Modern Nationalism. Taft endorsed liberals and a progressive convention in supporting Wisconsin Congressman La Follette’s bid for president. Roosevelt started to prepare himself for a presidential candidacy in 1911, saying that the custom of not running for reelection after two successive terms only belonged to presidents.

William Howard Taft had been hesitant to run against President Theodore Roosevelt again for the Republican candidate in 1912 because he thought doing so would cause the party to reject him. With a majority for liberal programs that’d tolerate no resistance, Teddy Roosevelt thought he would easily win the election. Taft believed that losing the candidacy would be a repudiation of himself. Hence he was unable to step aside and let Roosevelt compete.

Elections and Convention

Roosevelt’s liberalism grew more extreme, and Taft was ever more desperate to win Roosevelt’s re-nomination. In Taft’s opinion, Roosevelt’s actions undermined the federal government’s fundamental basis. The death of Archibald Butt, a crucial final connection, is connecting FDR with Taft, as the Titanic catastrophe dealt a setback to Taft’s initiatives.

Roosevelt’s objections to the candidate chosen for the National Convention in 1924 were ignored by the National Republican Convention (RNC). Taft was successful in gaining the nomination of the Republican Party for president by obtaining the number of seats selected at local or state conventions. FDR declared, “We sat at Armageddon, yet we battled for the Lord.”

According to the Roosevelt supporters, Taft was not to be chosen as their nominee, who attempted to block his candidacy. Even though the majority of the Roosevelt representatives chose not to cast a ballot, Taft was elected on the first try. To avoid an election disaster, several Republicans looked for a moderate republican; they were unsuccessful.

Campaign Failure

William Howard Taft rejected what he dubbed Roosevelt’s “liberal-conservative.” He also claimed that his democratization amounted to “the foundation of a beneficent tyranny.” Democrats chose Woodrow Wilson as their candidate.

William Howard Taft only ever made a public address when he accepted his candidacy on August 1, returning to the pre-1888 tradition that governors running for reelection chose not to run. Six days after the campaign, Vice President Sherman passed away. Nicholas Murray Butler, the head of Columbia College, took his position on the ticket. Wilson earned 435 ballots, whereas Taft received slightly below 3.5 million people voting, 600,000 fewer than his Democratic opponent.

Back to Yale (1913-1921)

William Howard Taft pondered going back to law school after quitting the presidency. A job offer to become Kent Law professor and Judicial Background at Yale University spared him from all this. He planned eight presentations on the “Questionnaire of Contemporary Government” rather than teaching an academic track because it was too far in the term for someone like him to do so, which he had done since May 1913. He published the dissertation Our Prime Judge and His Authorities as a student at Yale (1916).

William Howard Taft pushed for the western stone to be used in the Lincoln Cemetery instead of the eastern stone that the Democrats wanted. Although the previous president privately challenged Woodrow Wilson, his replacement, on a variety of subjects, he only openly declared his opinions on Philippine strategy. Roosevelt and Taft were still enraged and only saw each other once during the initial three years of Wilson’s administration.

Both parties were enraged by William Howard Taft’s back-and-forth on if modifications to the Treaty Of Versailles had been required, which led some Democrats to label him a sellout. A tiny number of parliamentarians who vehemently condemned the League of Nations rejected him; he was indeed the head of the playful side of his organization. Later, Taft stated, “Had he died with malice against me, I would have lamented the fact throughout my life.”

William Howard Taft’s Death and Declining Health

William Howard Taft was approximately 5 ft 11 inches (1.80 m) in height and weighed 335 pounds (152 kg) at the time of his death. He utilized a unique bridge to span Rock Creek as he daily strolled three miles (4.8 km) between his house and the Capitol. Taft sought a British physician to assist him in losing weight and pursued a weight-loss regimen.

During his nearly ten years as presiding judge, his health rapidly deteriorated, and he frequently misquoted passages from the constitutional pledge. Taft was worried that Herbert Hoover, the president who he viewed as being too liberal, would pick his successor when he resigned.

William Howard Taft Grave
William Howard Taft Grave Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, United States

At the age of 72, William Howard Taft passed away at his residence in Washington, D.C., around March 8, 1930, most likely from heart illness, liver infection, and elevated blood pressure.

In order to relax, Taft traveled to Asheville, N.C. However, by the close of January, he was unable to talk and was experiencing delusions. By February 3, 1930, he handed in his notice as presiding judge.

People Also Ask?

Was President William Howard Taft a strong leader?

William Taft was indeed an inconsistent leader and an unproductive president, particularly in light of the successive regimes of Theodore Roosevelt and also Woodrow Wilson.

What legacy does William Howard Taft have?

The only individual to hold each of these positions was William Howard Taft, who was voted the 27th American president (1909–1913) and then the tenth Supreme Supreme court of America (1921–1930).

What do you think William Howard Taft’s most tremendous success was?

In addition to founding the Interstate Commerce Act, he approved the first tax reform since 1897, instituted a postal savings program, and brought over 75 infringement cases to court—far beyond what Theodore Roosevelt, known as the “trust-buster,” did.

What accomplished William Howard Taft when he was there?

During the Spanish American revolution (1898), Taft was given the task of setting up a civil administration in the islands, and he quickly showed his strong leadership and administrative skills. He was appointed the first democratic administrator of the Philippines around 1901 and focused on the islands’ productivity expansion in that capacity.

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