William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States. He was the only President who also served as a Supreme Court justice. He was six feet tall and weighed over 350 pounds at the end of his Presidency.
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 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 the civil service, improved 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.
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 former 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 and his weight was between 335 and 350 pounds toward the end of his presidency. He is thought to have had difficulty getting out of the White House bathtub, so he had a 7-foot (2.1 m) long, 41-inch (1.04 m) wide tub installed. This tub could accommodate four normal-sized people. It was replaced in 1952 with a modern tub of similar size.
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- William Howard Taft, President and Chief Justice
- Carnes, MC. William Howard Taft. McPherson, JM eds. To the best of my ability: the American Presidents 2000, 188–194 Dorling Kindersley. New York, NY:
- Sotos, John G. (September 2003). "Taft and Pickwick". Chest 124 (3): 1133–1142. doi:10.1378/chest.124.3.1133.
- The White House Museum: Master Bathroom
- Arlington Cemetery
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