William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was an American politician, the 27th President of the United States, serving from 1909 to 1913. He was also the 10th Chief Justice of the United States (1921-1930), 42nd Secretary of War (1904-1908) and scion of a leading political family, the Tafts, of Ohio, which included his son Senator Robert Taft.
During the 1912 election, the Republican party split between Taft and the Progressives lead by former president Theodore Roosevelt. As a result of the split in the Republican vote, Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson won the electoral vote in a landslide while Roosevelt carried second. Taft on the other, came in third and only carried eight electoral votes from Utah and Vermont. His defeat in the electoral vote makes him and 1936 Republican candidate Alf Landon (both won eight electoral votes) the weakest preforming Republican presidential candidates in US history.
William Howard Taft was an avid golfer. He was overweight for much of his adult life. In fact, weighing in at around 340 pounds, Taft was the heaviest president in US history.
William Howard Taft in Southern Victory
William Howard Taft was a Democratic Congressman representing the state of Ohio in the United States House of Representatives. In the 1910s, he was Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, the first committee assignment of freshman Socialist Congresswoman Flora Hamburger. He found Hamburger exasperating, particularly for her opposition to the Great War, and the two quarreled from time to time. He continued to do so after the Socialists won control of Congress in 1918 and he was stripped of his chairmanship. In 1919, he opposed a resolution that she called for condemning the Freedom Party's violence against blacks in the Confederate States.
Taft's son Robert followed in his political footsteps.
- References to Historical Figures in Turtledove's Work#William Howard Taft, for more minor references to Taft.
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