Born September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
House he grew up in is the William Howard Taft National Historic Site. House restored and includes family items.
27th President. One term, 1909-1913. Roosevelt before him, Wilson after.
The only president to later serve as chief justice of the United States.
Scholar survey aggregate ranks as 22nd Best President.
Graduated from Yale, second in his class out of 121.
Served as Secretary of War under Roosevelt, 1904-1908.
Passed away at his home in Washington (Kalorama neighborhood) from heart failure on March 8, 1930.
First Lady Nellie buried beside him, the first First Lady buried at Arlington (only other is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis). Mrs. Taft helped start West Potomac Park and Cherry Trees program at the Tidal Basin.
Trust buster, pursued “Dollar Diplomacy.”
Post-Presidency, presided over the first convention for League to Enforce Peace.
Biographer Gould describes him as “a hard-working but flawed executive who lacked the excitement of Theodore Roosevelt or the inspiration of Woodrow Wilson.”
Feuded with Roosevelt during 1912 campaign, part of the National Progressive Party’s split with the Republican Party. Reconciled at some later point.
Tossed out first “First Pitch” by a U.S. President in 1910 at League Park in Washington.
The legend that Taft started the 7th inning stretch is not true. Historians discovered a letter written by Harry Wright in 1869 where he observes,
"The spectators all arise between halves of the seventh inning, extend their legs and arms and sometimes walk about. In so doing they enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon hard benches."
Attended fourteen games (Baseball-Almanac has the listing).
Only President to see games in each league on the same day.
Professor Ross E. Davies (George Mason Univeristy) observed:
There is little evidence that Taft’s interest in baseball was anything but friendly, polite and dutiful. (Baseball Research Journal, Fall 2009)
Obits at Arlington Cemetery web site.
Theodore Roosevelt Center (postcard – The Great American Traveler).
The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (Third Edition), by Paul Dickson