Biography of Taft, William Howard - Archontology
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Taft, William Howard

William Howard Taft

b. 15 Sep 1857, Cincinnati, Ohio
d. 8 Mar 1930, Washington, D.C.

Title: President of the United States
Term: 4 Mar 1909 - 4 Mar 1913
Chronology: 10 Feb 1909, election to the office of President of the United States is declared upon counting electoral votes (cast 11 Jan 1909), joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, House Chamber, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. [1]
4 Mar 1909, commencement of term
4 Mar 1909, took an oath of office as President of the United States, inaugural ceremony as part of the special session of the Senate, Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. [2]
4 Mar 1913, expiration of term
Son of a prominent Republican, Alphonso Taft, who briefly served as Secretary of War (8 Mar 1876 - 22 May 1876) under President Ulysses S. Grant and later as American minister Austria-Hungary (1882-1884) and to Russia (1884-1885); educated in the Woodward High School, Cincinnati; received a baccalaureate degree from Yale University (1878) and earned a law degree from the Cincinnati College Law School (1880); admitted to the bar in Ohio (1880); assistant prosecutor, Hamilton County, Ohio (1881); Collector Internal Revenue for 1st District of Ohio (1882-1883); assistant county solicitor, Hamilton County (1885); judge, Ohio Superior Court (1887-1890); US Solicitor General in the Benjamin Harrison administration (1890); US Federal Circuit Court Judge (1892-1900); dean, Cincinnati Law School and professor of law and real property (1896-1900); chairman, then president, Philippines Commission (1900-1901); Governor of the Philippines (4 Jul 1901 - 1 Feb 1904); appointed Secretary of War (1 Feb 1904 - 30 Jun 1908) in the Cabinet of Theodore Roosevelt, who engineered his nomination for president in 1908; served as Provisional Governor of Cuba (29 Sep 1906 - 13 Oct 1906); elected President of the United States on the Republican ticket in 1908; backed highly protectionist Payne-Aldrich Tariff, 1909; prosecuted trusts under the Sherman Antitrust Act; strengthened the Interstate Commerce Commission by the Mann-Elkins Act (1910); exercised "dollar diplomacy" with Latin American countries; inaugurated postal savings bank (1910) and the parcel-post system (1912); created Department of Labor (1911); unsuccessful candidate for election in 1912; professor of law, Yale (1913-1921); Chief Justice, US Supreme Court (11 Jul 1921 - 3 Feb 1930).
Biographical sources: "The Life and Times of William Howard Taft: A Biography", by Henry F. Pringle (New York and Toronto: Farrar & Rinehart Inc., 1939), 2 vol.

Candidate Electoral vote (11 Jan 1909)
William Howard Taft 321
William Jennings Bryan 162
total number of electors appointed 483
number of votes for a majority 242
Source of electoral results: Congressional Record, 60th Congress, 2nd Session, 2149.

[1] Congressional Record, 60th Congress, 2nd Session, 2148-2149.
[2] Congressional Record, 61st Congress, Special Session of the Senate, 1-6.
Image: photograph (1908).