Why Is William H. Taft Famous?


Quick Answer

William Howard Taft is famous for being the 27th United States president, serving one term from 1909 to 1913. Taft later served as the 10th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and remains the only president to have served in both capacities, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

Taft largely made it to become president by being appointed to various prestigious administrative posts. He was sent by President William McKinley as a chief civil administrator to the Philippines in 1900 where he oversaw economic and infrastructure improvements. Later, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Taft Secretary of War and decided that he should succeed him in the office of president. In 1908, Taft was nominated by the Republican Convention to run on the Republican ticket.

During Taft's administration, a postal savings system was created, 80 antitrust suits were initiated and the federal income tax was amended. Direct election of state senators was also established. Although renominated by the Republicans in 1912, Taft lost to Woodrow Wilson.

Taft went on to serve as a Yale law professor following his presidency until President Warren G. Harding made him chief justice. He remained in the position until 1930, when he died. Taft considered his appointment as a chief justice a greater honor than being president.

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