Sept. 15, 1857 - March 8, 1930 State: Ohio Religion: Unitarian Marriage: Helen Nellie Herron Military service: None Party: Republican Term: March 4, 1909 - March 3, 1913 Vice president: James Schoolcraft Sherman, 1909-1912; vacant 1912-1913 Highlights of presidency: Taft raised tariffs on imports, going back on a campaign promise. He sent Marines to Nicaragua to quell a rebellion against a government friendly to American business interests. The U.S. troops stayed for 21 years. Taft took a tough stance in enforcing antitrust laws and was instrumental in dismantling Standard Oil Co. and American Tobacco Co. in 1911. Did you know? Taft was the last president to wear facial hair or keep a cow, for milk, on the White House lawn. He was the first president to take up golf. He was also the heaviest president, weighing as much as 332 pounds while in office. In 1910, Taft became the first president to throw out the first pitch at a baseball season opener. He was commissioner of the Philippines, 1900-1901; its governor-general, 1901-1904; and secretary of war, 1904-1908. His wife was the first spouse to ride next to her husband down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day. It was in an open carriage. His wife arranged for the planting of 3,000 Japanese cherry trees along the Tidal Basin. Taft was the only president to become chief justice of the Supreme Court following his presidency. He is one of only two presidents to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery; the other was John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times