|Cause of Death||Age||Burial Location||President Grave #|
|Heart disease||72||Arlington, Virginia||7th in my collection|
* In 1904, Taft took his first big step toward the presidency by becoming the secretary of war. He handled many important foreign affairs, and additionally found himself as the first provisional governor of Cuba. The man who was called Roosevelt's protege remained in the cabinet for four years, leaving on June 30, 1908. That was an important time in the United States because it was an election year. Roosevelt, the incumbent president, decided not to run for re-election, and instead endorsed Taft, who wanted nothing to do with the post. He desired to be the chief justice on the Supreme Court, and nothing else. With pressures from his ambitious wife and friend Roosevelt, Taft reluctantly decided to run for president. He defeated Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan by over 150 electoral votes, and was inaugurated in March of 1909.
* One of Taft's most famous policies was called the Dollar Diplomacy. Basically, the idea of the policy was for the United States to focus on promoting itself through financial means, not by using its military. The Dollar Diplomacy was successful, but not completely. At one point, Taft was actually forced to go against his policy and use military force in Nicaragua. He dispatched a group of marines there in order to put an end to an uprising in 1912. Taft caught some flack for not following his policy and using the military to solve his problems. He was also criticized for playing golf with major businessmen, as people believed that he shouldn't spend his time with people thought to be money grubbing thieves. But what President Taft was most criticized for was that he was not acting like his friend, Theodore Roosevelt.
* Eventually, the friendship between Taft and his mentor began to sour. Though Roosevelt and Taft were both Republicans, they found themselves siding with opposite factions within the GOP. Roosevelt was a member of the progressive side, which supported labor unions and highly opposed tariffs on imported goods. Taft's conservatives disagreed with basically all of the progressive faction's stances, and this created a major rift within the Republican Party. In 1912, former President Roosevelt chose to run for the presidency once again and retake the White House from William Howard Taft. The incumbent president won the Republican nomination, but Roosevelt was not out of the race yet. He became the candidate for the newly established Progressive Party, nicknamed "The Bull Moose Party". This did him no good, however. With the Republican Party split in two, it was no problem for Democrat Woodrow Wilson to swoop in and win the election.
* Taft finally got what was coming to him in 1921. That year, President Warren Harding appointed his predecessor to the Supreme Court. Not only that, but he became the head of the court, made possible by the death of Chief Justice Edward Douglass White. As this was what Taft had wanted for his entire life, he was thrilled beyond description. Chief Justice Taft was a big influence on the judicial branch. He advocated strongly for the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1925, which greatly diminished the amount of cases heard by the Supreme Court. Once the bill was passed, the Court was able to use discretion and only decide the verdict in cases deemed important enough for them to hear. After nine successful years, the only man to serve as both president and chief justice retired due to health problems.
First Lady: Helen Louise Herron Taft
- Spouse: Helen Louise Herron Taft (1861-1943)
Political Party: Republican Party
Vice President: James Schoolcraft Sherman (1909-1912)
Last Words: "Good morning."