William Howard Taft was the twenty-seventh president of the United States from 1909 to 1913. He later served as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the only person to have held the country’s two highest offices.
William Howard Taft was born on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio into a wealthy family. Both his father and grandfather had served terms as judges, and young Taft aspired to a judicial career.
In 1878 Taft graduated from Yale University and in 1880 from Cincinnati Law School.
Between 1880 and 1890 he served successively as assistant prosecuting attorney for Hamilton County, Ohio, collector of internal revenue for Cincinnati, and judge of the Superior Court of Ohio.
In 1886 he married Helen Herron and they had three children.
In 1887 Taft became a judge of the superior court of Ohio. In 1892 he was named a judge of a U.S. circuit court.
In 1900 President William McKinley asked Taft to organize a government for the Philippines and next year Taft became governor of the Philippines. There he established an educational system, built roads and harbors.