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Taft, William H. (1857–1930)

WILLIAM H. TAFT is the only person to have headed two branches of the U.S. government, as president from 1909 to 1913 and as chief justice from 1921 to 1930. Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second of five children born to Alphonso Taft and Louise Maria (Torrey) Taft. (Alphonso Taft had five children from his first marriage as well.) Alphonso Taft was a lawyer who had served as secretary of war under President U.S. Grant and as attorney general under Grant and President Rutherford B. Hayes. His father had been a judge in Vermont. Taft, who was known as Will, graduated as salutatorian from Yale University in 1878 and the Cincinnati Law School in 1880 and became a lawyer. He served as a ...

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