The Personality Of William Howard Taft

Stood 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a weight that soared up to 332 pounds, and even dubbed as the ‘Big Lub’ in school, William Howard Taft was undoubtedly on the heavy set. However, he proved that his heart and passion for justice was as big his built. Read below and find out how he was a person and his character both as a President and the Chief Justice.


William Howard Taft was often regarded as one of the most humane President who held the position. He had a winning personality, yet he never in a boastful way. In fact, William was extremely harmonious. Though he only had few intimates among them, he was always fond of them, having built a close association with them.

William always enjoyed having company. He and his wife, Helen Herron Taft, delighted having guests and entertained them heartwarmingly. Under his term, there was a ‘good’ change at the State receptions. The common practice forced visitors to form in lines, hasten through the reception, and leave the area. William didn’t find it adoring as he deemed that the people at the reception were his own guests. With that, he instructed to have dinner served and followed by dancing activities.

He’s endearing personality was loved by all, even those who are against him politically were enticed by his lovely chuckle — a good-natured individual, which everyone liked to have as their enjoyable companion.

On The Heavy Side

William Howard Taft stood 6’2, had blue eyes, chestnut hair, a handlebar mustache. Despite his bulkiness, he had a rather pitchy, soft voice. He was the heaviest president. With that, he experienced various struggles in his adulthood. When he graduated from college, he was at roughly 243 pounds and even increasing to 326 pounds in 1904. William lost 75 pounds after going on a diet for two years.

However, his appetite was relentless, and as a president, his weight ballooned up to 332 pounds. His housekeeper said William loved to eat twelve-ounce of steak nearly every breakfast. Moreover, the housekeeper said that William was fond of eating any sort of food, lots of it, except for eggs.

With his innate inclination to food, William became very bulky. One famous story is that he got stuck in a bathtub in the White House. It was said that he had to ordered to get an oversized model for his benefit.

After leaving the White House, he began to be mindful of his calories again. In 1929, he was back at 244 pounds, close to his weight when he was still in college. He was relatively in good health though his big appetite put a strain on his heart.

Sheer Hard Work For Reform

William’s tenure has brimmed with hard work and cracks for reform in the judicial department. No wonder, he was a humanitarian and philanthropist who values the welfare of others. With that, William was deeply concerned about the inefficiency and the delay with the system in the federal court. His first endeavor was to ensure the passage of the 1922 Judges Act. It was the first significant reform made on the federal judiciary system after more than 130 years. It empowered Chief Justices to have more power and authority over federal courts to halt any delay and smoothen the operations.

The ‘Unwilling’ President

William was a gentle, kind man and embodied all other qualities fit to make him the President and lead the country. However, he did not actually wish to become a President. Serving as a jurist and lawyer for a long, William’s only dream was to become part of the Supreme Court. It then came true when the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, after William had already served one term as the president.

William was not fond of the limelight and was very uncomfortable in giving speeches. Moreover, he was not confident of his innate abilities. Politics was actually his wife’s dream and not is own. He thrust into the Presidency with reluctance, having only accepted the Republican nomination due to his wife and Theodore Roosevelt’s recognition.

With that, Taft became an uneasy politician. He was trust-busting on his initial months and started almost 80 anti-trust cases against big industrial combinations. But, sooner lay low with these attempts and leaned towards the more conservative approach of the Republican Party.

The ‘Beloved’ President

True enough, William became a better judge than as part of the executive system. His judicial prowess was plausibly left a more significant mark in American history, with some the reforms he made are still valuable today. Nevertheless, his compassion and simplicity, cordial face, philanthropy, made him extremely amiable. He renowned as the beloved president in a more straightforward and personal way.