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William Howard Taft

Early Life and Family

What did his father do for a living?

Alphonso Taft had a distinguished legal and political career. A Yale graduate, Taft studied law and became a successful lawyer and jurist. He served several terms as a Superior Court judge in Cincinnati. He accepted an appointment from President Ulysses S. Grant to be his secretary of war in 1876 for a few months, and then his U.S. attorney general for two years, 1876 to 1878. President Chester A. Arthur appointed him minister to Austria-Hungary in 1882 and minister to Russia in 1884.



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