William Howard Taft was always a welcome addition to any social gathering. Because of his jovial personality, people liked him. Despite being overweight, Taft remained an agile dancer throughout his life.
Unlike his friend Theodore Roosevelt, Taft had no ambition to become president of the United States. All he wanted was to be a judge. During Roosevelt’s administration, he even had the opportunity to become a Supreme Court Justice.
His wife Nellie Taft, however, wanted to be First Lady. She urged Taft to take various political positions, such as governor of the Philippines. Taft had a bad habit of letting others make decisions for him. As a result, he became a reluctant politician. He tended to procrastinate and wrote his public speeches at the last minute.
When he became president in 1909, Taft noted, “If I were now presiding in the Supreme Court of the United States as Chief Justice, I should feel entirely at home.” As the new president, however, Taft felt “just a bit like a fish out of water.”
After spending a miserable term as President, Taft finally got a job he loved. He became the only former president to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.