Description William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857-March 8, 1930) was the 27th President of the United States (1909-1913) and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921-1930). He is the only person to have served in both of these offices. Before becoming President, Taft, a Republican, was appointed to serve on the Superior Court of Cincinnati in 1887. In 1890, Taft was appointed Solicitor General of the United States and in 1891 a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In 1900, President William McKinley appointed Taft Governor-General of the Philippines. In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Taft Secretary of War in an effort to groom Taft, then his close political ally, into his handpicked presidential successor. Taft assumed a prominent role in problem solving, assuming on some occasions the role of acting Secretary of State, while declining repeated offers from Roosevelt to serve on the Supreme Court.