The Papers of Robert A. Taft: 1939-1944 - Vol. 2

The Papers of Robert A. Taft: 1939-1944 - Vol. 2

The Papers of Robert A. Taft: 1939-1944 - Vol. 2

The Papers of Robert A. Taft: 1939-1944 - Vol. 2


This volume documents Robert Taft's first term in the United States Senate and marks his entrance onto the national political and policymaking stage.


This is the second of four volumes of a selected edition of the papers of Robert A. Taft (1889–1953). It documents the World War II years (1939–44) of a man whose life and public career began in the state of Ohio.

Robert Alphonso Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 8, 1889. He was the son of Judge William Howard Taft and Helen Herron Taft, the daughter of Cincinnati lawyer and politician John W. Herron Sr. Robert finished his primary education in Cincinnati and the Philippine Islands, where his father served as civil governor from 1900 to 1903. He then prepared for college at the Taft School, a private school founded and operated by his uncle, Horace D. Taft, in Watertown, Connecticut. After preparatory school in 1906, Robert studied at Yale (class of 1910) and at Harvard Law School (class of 1913). The competitive, industrious, introverted young man led his class at both college and law school, editing the Harvard Law Review his third year.

Turning down an invitation to clerk for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Taft returned to Cincinnati in the autumn of 1913 to begin his legal career at the firm of Maxwell and Ramsey. Taft spent over three years at the firm, with little contact with senior partner, Lawrence Maxwell, with little challenge in his work, and, not surprisingly, with very little salary.

The major event shaping this early phase of Taft’s career was his marriage to Martha Wheaton Bowers, daughter of Taft administration solicitor general Lloyd Bowers, in Washington, D.C., on October 17, 1914. Energetic, intelligent, outgoing, Martha was a wife whose positive effect on Taft’s career underscores . . .

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