On this day in history, William Howard Taft became the only person to serve as both U.S. President and Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Taft was the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913). Before becoming President, Taft served on the Superior Court of Cincinnati, as Solicitor General of the United States, and as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He also was appointed as Governor-General of the Philippines by President William McKinley and as Secretary of War by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Riding a wave of popular support for fellow Republican Roosevelt, Taft won his 1908 bid for the presidency but was defeated after one term.
After leaving office, Taft spent his time in academia, arbitration, and the pursuit of world peace through his self-founded League to Enforce Peace. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Taft Chief Justice of the United States. Taft served in this capacity until shortly before his death in 1930.