Robert A. Taft

Taft in 1939, Harris-Ewing collection, U.S. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division

Birth Name: Robert Alphonso Taft

Date of Birth: September 8, 1889

Place of Birth: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.

Date of Death: July 31, 1953

Place of Death: New York City, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, small amount of Scots-Irish/Northern Irish

Robert A. Taft was an American politician and statesman. A Republican, he was a U.S. Senator from Ohio, from January 3, 1939 to July 31, 1953, Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman, from January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1953, and Senate Majority Leader, from January 3, 1953 to July 31, 1953.

He was a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1940, 1948, and 1952.

Robert was the son of Helen Herron Taft (born Helen Louise Herron) and William Howard Taft, who was President of the United States, from March 4, 1909 to March 4, 1913, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, from 1921 to 1930. His siblings were Helen Taft Manning, a history professor and college dean, and Charles Phelps Taft II, a politician, who was Mayor of Cincinnati, from 1955 to 1957. Robert was married to Martha Wheaton Bowers, with whom he had four children.

Robert’s paternal grandfather was Alphonso Taft (the son of Peter Rawson Taft and Sylvia Howard). Alphonso was born in Townshend, Windham, Vermont, and was a jurist and diplomat, who was the 34th U.S. Attorney General, from 1876 to 1877, and the 31st U.S. Secretary of War, in 1876. Peter was the son of Aaron Taft and Rhoda Rawson. Sylvia was the daughter of Levi Hayward/Howard and Bethia/Berthiah Chapin.

Robert’s paternal grandmother was Louisa/Louise Maria Torrey (the daughter of Samuel Davenport Torrey and Susan Holman Waters). Louisa was born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Samuel was the son of William Torrey and Anna Davenport. Susan was the daughter of Asa H. Waters, Jr. and Susan Trask Holman.

Robert’s maternal grandfather was named John Williamson Herron (the son of Francis Herron and Jane W.). John was born in Pennsylvania. Francis was the son of William Herron and Nancy Reynolds.

Robert’s maternal grandmother was Harriet Anne Collins (the daughter of Ela Collins and Maria Clinton). Harriet was born in New York. Ela was a prominent lawyer and politician in New York, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, from March 4, 1823 to March 3, 1825; he was the son of Oliver Collins, a general, and of Lois Cowles/Cole. Maria was the daughter of The Rev. Isaac Clinton and Charity Welles.

Robert’s grandmother Harriet was a sister of William Collins, who was also a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, from March 4, 1847 to March 4, 1849; and of Isaac Clinton Collins, a judge and politician.

Sources: Genealogies of Robert A. Taft –

Genealogy of Robert’s father –

Genealogy of Robert’s mother –

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