William Howard Taft: Big as an Infant

wagon accident
At age 9, he suffered a slight skull fracture and a bad cut on the head when the horses drawing the family carriage ran off. 1a For the rest of his life he carried "a deep depression" in his skull 2a. There was speculation this injury damaged Taft's pituitary gland and caused his obesity 3a, but this is unlikely because: (1) Taft was big from birth 1b SEE BELOW and (2) throughout his life, Taft's weight generally paralleled his unhappiness 1c 4a 5a.
When Taft was 7 weeks old, his mother wrote 1b:
He is very large of his age and grows fat every day.... He has such a large waist, that he cannot wear any of the dresses that are made with belts.
Cited Sources
  1. Pringle, Henry F. The Life and Times of William Howard Taft: A Biography. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1939.
    a  p.24  b  p.3  c  p.1072
  2. Taft, Horace Dutton. Memories and Opinions. New York: Macmillan, 1947.
    a  p.7
  3. Coletta, Paolo E. The Presidency of William Howard Taft. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1973.
    a  p.9
  4. Anderson, Judith Icke. William Howard Taft: An Intimate History. New York: W. W. Norton, 1981.
    a  p.???
  5. Bumgarner, John R. The Health of the Presidents: The 41 United States Presidents Through 1993 from a Physician's Point of View. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Company, 1994.
    a  p.172

    Comment: Devotes one chapter to each President, through Clinton. Written for the layperson, well-referenced, with areas of speculation clearly identified, Dr. Zebra depends heavily on this book. Dr. Bumgarner survived the Bataan Death March and has written an unforgettable book casting a physician's eye on that experience.

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