TAFT, Robert Alphonso (1889-1953)
Senate Years of Service: 1939-1953

TAFT, ROBERT ALPHONSO, (son of President William H. Taft, nephew of Charles Phelps Taft, father of Robert Taft, Jr.), a Senator from Ohio; born in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 8, 1889; attended the public schools of Cincinnati, Ohio, and of Manila, Philippine Islands, and Taft School, Watertown, Conn.; graduated from Yale University in 1910 and from Harvard University Law School in 1913; admitted to the Ohio bar in 1913 and commenced practice in Cincinnati, Ohio; director in a number of business enterprises in Cincinnati; assistant counsel, United States Food Administration 1917-1918; counsel, American Relief Administration 1919; member, Ohio house of representatives 1921-1926, serving as speaker and majority leader 1926; member, Ohio Senate 1931-1932; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1938; reelected in 1944 and again in 1950 and served from January 3, 1939, until his death; majority leader 1953; co-chairman, Joint Committee on the Economic Report (Eightieth Congress), chairman, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (Eightieth Congress), Republican Policy Committee (Eightieth through Eighty-second Congresses); sponsored the Taft-Hartley Act, designed to create equity in collective bargaining between labor and management; unsuccessful candidate in 1940, 1948, and 1952 for the Republican presidential nomination; died in New York City, July 31, 1953; lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, August 2-3, 1953; interment in Indian Hill Episcopal Church Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cincinnati Historical Society
Cincinnati, OH
Papers: Miscellaneous papers in various collections.

Columbia University
Oral History Project
New York, NY
Oral History: Interviews (1967-1970) with over thirty former associates, family members, and friends. 1,471 pages. Permission required to cite, quote, or reproduce.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: Correspondence in George L. Harrison papers, ca. 1926-1940.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in Karl Douglas Butler papers, 1931-1984; and Frank Ernest Gannett papers, [ca. 1859]-1958.

Eastern Kentucky University
Special Collections and Archives
Richmond, KY
Papers: Correspondence in William Luxon papers, 1817-1978.

Hagley Museum and Library
Greenville, DE
Papers: In J. Howard Pew papers, 1902-1971.

Herbert Hoover Library
West Branch, IA
Papers: 1920-1962. 1 folder (1920); 1 folder (1922-1928); and 1 folder (1958-1962).

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1898-1953. 1,507 containers. Family and general correspondence, political and legislative files, subject files, business and financial papers, speeches, articles, writings, photographs, and other material relating chiefly to his Senate career and his role as a national leader in the Republican party. Includes material relating to public policy and legislative issues, especially in the areas of the economy, labor, defense, foreign policy, taxation, and veterans' affairs; his Cincinnati law practice; Ohio politics; and political campaigns. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Charles Phelps Taft papers; William H. Taft papers; Helen Taft Manning papers; Harold Hitz Burton papers, 1896-1964; and Henry Fowles Pringle papers, 1932-1957.

Milwaukee County Historical Society
Milwaukee, WI
Papers: Records of Taft presidential campaign in 4th Ward Republican Club records, 1951-1968.

Radcliffe College
Schlesinger Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: In Freida Hennock Simons papers, 1922-1960; Edith Nourse Rogers papers, 1854-1961 (bulk 1881-1961); and Mildred Buchanan Flagg papers, 1876-1955 (bulk 1900-1955).

Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, OH
Papers: Miscellaneous items in various collections including documentation of efforts to nominate Taft at the 1948 Republican convention in Clarence James Brown papers, 1891-1965.

South Carolina Historical Society
Charleston, SC
Papers: Correspondence in St. George's Society records, 1842-1929.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division
Madison, WI
Papers: Correspondence in William J. Grede papers, 1909-1979, permission required until 1999; Thomas E. Coleman papers, 1914-1964; Roger Faherty papers, 1940-1965; John W. Hill papers, 1931-1977; Cyrus Philipp papers, 1921-1954, on 9 microfilm reels; and interview notes in Hilmar Robert Baukhage papers, 1906-1962.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Ottenheimer Library Archives and Special Collections
Little Rock, AR
Papers: 1916-1971. Correspondence.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence and references in Louis Carlisle Walker papers, 1881-1963; Thomas Marshall Spaulding papers, 1901-1959; John Butler Martin papers, 1948-1965; Edward Gearing Kemp papers, 1920-1962; Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg papers, 1884-1974; Stella Brunt Osborn papers, 1916-1983; Blair Moody papers, 1928-1954; Lloyd Cassel Douglas papers, 1900-1954; Arthur S. Aiton papers, 1922-1959; Edward N. Hartwick papers, 1898-1978; Owen Cleary papers, 1944-1959; and Wilbur M. Brucker papers, 1877-1968. Finding aid.

University of New Hampshire
Dimond Library
Durham, NH
Papers: Correspondence in J. Duane Squires papers, 1950-1965.

University of Oregon
Knight Library
Eugene, OR
Papers: Correspondence in Wayne L. Morse papers, 1919-1969. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence in Hugh Scott papers, 1925-1983; and Frederick William McWane papers, 1912-1961. Finding aid.

Western Reserve Historical Society
Cleveland, OH
Papers: Campaign materials in Paul W. Walter papers, 1932-1954. Finding aid.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: Correspondence and references in Harold Phelps Stokes papers, 1908-1969; Harry Weinberger papers, 1915-1942; Anson Phelps Stokes family papers, 1761-1960; Albert Galloway Keller papers, 1888-1956; Edwin Montefiore Borchard papers, 1910-1950; Charles Dewey Hilles papers, 1885-1955; Palestine Statehood committee records, 1933-1972; Charles Parsons papers, 1880-1965; George Howard Edward Smith papers, 1917-1962; and Yale in World War II collection, 1939-1946.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Harvard Business School, Baker Library, Boston, MA; Harvard University Law School Library, Cambridge, MA; Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, IN; Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN; Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art, Washington, DC; Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA; and Syracuse University, George Arents Research Library, Syracuse, NY.

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  • Armstrong, John P. "The Enigma of Senator Taft and Foreign Policy.'' Review of Politics 17 (April 1955): 206-31.
  • ___. "Senator Taft and American Foreign Policy: The Period of Opposition.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1954.
  • Berger, Henry W. "Bipartisanship, Senator Taft, and the Truman Administration.'' Political Science Quarterly 90 (Summer 1975): 221-37.
  • ___. "A Conservative Critique of Containment: Senator Taft on the Early Cold War Program.'' In Containment and Revolution, edited by David Horowitz, pp. 125-39. Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.
  • ___. "Senator Robert A. Taft Dissents from Military Escalation.'' In Cold War Critics: Alternatives to American Foreign Policy in the Truman Years, edited by Thomas G. Paterson, pp. 167-204. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1971.
  • Bowen, Michael. "Addition through Division: Robert Taft, the Labor Vote, and the Ohio Senate Election of 1950." Ohio Valley History 5 (Fall 2005): 3-20.
  • ___. The Roots of Modern Conservatism: Dewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
  • Brown, Charles C. "Robert A. Taft, Champion of Public Housing and National Aid to Schools.'' Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin 26 (July 1968): 224-53.
  • Burd, Frank Albert. "Robert A. Taft and the American Understanding of Politics.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1969.
  • Davies, Richard O. " `Mr. Republican' Turns `Socialist': Robert A. Taft and Public Housing.'' Ohio History 73 (Summer 1964): 135-43.
  • De John, Samuel, Jr. "Robert A. Taft, Economic Conservatism, and Opposition to United States Foreign Policy, 1944-1951.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California, 1976.
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. A Man of Courage: Robert A. Taft. Chicago: Wilcox Follett, 1952.
  • Isaacson, Pauline Helen. "Robert Alphonso Taft: An Assessment of a Persuader.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1957.
  • Kennedy, Brian. "The Surprising Zionist: Senator Robert A. Taft and the Creation of Israel." Historian 73:4 (Winter 2011): 747-767.
  • Kennedy, John F. "Robert A. Taft.'' In Profiles in Courage, pp. 211-24. 1956. Reprint. New York: Harper Brothers, 1961.
  • Kirk, Russell, and James McClellan. The Political Principles of Robert A. Taft. New York: Fleet Press Corp., 1967.
  • Lehman, Ronald Frank, II. "Vandenberg, Taft, and Truman: Principle and Politics in the Announcement of the Truman Doctrine.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Claremont Graduate School, 1975.
  • Matthews, Geoffrey. "Robert A. Taft, The Constitution and American Foreign Policy, 1939-1953.'' Journal of Contemporary History 17 (1982): 507-22.
  • McManus, Thomas Reed. "A Study of Robert A. Taft's Speeches on Social Welfare Issues.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1960.
  • Merry, Robert W. "Robert A. Taft: A Study in the Accumulation of Legislative Power.'' In First Among Equals: Outstanding Senate Leaders of the Twentieth Century, edited by Richard A. Baker and Roger H. Davidson, pp. 163-98. Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1991.
  • Patterson, James T. "Alternatives to Globalism: Robert A. Taft and American Foreign Policy, 1939-1945.'' Historian 36 (August 1974): 670-88.
  • ___. Mr. Republican: A Biography of Robert A. Taft. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1972.
  • ___. "Robert A. Taft and American Foreign Policy, 1939-1945.'' In Watershed of Empire: Essays on New Deal Foreign Policy, edited by Leonard P. Liggio and James J. Martin, pp. 183-207. Colorado Springs: Ralph Myles, 1976.
  • Radosh, Ronald. "Robert A. Taft: A Noninterventionist Faces War.'' In Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism, pp. 119-45. New York: Simon Schuster, 1975.
  • ___. "Robert A. Taft and the Emergence of the Cold War.'' In Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism, pp. 147-95. New York: Simon Schuster, 1975.
  • Rapp, Noel G. "The Political Speaking of Robert A. Taft, 1939-1953.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Purdue University, 1955.
  • Ricks, John A., III. " `Mr. Integrity' and McCarthyism: Robert A. Taft, Sr. and Joseph R. McCarthy.'' Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin 37 (Fall 1979): 175-90.
  • ___. " `Mr. Integrity' and McCarthyism: Senator Robert A. Taft and Senator Joseph R. McCarthy.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1974.
  • Robbins, Jhan, and June Robbins. Eight Weeks to Live: The Last Chapter in the Life of Robert A. Taft. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Co., 1954.
  • Robbins, Phyllis. Robert A. Taft, Boy and Man. Cambridge, MA: Dresser, Chapman Grimes, 1963.
  • Ross, Ishbel. An American Family: The Tafts. Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1964.
  • Smith, Thomas V., and Robert A. Taft. Foundations of Democracy: A Series of Debates. 1939. Reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1974.
  • Taft, Robert Alphonso. "Federal-State Relations in Health, Education, and Welfare.'' American Economic Security 10 (March-April 1953): 11-16.
  • ___. A Foreign Policy for Americans. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Co., 1951.
  • ___. "The Issues in 1940.'' Current History 51 (May 1940): 23, 56.
  • U.S. Congress. Memorial Services Held in the Rotunda of the Capitol, the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States, Together with Remarks Presented in Eulogy of Robert Alphonso Taft, Late a Senator from Ohio. 83d Cong., 1st sess., 1953. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1954.
  • Van Dyke, Vernon, and Edward Lane Davis. "Senator Taft and American Security.'' Journal of Politics 14 (May 1952): 177-202.
  • Wunderlin, Clarence E, et al. The Papers of Robert A. Taft: vol I, 1889-1939; vol. II, 1939-1944. Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1997.
  • ___. Robert A. Taft: Ideas, Tradition, and Party in U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005.
  • White, William Smith. The Taft Story. New York: Harper Brothers, 1954.