Big Job for a Big Man


 

President William Howard Taft

Much has been made about the fact that William Howard Taft was the largest President to hold office. The 5′ 11″ man topped out at 340 pounds, surpassing Grover Cleveland’s prior record of 280 pounds. (See this chart for a list of presidential weights and BMI’s).
Generally good natured about his weight, Taft frequently used it to his advantage. Upon entering the White House he made the perhaps-ironic observation, “I’m not going to be pushed around anymore.” Source

One of the best times he used his corpulence to his advantage occurred prior to entering office. As a practicing attorney he once visited a small town on legal business. After his meeting, he learned that the next train would not arrive for several hours, although a fast train would run through in an hour. He therefore wired the railroad superintendent to ask if the fast train would stop for a “large party.” The superintendent agreed. When Taft boarded the train, he remarked to the bewildered conductor, “You can go ahead; I am the large party.” Source

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