Helen Taft (1861-1943) was an American first lady (1909-13) and the wife of William Howard Taft, 27th president of the United States and later chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. As a member of a successful Ohio political family, Helen (or Nellie, as she was called) fully supported her husband's career ambitions, and was such a trusted aide and advisor to him that many credited her with his ultimate success. When President Taft was inaugurated in March 1909, Nellie Taft broke with tradition, becoming the first first lady to accompany her husband in the inaugural parade to the White House. Nellie Taft is the only woman to be both first lady and the wife of the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
More to Explore
This Day in History
Horror writer Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale, Dracula, is first offered for sale in London on this day.Through fictional journal entries and letters…
Did You Know?
In 1877, 17-year old Helen "Nellie" Herron visited the White House as a personal guest of President Rutherford B. Hayes, a close family friend. The young Nellie was so impressed that she would later pledge to friends that she would return there one day as the wife of a president. Three decades later, she got her wish, when her husband William Howard Taft was inaugurated as the 27th president of the United States.
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up