Robert Alphonso Taft (September 8, 1889 – July 31, 1953) was a conservative American politician, statesman, and presidential hopeful who served as a United States Senator from Ohio from 1939 until his death in 1953. A member of the Republican Taft political family, he was the elder son of William Howard Taft (the 27th President of the United States and 10th Chief Justice of the United States).
Taft was the Senate's main opponent of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal domestic policies. After the president's death Taft successfully led the conservative coalition's efforts to curb the power of labor unions. Taft was a leading advocate of non-interventionism in foreign policy. He failed in his quests to win the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1940, 1948, and 1952. Throughout that period he battled New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey (leader of the moderate "Eastern Establishment") for control of the party. Taft's biographer James T. Patterson portrayed Taft as honest, conscientious, courageous, dignified, and highly intelligent, while also faulting Taft's competitiveness, lack of public-relations skills, and extreme partisanship. A 1957 Senate committee named Taft as one of America's five greatest senators, along with Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and Robert La Follette...
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