Kingsley A. Taft

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Kingsley Arter Taft
Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
January 1, 1963 – March 28, 1970
Preceded byCarl V. Weygandt
Succeeded byC. William O'Neill
Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
January 1, 1949 – December 31, 1962
Preceded byRobert M. Sohngen
Succeeded byRankin Gibson
United States Senator
from Ohio
In office
November 6, 1946 – January 3, 1947
Preceded byJames W. Huffman
Succeeded byJohn W. Bricker
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1903-07-19)July 19, 1903
Cleveland, Ohio
DiedMarch 28, 1970(1970-03-28) (aged 66)
Columbus, Ohio
Resting placeLake View Cemetery
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Louise Dakin
Alma mater
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1943–1946
Battles/warsWorld War II

Kingsley Arter Taft (July 19, 1903 – March 28, 1970) was an American politician and distant relative of Ohio's more famous Taft family. He served as chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and also served briefly as a United States Senator. Kingsley's father, Frederick Lovett Taft, II was also a noted figure in the Ohio legal profession.


Taft was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Frederick L. and Mary Alice (née Arter) Taft.[1] He graduated from high school there and received a bachelor's degree from Amherst College, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi,[2] in 1925. He received a law degree from Harvard University in 1928. Taft then practiced as a lawyer in Ohio. He rose to a partnership in the law firm that would eventually become Arter and Hadden.

Taft served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1933 to 1934 and then in 1940, he was elected to the Shaker Heights, Ohio, board of education on which he served until 1942, the last year as president. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, eventually rising to the rank of Major.

In 1946, when U.S. Senator Harold H. Burton (R-Ohio) resigned in order to accept an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, the vacancy was filled by a special election. In that election Taft ran and defeated Democrat Henry P. Webber. Taft served out Burton's term, which expired in 1947. He also served with distant family member Robert Alphonso Taft during his 4-month tenure, and did not run for election to the next full term.

In 1948, he was elected to a judgeship on the Ohio Supreme Court, defeating Democrat Robert M. Sohngen. In 1954, he was re-elected to the position without opposition. In 1960, Taft defeated Joseph H. Ellison for a third term on the Supreme Court, but in 1962, Taft decided to run for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Taft then beat Democratic incumbent Carl V. Weygandt. Weygant, who was 74 years old and seeking a 6th term, lost by a margin of less than 1,600 votes, out of more than 2.6 million votes cast.[3] In 1968, Taft was re-elected Chief Justice of the Court, defeating Democrat John C. Duffy, but died in office two years after his last election in 1970.

Personal life[edit]

Taft met his wife Louise Dakin at college. They were married September 14, 1927. They had four sons.[4]

Taft was buried at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.


  1. ^ Derby & White 1921, p. 214.
  2. ^ Grand Catalogue of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity - Twelfth Edition, p.335: Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, 1985.
  3. ^ "Carl Victory Weygandt". The Supreme court of Ohio & The Ohio Judicial System. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Kingsley Arter Taft". The Supreme Court of Ohio & The Ohio Judicial System. Retrieved 2011-08-08.