National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Joanna Sturm
Born Highland County, Ohio
After deciding not to run for a second term as president, Theodore Roosevelt picked a successor, Secretary of War William Howard Taft. By 1910, however, Roosevelt was dissatisfied with his protégé, convinced that Taft had aligned himself with the conservative wing of the Republican Party in areas like conservation and had rejected Roosevelt’s view of the president as the "steward of the public welfare." In 1912 Roosevelt challenged Taft for the Republican presidential nomination, knowing he could not win, and split the party. He then formed the Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party, which espoused the regulation of corporations and promoted income and inheritance taxes; medical, unemployment, and old age insurance; and women’s suffrage. He is shown here with Albert Beveridge—a Republican senator from Indiana until he split with party conservatives and lost his seat—who followed Roosevelt into the new Progressive Party.