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New Haven, Connecticut

The Taft Chair at Woolsey Hall

An extra-wide chair built to accommodate the former president's big behind  

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When he left office in 1913 President William Howard Taft went on to teach at Yale University, an institution which was more than willing to accommodate the man's notorious waistline with specially built chairs.

When Taft began teaching at the school its said that he was tipping the scales at over 300 pounds. In order to make the enthusiastic leader more comfortable Yale built and installed a number of special chairs with extra-wide seats. Most of these special chairs have disappeared, four of them remain. Of the four extant seats, three of them have been put on display, but the permanently installed chair in Woolsey Hall is still in use today. The chair is in the balcony of the hall and any concert goers packing any presidential poundage would do well to seek out seat E-9.   


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