Did late president William H. Taft eat a news reporter?

Did late president William H. Taft eat a news reporter? Literally, that's undoubtedly not true.

Concerned about how his weight would affect his health, and therefore his ability to serve, in December 1905, the soon-to-be president wrote to English physician and diet expert Nathaniel E. Yorke-Davies for advice.

Taft was apparently uncomfortable with the symptoms of restless sleep and indigestion that resulted from his girth, and hired Yorke-Davies to create a weight loss plan, writing that "no real gentleman weighs more than 300 pounds."

Originally published on TIME.com, read CNN.com's The President Taft Diet: Learning from America's heaviest leaders.

The "eating a reporter" story may have arisen from the late president's somewhat distant treatment towards press people and reporters.

The press didn't enjoy Taft the same way they enjoyed President Roosevelt who invented the presidential press conference. When William Howard Taft became president, the practice stopped.

When one reporter told him he was no Theodore Roosevelt, Taft replied he would "try to accomplish just as much without any noise.".

President Taft’s visit to Worcester in 1910 remembered: See photos at Worcester Mag.

Updated on Monday, June 30 2014 at 09:35AM EDT
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