Robert Alphonso Taft Sr. was an American conservative politician, lawyer, and scion of the Taft family. A member of the Republican Party, he represented Ohio in the United States Senate and briefly served as Senate Majority Leader.
The elder son of William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States, Robert Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He pursued a legal career in Cincinnati after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1913. Along with his brother, Charles Phelps Taft II, he co-founded the law partnership of Taft Stettinius & Hollister. Taft served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1921 to 1931 and in the Ohio Senate from 1931 to 1933. Though he lost re-election in 1932, he remained a powerful force in state and local politics.
Taft won election to the United States Senate in 1938, defeating incumbent Democrat Robert J. Bulkley. He became a leader of the conservative coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats who successfully opposed expansion of the New Deal after 1938. He also emerged as a prominent non-interventionist and opposed U.S. involvement into World War II prior to the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor.