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Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.
Charles Taft has been an outstanding public servant, occupying an always energetic position as councilman for 27 years, more than any other councilman since charter government was implemented.
Taft, the son of the twenty-seventh President of the United States, William Howard Taft, became an original member of Cincinnati’s Charter Committee in 1925. He began his distinguished career in public service two years later at age 29 when he became Hamilton County prosecuting attorney. In that office he was responsible for starting the County Probation Department.
He was elected to council in 1937 for the first time, but left during the war years to become director of Community War Services for the Federal Security Agency, forerunner of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He later directed wartime economic affairs for the State Department.
He resumed his seat in council in 1948, and was the republican nominee for governor in 1952. He returned to council in 1955, the year he was elected Mayor, and since then has become even more respected for his untiring and patient labor on city budget matters and his contributions to downtown development.
Taft was also a noted lay religious leader through his many years of high-level work with the Federal, National and World Councils of Churches.
Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization