The Sexual Health of the American Presidents



William Taft
Image: Ed (Goosefriend) via Flickr


Nine years before William Howard Taft became president, he lived in the Philippines serving as governor from Manila for three years starting in 1900. A year into this role, he developed a fever and was diagnosed as having dengue. It was probably a misdiagnosis -- just a few weeks later, a pus-filled inflammation located between his scrotum and anus burst. Taft had to undergo emergency surgery and came close to death over several days. He would have two more surgeries over the next two years relating to this. He developed amoebic dysentery in 1903, leading some to speculate that the original inflammation (called an abscess) might also have been caused by an amoeba. During his presidency, Taft began experiencing trouble with his prostate gland. This would continue into the 1920s, during his time as Chief Justice, the head of the Supreme Court of the United States. He also suffered from chronic urinary tract infections.


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