Taylor was a career soldier. Starting with a commission as a first lieutenant, in 1808, he fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the second Seminole War. President Polk sent an army under his command to the Rio Grande in 1846. When the Mexicans attacked Taylor's troops, Polk declared war. Taylor defeated the Mexicans, despite being outnumbered 4-1. He became a national hero and received the Whig nomination for President in 1848, although he had never even bothered to vote before.
Taylor died in office after only 16 months, and was succeeded by his vice president, Millard Fillmore.
- Previous President: James Knox Polk (followed by David Rice Atchison, who held the position for a single day before Taylor was sworn in)
- Next President: Millard Fillmore
- Vice President: Millard Fillmore