Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt
Served 1901-1905 (became President upon the death of McKinley), 1905-1909

Theodore Roosevelt was born at the family home in New York City, October 27, 1858.

Everyone knew Roosevelt affectionately as “Teddy,” but he never referred to himself by that nickname. Suffering from asthma as a boy, Roosevelt worked hard to make himself healthy by becoming many things. He was a hunter, a wrestler, a polo player, a boxer, a swimmer, a mountain climber, an explorer, a rancher, a soldier, a history student, and a writer. He was successful in practically all his endeavors. He became famous during the Spanish-American War, as commander of the Rough Riders, a cavalry unit, when he charged up San Juan Hill in the thick of battle.

Next PageRoosevelt (pronounced “rue’-ze-velt”) married Alice Lee October 27, 1880, but she died in 1884, two days after their daughter’s birth. On December 2, 1886, he married childhood friend Edith Carow. They had five children. Later, in the White House, when one of his sons was sick with the measles, another brother brought a pony upstairs on the elevator in the White House to visit him.

Elected as Republican President William McKinley‘s Vice-President in 1900, Roosevelt became President after McKinley’s assassination. At 42, Roosevelt was the youngest man ever to serve as President. He ran for President in his own right in 1904 and won with Charles Fairbanks as his Vice President.

In 1903, Roosevelt negotiated an end to a war between Russia and Japan and won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize. During his administration, he became the first President to ride in a car, fly in a plane, and travel in a submarine. During his tenure, in 1903, the Wright Brothers made their first flight, and in 1906, the San Francisco earthquake occurred. The teddy bear was introduced and named after him. Oklahoma was the 46th state to join the Union.

Roosevelt did not run in the 1908 election, supporting instead the candidacy of William Howard Taft. Roosevelt then toured the world and returned in 1912 to be the candidate of the Progressive Party, also called the “Bull Moose” Party, from Roosevelt’s braggadocio that he was “fit as a Bull Moose.” Roosevelt lost to Woodrow Wilson, but got more votes than Republican candidate Taft.

Roosevelt established a beautiful estate called “Sagamore Hill” near Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. There, he mourned the loss of his youngest son, Quentin, killed while flying in battle in France, and there, he died suddenly January 6, 1919, from an arterial blood clot.

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