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#26 Theodore Roosevelt. 1901-1909. T.R. Born: October 27, 1858 in New York City Parents: Theodore and Martha (Bulloch) Wives: Alice Hathaway Lee and Edith Kermit Carow Children: Alice, Theodore, Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin. Background.

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26 theodore roosevelt

Born: October 27, 1858 in New York City

Parents: Theodore and Martha (Bulloch)

Wives: Alice Hathaway Lee and Edith Kermit Carow

Children: Alice, Theodore, Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin


  • Theodore Roosevelt was born to a prominent and wealthy family in New York City.

  • The Roosevelt family was of Dutch decent and had been in America since the 1600’s.

  • Teddy’s father was a wealthy importer, merchant and philanthropist.

  • His mother was a Southern Belle, who married into the Roosevelt family and had strong Confederate sympathies (Teddy himself referred to her as “unreconstructed”).

  • The Roosevelt’s were a true example of an aristocratic American family, representing both New York wealth/high society and Southern planter aristocracy.


  • Teddy was a very sickly little boy and had severe asthma. This asthma kept him from attending normal elementary school and engaging in much of a normal little boy life. He had severe asthma attacks and was bullied by some other boys.

  • To improve his physical condition, Theodore Sr. brought in a personal trainer to school Teddy in sports, especially boxing. As his health improved, Teddy became a devoted athlete and lover of the outdoors.

  • Teddy was always a serious scholar, and especially loved nature and history.

As a young man
As a young Man

  • The Roosevelt’s lived in the Gramercy section of Manhattan, one of the most exclusive areas in the city, and one that has a gated park, which Teddy loved.

  • The Roosevelt’s toured Europe and the Middle East extensively while Teddy was a teenager.

  • While abroad, he attended school for some time in Dresden Germany.

  • Teddy became a strong young man, and learned a great deal about the world from his travels and also his personal experiences.

A wonderful man
“A wonderful man.”

  • Teddy Roosevelt was especially close to his father.

  • When he was sick as a young man his father stayed close to him and nurtured him, but he also encouraged the boy to be tough, and strong.

  • He demanded that Teddy be a perfect gentleman and held him to high standards.

  • Teddy said that he never knew a man better than his father, or one that enjoyed life as much.

  • Teddy’s only disappointment in his father is that he had hired a substitute to serve in his place during the Civil War.

  • When Theodore Sr. died at the age of 46, Teddy was at Harvard. Though he rushed back to New York, he missed the last moments with his father by minutes. He was devastated.


  • Teddy Roosevelt attended Harvard University, and received his bachelor’s degree, graduating magna cum laude and 22 out of 177.

  • While at Harvard, Teddy was on the Rowing team and was runner-up in the Harvard boxing championship.

  • At Harvard, Teddy began researching and writing “The Naval War of 1812”. This book is considered by scholars to be one of the first true historical works because Teddy used primary sources and avoided bias. It is still studied as one of the foremost works on the subject to this day

  • After leaving Harvard, Teddy attended Law School at Columbia University in New York, but left to pursue politics.

Early career
Early Career

  • Teddy served in the New York State assembly from 1882-1884.

  • In the assembly he was quite active and wrote more bills than any other member.

  • He attended the Republican convention in this time and became, for the first but not the last time, disgusted with party politics.

  • He left this job after one term.

First marriage a tragedy
First Marriage (A Tragedy)

  • While at Harvard, Teddy Roosevelt met and fell in love with Alice Hathaway Lee, who was the sister of friends from school.

  • Teddy immediately fell in love and proposed after only a few weeks. Alice did not agree until several weeks had gone by.

  • The two were married in 1880, she was 19 and he was 22.

  • She died of kidney failure shortly after giving birth to their daughter Alice.

  • Teddy was so distraught by her death that he never mentioned her publicly again, not even in his autobiography. He only mentioned her once more in a private letter.

  • Teddy never spoke to his daughter about it, and referred her to his sister when she asked.


  • After his wife’s death, Teddy moved to a ranch he had purchased in the Badlands of North Dakota.

  • He built a ranch and served as a deputy sheriff, even hunting down outlaws a few times.

  • He hunted avidly, and his ranch was a success until the terrible winter of 1886-1887.

Back in the east
Back in the East

  • Teddy moved back to the East after more than two years away.

  • He unsuccessfully ran for mayor of New York in 1886.

  • Shortly after the election he was married in London to his second wife, Edith Kermit Carow, who had been his childhood friend and next door neighbor.

  • Their marriage was by all accounts a happy one, and they had five children together.

Back into politics
Back into Politics

  • 1889-1895 Teddy served on the U.S. Civil Service Commission, pursuing corruption in politics at a vigorous rate.

  • 1895-1897 Teddy served as Police Commissioner of New York City, working diligently to eliminate corruption. He established intelligence and physical fitness standards for policemen, established a bicycle unit, and standardized the use of pistols.

Assistant secretary of the navy
Assistant Secretary of the Navy

  • Always interested in the navy, Teddy was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by McKinley.

  • Because the real secretary was uninterested, Teddy ran the show and worked hard to improve the U.S. Navy.

  • He even insisted that the U.S. send aid to help the Cubans against the Spanish.

Rough riders
Rough Riders

  • Immediately following the Declaration of War on the Spanish in 1898, Teddy resigned his duty with the Navy, and helped establish the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, AKA, the Rough Riders.

  • This group was made up of former ranchers from the west, Ivy League rowers and football players, and other tough people he could find or knew.

  • He led a charge up Kettle Hill (San Juan Hill was a nearby shoulder, which they also took).

  • Teddy was the only man with a horse that day, but he too reached the top of the hill on foot due to barbed wire and his horse being tired.

  • The experience made him a war hero, and made up for the shame he experienced from his father’s situation.

Vice president
Vice President

  • McKinley chose Roosevelt for his Vice Presidential candidate for the election of 1900.

  • Teddy was a valuable running mate, and made many speeches on behalf of the president, most famously, “Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.”


  • Teddy became president when McKinley was killed.

  • He kept McKinley’s cabinet and promised to follow his policies, which he did not actually do.

  • Right away Teddy got active in attacking trusts (monopolies and business interests), using the almost forgotten Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The case was not settled until 1904, but it resulted in a victory for the government.

  • He used his presidential authority to end a coal strike in Pennsylvania, which ended in increased wages for employees and decreased hours.

  • He signed a law making federal funds available for irrigation.

  • He issued the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which made it possible for the U.S. to “influence” Latin America.

Presidency continued
Presidency Continued

  • Teddy “supported” the Panamanians in their revolt against Columbia, and began the construction of the Panama Canal, which the U.S. controlled.

  • He issued the Pure Food and Drug Act, to ensure sanitation in the food and drug industry.

  • He sent the “Great White Fleet” to tour the world and to send a message.

  • Teddy made the “gentlemen’s” agreement to halt Japanese immigration to the U.S.

  • Teddy had the first White House Conference on Conservation, setting aside land for the first national parks.

Post presidency
Post Presidency

  • Roosevelt paved the way for his protégé William Howard Taft to become president.

  • When Taft did not act progressively enough for Roosevelt, he formed his own party called the Progressive Party or Bull Moose Party, and ran against him in 1912.

  • This third party split the Republicans, and gave the election to Woodrow Wilson.

  • Roosevelt never reconciled with Taft.

Post presidency activities
Post Presidency Activities

  • Roosevelt toured much of the world after his presidency.

  • He went on extended safari’s in Africa, hunting exotic animals.

  • When WWI broke out, Roosevelt asked Wilson for permission to raise another Volunteer Regiment like the Rough Riders, but Wilson wisely refused.

  • Teddy’s son Quentin was killed in the war, causing him immense grief.


  • Popular, active presidency.

  • Trust Buster

  • Imperialist

  • Reformer

  • Environmentalist

  • Tireless personality

  • Wide Range of Interests

  • Great President (in the Jackson mold)