Theodore Roosevelt was an American statesman, politician, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founded the Progressive Party. He is known for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement.
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Early Life and Family
Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, in New York City to parents Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and Martha Bulloch Roosevelt. Theodore’s father was a glass importer and one of the wealthiest men in New York City at the time. His mother was a Southern belle from a wealthy Georgia family. Theodore had four brothers and one sister.
Theodore Roosevelt is born in New York City
Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858, into a family of wealth and position. His father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., was a successful businessman and philanthropist; his mother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, came from a wealthy and prominent Georgia family. He had an older sister, Anna (known as Bamie), and a younger brother, Elliott. In all, the family would eventually include five children.
His father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., is a successful businessman and philanthropist
Theodore Roosevelt Sr. was born in New York City to a family of Dutch and English ancestry. His father, Cornelius Roosevelt, was a wealthy businessman who co-founded the glass manufacturer Roosevelt & Son. His mother, Margaret Barnhill Roosevelt, was a member of the prominent Livingston family. Roosevelt’s paternal grandparents were Jacobus Roosevelt and Cornelia Ann Bothum; his maternal grandparents were John Obadiah Barnes and Margaret Stites Van Schaak.
Roosevelt’s father was a sixth-generation descendant of the original Danish version of his name, which had been Anglicized by his ancestors when they came to the United States; Theodore Sr.’s branch of the family had been in North America for four generations by the time he was born. Theodore Sr.’s son, Theodore Jr., would become the 26th president of the United States.
His mother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, is from a wealthy southern family
Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, is from a wealthy southern family. Her father, James Stephens Bulloch, was a successful businessman, and her mother, Martha Pitts Cushing, came from a land-owning family. Theodore Roosevelt’s father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., was from a Dutch farming family. His mother, Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, came from a wealthy southern family.
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, was born on October 27, 1858, into a wealthy family in New York City. He was a sickly child who was often bedridden, so his father hired tutors to teach him at home. Roosevelt was homeschooled until he was 13, when he enrolled at the prestigious Groton School in Massachusetts. After graduating from Groton, Roosevelt attended Harvard College, where he studied history and science.
Roosevelt attends private schools in New York City
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was born on October 27, 1858, in New York City. He was the second of four children born to socialite Martha Stewart “Mittie” Bulloch and businessman and philanthropist Theodore Roosevelt Sr. (whose own father had made a fortune in the glass business). His sister Anna was born two years later. Another sister, Elliott, and a brother, Kermit, followed. As a young boy, Roosevelt suffered from asthma attacks so severe that he feared he would die young. In an effort to improve his health, his father took him on frequent outings into the country. These excursions instilled in young Theodore a love of nature that would stay with him throughout his life.
He attends Harvard University, where he studies natural history
Theodore Roosevelt attended Harvard University, where he studied natural history. He also became a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, and played football and baseball for the university. After his graduation from Harvard in 1880, Roosevelt briefly attended Columbia Law School, but ultimately decided to pursue a career in politics.
Roosevelt graduates from Harvard in 1880
In 1880, Roosevelt graduated from Harvard with Phi Beta Kappa honors. He was the pale, sickly son of a wealthy family, and had been tutored at home until he entered college. Many of his classmates thought he would not survive the rigors of college life. But Roosevelt proved them wrong. He participated in athletics, joined the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, and edited the Harvard Crimson newspaper.
After returning from his journey to the Badlands, Roosevelt enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1876. Roosevelt was an active participant in several honor societies and excelled in debate. During his junior year, he was diagnosed with asthmatic bronchitis, which caused him to miss several weeks of school.
Roosevelt becomes a member of the New York State Assembly
In 1882, Roosevelt’s first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, died two days after the birth of their only child, also named Alice. Roosevelt was so devastated by his wife’s death that he withdrew from public life for a time. In 1886, Roosevelt remarried. His new wife, Edith Kermit Carow, had known Roosevelt since she was a child; they had even attended the same school together. Roosevelt and Edith would have five children together: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin.
In 1881, Roosevelt was elected to the New York State Assembly as a Republican representative from Manhattan. He quickly became known as an effective legislator and an ardent reformer. In 1884, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives. The following year, he ran again and was elected to the House of Representatives, where he served until 1895.
He is elected as the Vice President of the United States
In September 1901, after an anarchist assassinated President McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, Theodore Roosevelt became the nation’s 26th president. He was 42 years old, the youngest man to ever hold the office.
During his first term, Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass laws regulating child labor, food and drugs, and railway rates. But it was his foreign policy that made him famous around the world. He built up the U.S. Navy and intervened militarily in the affairs of other nations to preserve American interests. In 1904, he helped negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese War, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1906, Roosevelt signed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act to improve public health and safety. He also worked to preserve America’s wilderness by signing into law the Antiquities Act of 1906, which gave presidents power to declare national monuments. Among other things, this act helped protect such treasures as the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Yosemite Valley in California.
In 1908, Roosevelt declined to run for a third term as president but threw his support behind William Howard Taft—his close friend and secretary of war—for election. After Taft won office, Roosevelt became increasingly critical of his policies. In 1912, Roosevelt decided to run for president again but lost the Republican nomination to Taft. Roosevelt then formed his own political party—the Progressive Party—and ran against both Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson in the general election. Wilson won with 42 percent of the vote; Roosevelt came in second with 27 percent; and Taft received 23 percent.
Roosevelt becomes the President of the United States after the assassination of President William McKinley
In September 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the President of the United States after the assassination of President William McKinley. He was the youngest person to become President, and he served for two terms. After he left office, Roosevelt went on a safari in Africa, and he wrote a book about his experiences. He also wrote many other books, including one about his time as President.