year old "Teedie" Theodore Roosevelt in 1862. TR suffered
greatly from asthma causing him to be sick frequently.
At at eleven
Theodore visited Paris where this photo was taken in 1870.
At first his
illness (asthma) kept him from strenuous exercise. Later he would
"make his body" and become strong.
eighteen years old Theodore Roosevelt (top left) with brother Elliott,
sister Corinne and family friend Edith (who would later become his
second wife). The look of the eyes and the brow are the same, but
the body of TR here, around 1876, is now much stronger, the product
of a home gym his father had created for him.
Now a young
man, Theodore Roosevelt began his "classroom" education
at Harvard, in Cambridge Massachusetts. His early schooling had
been primarily from a governess in individual or small group settings.
As a boy Roosevelt had attended school for a short period, but
his health prevented normal schooling for much of the time. At
Cambridge he would meet some life long friends and colleagues.
had become quite athletic by the time he reached Harvard. Here he
appears in his sculling outfit. Rowing and boxing were two of the
"organized" sports in which TR participated. When skating
with friends, Theodore was still out on the ice long after everyone
else had quit from cold and fatigue. [circa 1877]
1881 wedding trip to Europe with first wife Alice (Hathaway) Lee
Roosevelt, TR climbed the Matterhorn. He considered the climb
acceptably strenuous, and was pleased with himself for making
the trek. As was the custom of the day, this photo was taken in
the studio to commemorate the trip, not actually on the mountain.
the mix of grief and joy over the death of his mother Mittie and
his wife Alice on the same day in the same house combined with
the birth of his first child, daughter Alice, two days before,
TR retreated to life in the western Badlands of Medora, North
the Badlands of Medora, North Dakota, he would heal and learn lessons
that would shape not only his future, but the future of the nation.
Working shoulder to shoulder with all kinds of men in the west he
said, "took the snob" out of him. Working the ranch brought
about a profound love of the open land, unique geography and animal
species that were fast disappearing with increased settlement and
years later we find TR in Washington married to his long time friend
Edith. Quentin was not born yet so there were 5 children under the
roof. By this time in 1895 at the age of 36 TR had already had more
careers than many men. He had been a Legislator in New York State,
a rancher, and the author of several books and was now Civil Service
1895 to 1897 TR and family would be back in New York City, where
TR became President of the NYC Board of Police Commissioners. Although
he sits at a desk here, TR was famous for prowling the streets at
all hours learning more about the police as well as the worst corners
of the city. He greatly reduced corruption, increased the use of
technologies and created one of the first academies for police training.
keeping watch of NYC crime, TR also kept his eyes on the world.
After two years he was back in Washington, this time as Assistant
Secretary of the Navy.
1898 TR raised a volunteer regiment which included cowboys and schoolboy
(typically college athletes) as those who knew him from various
times in his life joined to fight the Spanish in Cuba. On July 1,
1898, the Rough Riders would
play a critical role on Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill during the
battle of San Juan Heights. TR lead one charge on horseback and
one charge on foot, inspiring his troops but exposing himself to
enemy fire. 103 years later he would receive the Congressional Medal
of Honor for his bravery that day.
addition to loss of life in battle, the soldiers faced the rages
of malaria, yellow fever and dysentery. Colonel Roosevelt was a
volunteer, not regular career army, so it was he who made the plea
to Washington's leaders on behalf of the men. Bring
them home! His Rough Riders returned to quarantine in Camp Wikoff,
Montauk, Long Island. [Aug - Sept 1898]
press coverage of the charismatic character "Rough Rider Roosevelt"
propelled TR back into politics, now to be Governor of New York
State. By now there were six children. The oldest, Alice, holds
baby Quentin on her lap in this 1899 family portrait.
1900 a corrupt "Easy Boss" Tom Platt was anxious to get
TR out of New York State and recommended him for the Vice Presidency.
TR's fame from the Rough Rider days and Platt's political maneuvers
easily won Roosevelt the nomination. In the prior election, William
McKinley ran with running mate Garret Hobart (VP 1896). The shrubbery
is dark where Hobart was replaced with Theodore Roosevelt to create
the new photomontage.
television campaigning was very different in 1900. McKinley rarely
traveled during the election campaign, that was not considered appropriate
for a President, but TR was out all over the country, making speeches
for the Republican ticket and meeting the public.
McKinley was shot at the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo, NY
in 1901, TR became the youngest person ever to become President.
He was only 42.
Theodore Roosevelt he continued to be a very visible and traveled
leader shown here on a New England tour in 1902.
of 1902 found TR speaking in Asheville, North Carolina.
famous bear hunt in 1902 would forever link Theodore
Roosevelt and the "Teddy" bear in political cartoons,
children's stories and toys. The bear hunt had been unsuccessful
and the guides and dogs captured an old female bear and tied it
to a tree for the President to get "his shot". TR refused.
Political cartoonist Clifford Berryman captured both the sportsmanship
and the politics of the day in his cartoons.
1903 photo shows the President, his wife Edith and their six children
at the family home of Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay on Long Island,
New York. TR loved his family and spent hours roaming the hills
and rowing the shores with the children.
Roosevelt in the White House. 
Roosevelt considered the Presidency a "bully pulpit",
a good place from which to make a statement to the public about
the way things ought to be. All the time he had spent learning about
how people lived from the ranchers and small farmers in the west,
tenement dwellers and shop keepers in the city, and soldiers in
battle helped him identify with ordinary citizens from all walks
of life. Here he speaks to an audience in Evanston (near Chicago)
started his efforts to preserve Yellowstone National Park as early
as 1894 when he as president of the Boone and Crockett Club (a hunters'
organization comprised of eminent scientists, lawyers and politicians)
worked the Secretary of the Interior to enlarge the park and improve
its governance. The resulting legislation provided new levels of
protection from commercial development and "ecological destruction".
Conservation of natural wonders
and natural resources became TR's legacy. In 1903, President
Roosevelt came to inspect Yellowstone.
you imagine a tree so big that a whole group of grownups looks so
tiny? Here we find President Theodore Roosevelt with naturalist
John Muir at Yosemite in 1903.
"There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the
Yosemite, the groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon
of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons;
and our people shoud see to it that they are preserved for their
children and their children's children forever, with their majestic
beauty all unmarred." Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter
of the most critical parts of US defense was a strong Navy, and
a Navy which could be quickly mobilized to protect either the eastern
or western coastal waters. The building of a canal on the isthmus
of Panama would be critical to the strategic strength of the United
States. Here TR inspects the canal construction in Panama in 1906.
demands of the Presidency made vacation travel difficult. Edith
took charge of finding a retreat for the family in this simple cabin
in the woods of Albemarle County, VA. The rustic hideaway had no
running water. Son Archie took on the task of fetching water when
the family visited. [ca. 1906]
Theodore Roosevelt and First Lady Edith Roosevelt in 1908.
Roosevelt's leaving the White House. Taken Christmas Day, 1908. Nicholas Longworth
who married Alice in 1906 appears at the far right..
Roosevelt with incoming President William Howard Taft on Taft's
inauguration day in 1909. Roosevelt picked Taft to be his successor
in the Republican party and endorsed his election as president.
Roosevelt left the White House believing that Taft would continue
activist progressive policies as the new President. Such was not
to be the case.
only 50 years old when he left the Presidency, TR went looking for
adventure on Safari in Africa. At heart TR was a naturalist, fascinated
with all the species of animals on earth. He always had a small
menagerie of live and preserved specimens as a child. As and adult
he was quite expert. Hundreds of species were identified and brought
back to the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History
from his 1909-1910 expedition to East Africa with son Kermit (shown
sitting next to TR).
of trouble at home was beginning to reach the former President.
Conservation and tariff policies were dividing the Republican party
and the "Old Guard" of conservatives were taking control.
were waiting as TR, Kermit and their party ended the safari and
arrived in Egypt. TR, joined by Edith began a "grand tour"
of Europe including Paris, where he delivered his "Citizenship
in a Republic" speech and Norway, where he accepted the Nobel
Prize he had been awarded several years before for the Treaty of
reviews the German Army maneuvers with Kaiser Willhelm II during
another stop on the grand tour. The Kaiser gave TR photos of the
occasion, personally writing inscriptions on all of them. A few
years later Germany would invade Belgium at the start of WW1. When
the German embassy conveyed a message to TR that recalled his pleasant
visit TR replied, "I shall never forget the way in which His
Majesty the Emperor received me in Berlin, nor the way His Majesty
King Albert of Belgium received me in Brussels."
TR lost the
election of 1912 when he ran for President on the Progressive
"Bull Moose" ticket, splitting the Republican vote and
handing the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
Roosevelt at the wedding of his daughter Ethel to Richard Derby.
In 1914 TR decided to make a lecture trip to South America. Only
a small amount of exploring was initially planned. Once in Brazil,
however, plans were formed to explore an unmapped river, the River
of Doubt which flowed from the interior to the Amazon. Colonel Rondon
(right) and Colonel Roosevelt along with Kermit and about 20 others
began the journey.
expedition members faced insects, floods, hostile natives and capsizing
canoes. Several members of the party were lost including one who
went insane and killed another before running off into the jungle.
Kermit who had postponed his wedding to join his father on the trip
nearly died when he was swept over a falls.
lost 57 pounds during the journey and nearly died from malaria and
dysentery. After a major exploration of 1500 miles they had acquired
a significant collection for the American Museum of Natural History.
much older Roosevelt returned from Brazil to fight for US entry
into the war. Roosevelt firmly believed in the need for a well prepared
army and navy particularly in light of German aggression against
Belgium, France and Britain and potentially the US. He worked hard
but from the sidelines. Here in Sept of 1915 he has made a visit
to Quebec. [with guide]
President Theodore Roosevelt, 1915.
TR learned of the death
of his youngest son Quentin in July of 1918. Quentin, a fighter
pilot for the US Army Air Corps in WW1, was shot down behind enemy
Roosevelt hugs baby granddaughter Edith Roosevelt Derby, 1918.
sent a cable to his brothers, "The old lion is dead."
Roosevelt died in his sleep in the "Gate Room" at Sagamore Hill
early on the morning of January 6, 1919 from a pulmonary embolism.
Photo shows the burial of Theodore Roosevelt, January 1919 in Youngs
Memorial Cemetery, Oyster Bay, NY.