The Life Of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt

Read Complete Research Material

The Life of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt

The Life of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt

The Life of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt


Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858-January 6, 1919) was born in New York into one of the old Dutch families which had settled in America in the seventeenth century. At eighteen he entered Harvard College and spent four years there, dividing his time between books and sport and excelling at both. After leaving Harvard he studied in Germany for almost a year and then immediately entered politics. He was elected to the Assembly of New York State, holding office for three years and distinguishing himself as an ardent reformer. (Beers, 1920)

In 1884, because of ill health and the death of his wife, Roosevelt abandoned his political work for some time. He invested part of the fortune he had inherited from his father in a cattle ranch in the Badlands of Dakota Territory, expecting to remain in the West for many years. He became a passionate hunter, especially of big game, and an ardent believer in the wild outdoor life which brought him health and strength. In 1886 Roosevelt returned to New York, married again, and once more plunged into politics.


Soon after finishing college he would marry his college sweetheart, Alice. His love for Alice was immediate and memoirs from this time showed a raging romantic side of Theodore. Here is an excerpt from a letter he had written soon after meeting Alice; "she seems like a star of pearl, my pure flower." (Dennett, 1925, pp45-51)

Starting a family changed his priorities, and 1882 would be a pretty big year. He dropped out of law school soon after starting it to devote more time to writing and pursuit of public service. First, he published a book, which he had started while in college, entitled the "The Naval War of 1812." This book was a hit with experts of the day and became standard reading at the naval academy for two generations. Second, his increasing involvement in local government landed him a seat on the New York State Assembly. At the time, being the ripe old age of 24, he was the youngest to do so (pretty amazing when you think about it).

President Harrison, after his election in 1889, appointed Roosevelt as a member of the Civil Service Commission of which he later became president. This office he retained until 1895 when he undertook the direction of the Police Department of New York City. In 1897 he joined President McKinley's administration as assistant secretary of the Navy. While in this office he actively prepared for the Cuban War, which he saw was coming, and when it broke out in 1898, went to Cuba as lieutenant colonel of a regiment of volunteer cavalry, which he himself had raised among the hunters and cowboys of the West. He won great fame as leader of these «Rough-Riders», whose story he told in one of his most popular books. (Hagedorn, 1990)

Elected governor of the state of New York in 1898, he ...
Related Ads