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(October 27, 1858 -
January 6, 1919) was
the 26th (1901-1909)
President of the Order: 26th President
United States. Term of Office: September 14, 1901 - March 4, 1909
Followed: William McKinley
Sickly as a young
man, he took to Succeeded by: William Howard Taft
physical exercise and Date of Birth Wednesday, October 27, 1858
became a sporting and Place of Birth: New York City
frequenting such Date of Death: Monday, January 6, 1919
areas of natural Place of Death: Oyster Bay, New York
beauty as the Grand
Canyon. His energetic First Lady: Edith Kermit Carow
example influenced Occupation: author, lawyer
many to take up Political Party: Republican
during the urban Vice President: Charles Warren Fairbanks (1905-1909)
sports boom in the
early part of the century.
Roosevelt was born in New York City, October 27, 1858. He graduated from
Harvard University in 1880. He was a member of New York State Assembly from
1882-1884. He moved to North Dakota and lived on his ranch, then returned to
New York City in 1886, where he was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison
as a member of the United States Civil Service Commission 1889-1895, when he
resigned to become president of the New York Board of Police Commissioners.
He resigned this position upon his appointment by President William McKinley
as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He held that post from 1897 to 1898,
when he resigned to fight in the Spanish-American War.
Roosevelt rose to national prominence during the Spanish-American War as
commander of the "Rough Riders". Before and after the war, he distinguished
himself in New York City and State politics, as police commissioner and
state governor. He made such a concerted effort to root out corruption and
"machine" politics that, it is said, Republican leaders in New York advanced
him as a running mate for William McKinley in the 1900 election simply to
get rid of him.
Roosevelt assumed the presidency after the assassination of McKinley, and
then in 1904 ran for office in his own right. Vice presidents had assumed
the presidency due to the death of a president in the past, but Roosevelt
became the first to win election to a second term on his own. In 1912,
Roosevelt ran for President on the United States Progressive Party ("Bull
Moose") ticket. He lost, but ran again in 1916, losing again.
In 1906 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for drawing up the peace treaty
in the Russo-Japanese War
While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was shot by saloonkeeper John
Schrank in a failed assassination attempt on October 14, 1912. With a fresh
flesh wound and the bullet still in him, Roosevelt still delivered his
scheduled speech. He was not seriously wounded although his doctors thought
it too dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet lodged in his chest and he
carried it with him until he died. The gun used was a Colt Police Positive
revolver in .38 S&W caliber, serial number 58714.
He died at Oyster Bay, Nassau County, New York on January 6, 1919, and was
buried in Young's Memorial Cemetery.
Theodore Roosevelt is considered by many to be the nation's first
Conservation President. "There can be nothing in the world more beautiful
than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon
of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our
people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their
children's children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred," he
During his presidency, Roosevelt established the United States Forest
Service, signed into law the creation of five National Parks, and signed the
1906 Antiquities Act under which he proclaimed 18 national monuments. He
also established the first 51 Bird Reserves, 4 Game Preserves, and 150
National Forests. The area of the United States placed under public
protection by Theodore Roosevelt totals approximately 230,000,000 acres.
Roosevelt's concern for conservation grew out of his experiences in North
Dakota. Roosevelt first came to the badlands in September 1883 on a hunting
trip. The 24-year-old Roosevelt was bursting with anticipation about
shooting a bison. This feat took him 10 days to accomplish since by the time
he arrived the last large herds of bison were gone, having been decimated by
hide hunters and disease.
Before returning to New York, just two weeks after he arrived, Roosevelt
became interested in the cattle business and entered into a partnership to
raise cattle on the Maltese Cross Ranch. Five months later his wife, a
Boston heiress named Alice Hathaway Lee, and his mother, Minnie Bulloch
Roosevelt, died on the same day. Grief-stricken, Roosevelt decided to leave
the East and increase his interests in the cattle business. He returned to
North Dakota in 1884 and established the Elkhorn Ranch. (Years later,
Roosevelt's childhood friend and second wife, Edith Carow, reportedly told
her stepdaughter, Alice Lee Roosevelt, that it was probably a blessing that
Roosevelt's first wife had died young, because she would have "bored him to
During his years in North Dakota, Roosevelt thrived on the vigorous outdoor
lifestyle and actively participated in the life of a working cowboy. Of this
time he said, "I do not believe there ever was any life more attractive to a
vigorous young fellow than life on a cattle ranch in those days. It was a
fine, healthy life, too; it taught a man self-reliance, hardihood, and the
value of instant decision...I enjoyed the life to the full." This was an
important time in his development, and in fact, he once remarked that, "I
never would have been President if it had not been for my experiences in
North Dakota." Roosevelt actively ranched in the badlands until 1887 but
maintained ranching interest in the area until 1898.
Whenever he managed to spend time in North Dakota, Roosevelt became more and
more alarmed by the damage that was being done to the land and its wildlife.
He witnessed the virtual destruction of some big game species, such as bison
and bighorn sheep. Overgrazing destroyed the grasslands and with them the
habitats for small mammals and songbirds. Conservation increasingly became
one of his major concerns. "We have fallen heirs to the most glorious
heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to
show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune."
Today, Roosevelt's dedication to conservation is remembered with a national
park that bears his name in the colorful North Dakota badlands. Theodore
Roosevelt National Park is home to a variety of plants and animals,
including bison, prairie dogs, and elk.
Teddy bears are named after him. His nickname was Teddy, and toy bear
manufactures took to naming them after him because once on a hunting trip he
refused to kill a bear cub.
On March 23, 1909, shortly after the end of his second term as President,
Roosevelt left New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip was
sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society and
received world-wide media attention.
Theodore Roosevelt is depicted fictionally in Gore Vidal's novel "Empire".
Supreme Court appointments
* Oliver Wendell Holmes - 1902
* William Rufus Day - 1903
* William Henry Moody - 1906