Theodore Roosevelt: a Fascinating Life of a Leader


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Theodore Roosevelt was a curious child, a dedicated man, and a leader for his country. Throughout his lifetime he affected many people, though he might not have realized it. He was a lawyer, author, led a military group, and was the 26th president of the United States.

He was born on October 27, 1858, at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, in New City, NY. As a young child he struggled with asthma, he rarely ate and had raging fevers, due to his asthma taking up a big challenge in his life. But in all, he was surrounded by the love of his parents and siblings. It wasn’t until he got glasses that he could read close up, study photographs for hours, and could never stop reading books. He even went on to write and illustrate books about animals, as he had a passion for them. “Teedie” as he was called, was a very adventurous child, he always took on hikes, climbed up volcanoes and mountains, and never got tired of camping in freezing weather. He was always challenging himself, but nothing ever got in his way.

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He had always wanted to go to college but worried he wouldn’t be able to pull through it. It wasn’t until the fall of 1876, he left NYC and became a freshman at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He always had opinions on subjects but was also everywhere at the same time. So students and professors were not sure what to make of him at first. During his time at Harvard, he wrestled, was chosen as a member of the Porcellian Club, was on the editorial board of the student newspaper, known as Harvard Advocate, went to dances, concerts, and plays, but still remained too close to home. He even sent letters to his mom explaining how his time at Harvard had been enjoyable, but not the same as the sweetness of his own home.

Unfortunately, “news struck” Teedie when he found out his father had tragically passed away, On February 9, 1878, due to being extremely ill. It was a hard time for Teedie, as his father had been “the best man I ever knew”. During his junior year at Harvard, he had fallen madly in love with Alice, Lee. A lovely blue-eyed woman, who he dreamt of marrying one day. In June of 1880, he graduated from Harvard University with an honors degree. A couple of months after graduating from Harvard, Teedie ended up marrying Alice on October 7, 1880.

A year later in 1881, Teedie ran for the New York State Assembly. He ended up winning, which then he became the youngest man to be elected into the Assembly. Not long after, Teedie was running for various public service positions, including minority leader of the New York State Assembly, and captain of the National Guard. He served from 1882-1884 at the New York State Assembly. But unfortunately, on February 14, 1884, the tragic death of his wife and mother, had passed on the same day. Just two days after the birth of his daughter. Leaving his daughter behind in the care of his sister Anna, Roosevelt ended up spending the next two years on his ranch in the Dakota Territory. There he spent most of his time hunting and driving cattle.

On a visit to London sometime later, in December of 1886, he married once again. Her name was Edith Carow, his childhood sweetheart, and playmate. A year later, on September 13th, his second child, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. is born. In 1889, Theodore is appointed U.S. Civil Service Commissioner, by President Benjamin Harrison. Then quickly moved to Washington, while his family remained in Sagamore Hill, Long Island. He rose the position of the commissioner and served for the next six years. During the years of 1895-1897, his next office was for New York’s police board president. And was soon named Assistant Secretary by president William Mckinley in 1897, where then he would later become president.

While in office he prepared for the Cuban War, and when it finally broke out in 1898, he then went to Cuba as a lieutenant colonel. As a leader of the Rough Riders, he soon began to receive great fame. In 1898 he was then elected Governor of New York and invested in a two- year administration. In 1900 he would’ve been elected for Governor of New York, but he only did half of his work, so the Republicans decided not to choose him, for his second office of Union. In March of 1901, Theodore soon became vice-president, but only held the term for less than a year. Theodore soon became president after the assassination of President Mckinley on September 14, 1901. In 1904 Roosevelt was elected to serve full time as president. In 1902 Roosevelt opened the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague, which he founded in 1899. In September of 1905, President Roosevelt and his good offices between Russia and Japan concluded a peace treaty, to negotiate on the conditions of peace. In 1909, Roosevelt’s candidate, William Howard Taft, took his place in the office, after Theodore lost the election.

Life after his presidency, Theodore and his son traveled to the jungles of Brazil, to explore the River of Doubt. During the seven month expedition, Theodore, unfortunately, suffered from malaria and a serious infection in his leg. To his return to the United States, he continued to write books and essays. He continued to tour the nation, making speeches about war and war bonds. Unfortunately, it was coming to an end for Theodore when he passed away in his sleep on January 6, 1919, due to a pulmonary embolism, at the age of 60. Theodore was a very enthusiastic man and a hard worker. He brought new energy to the white house and was a dedicated conservationist. He made his mark in history, and should always be remembered for all of the great things he did in his interesting, but yet fascinating life.

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