The Early Years
Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City. Roosevelt was a sickly child who suffered from asthma. He developed an early interest in wildlife, and as a child hoped to become a zoologist. He traveled extensively with his family and as he was too sick as a child to go to school, he was taught by private tutors. In 1875, at the age of 17, Teddy Roosevelt took and passed the Harvard entrance exam. He began his studies the next year.
A year after graduating from Harvard and beginning Columbia Law School, Roosevelt left school to run for the New York State Senate. He won and served for two years. After this, Roosevelt worked as a cattle rancher in the Dakota Territory for two years and was for a short period a Deputy Sheriff of Billings County.
From 1889 to 1895 Roosevelt served on the Commission of the US Civil Service. He vigorously worked to insure strict enforcement of the Civil Service laws. From 1895-1897, Roosevelt served as President of the New York City Police Board. From 1897 to 1898 Roosevelt served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He was a strong supporter of the war with Spain.
When the war began, Roosevelt resigned his post to become Commander of the US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, otherwise known as the "Rough Riders." He led a charge up San Juan hill and became famous throughout America.
From 1898-1900 Roosevelt served as the Governor of New York. In the fall of 1900, Roosevelt was nominated Vice President on a ticket with President McKinley after the death in office of Vice President Garret Hobart. On McKinley's death, Roosevelt became the youngest man to assume the office of President.
Accomplishments in Office
Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most vigorous men to enter the White House. Not only was he young in years, he was clearly a man of action, and this set the tone for his Presidency.
Roosevelt carried out a vigorous foreign policy. He tried to negotiate an agreement with Columbia (which at the time was part of Panama) to allow the building of the Panama Canal. When the Columbians refused, a rebellion began in Panama. The United States immediately recognized the triumphant new Columbian-Panamanian government, with which it quickly negotiated a canal treaty.
Roosevelt added what became known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. This stated that it was the responsibility of the United States to intervene in South America in the event of instability.
Roosevelt successfully mediated the Russian-Japanese war. For his efforts, he received the Nobel Peace prize.
Roosevelt was also very active in domestic affairs. He pursued a strong policy of enforcing anti-trust laws. His administration brought anti-trust actions against a whole range of monopolist corporations. Roosevelt intervened on the side of miners in the coal strike of 1902. He also strongly supported the first federal law to provide for inspection of meats, drugs and other substances.
Roosevelt earned a reputation as a great conservationist for his action in setting aside 125 million acres for national forests.
The First Family
Father: Theodore Roosevelt Sr.
Mother: Martha Bulloch Roosevelt
Wives: Alice Hathaway Lee, Edith Kermit Carow
Daughters: Alice, Ethel
Sons: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Archibald Bulloch, Quentin
Wright Brothers Take Flight
Panama Canal Begun
Food and Drug Inspections
Great White Fleet Sails
Secretaries of State: John Hay, Elihu Root, Robert Bacon
Secretaries of Treasury: Lyman Gage, Leslie Shaw, George Cortelyou
Secretaries of War: Elihu Root, William Taft, Luke Wright
Attorney Generals: Philander Knox, William Moody
Secretaries of Navy: John Long, William Moody, Paul Norton, Charles Bonaparte, Victor Metcalf, Truman Newberry
Postmaster Generals: Charles Smith, Henry Payne, Robert Wynne, George Cortelyou, George Von Meyer
Secretaries of Interior: Ethan Hitchock, James Garfield
Secretary of Agriculture: James Wilson
Secretaries of Commerce and Labor: George Cortelyou, Victor Metcalf, Oscar Straus
Did You Know?
First President to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
First President to ride in an automobile.
First President to ride in an automobile.
First President to fly in a plane.
First President to submerge in a submarine.
First President to visit a foreign country.