Known to his family as “Teedie”, Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858. As a young man Roosevelt would struggle with illness and asthma and spend much time inside studying and preparing himself for the future. However, with the encouragement of his father and through strenuous exercise and a new found love for boxing he would soon overcome his physical obstacles. With his improved health and ever growing education he would soon move beyond the walls of his home and discover his love for nature, science and history. In 1880, Roosevelt would graduate from Harvard University and go on to pursue law at Columbia Law School. During this time he would marry Alice Hathaway and later decide to drop out of law school in order to pursue a career in politics. In 1881, he would be elected to the New York legislature where he would serve as an assembly man. During this time, Roosevelt would also write his first book, The Naval War of 1812.
Soon, however Roosevelt would be struck by tragedy. On February 12, 1884, Roosevelt’s wife Alice would give birth, two days later both his wife and mother would die. Alice would lose her life to Bright’s disease while his mother, Mittie Roosevelt would succumb to typhoid fever. “In the early hours of February 14, Valentine’s day, Mittie Roosevelt died with her son by her side. In his grief he returned to his wife’s room. That afternoon Alice died in his arms…” (Dinunzio, p.15) In his grief and despair Roosevelt would drop out of politics and return to his ranch in the Dakota Territory. While in the west, he would earn the respect of cowboys and ranchers. Roosevelt would later say that during this time, “the romance of my life began.” For it is dur...
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...osevelt himself stated that, “We are not building this country of ours for a day. It is to last through the ages.” (Lansford, p.37) Perhaps it was this belief that led to the many nicknames of the famous president. Though he started out as merely “Teedie” (a nickname he despised) through his life’s work he would become known as: The Happy Warrior, The Bull Moose, The Rough Rider, The Old Lion, The Trust Buster and The Man of the Big Stick. With his publishing of over 25 books, his beliefs, policies, service, and character Theodore Roosevelt would surpass any nickname ever given to him and leave a lasting impact on our nation.
Dinunzio, Mario. 2003. Theodore Roosevelt. Congressional Quarterly.
Lansford, Tom. 2003. Presidents and their Decisions: Theodore Roosevelt.
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