Theodore Roosevelt Biography



Theodore Roosevelt
On October 27, 1858, in New York Martha Bulloch Roosevelt gave birth to Theodore
Roosevelt, her second child and first son. He was named after his father, Theodore Sr., and was
sometimes called Thee or Teedie as a nickname. He was a seventh generation Roosevelt. As a
child and throughout his lifetime, Theodore suffered from severe asthma, becoming so bad that
they would nearly suffocate him. His father, who refused to have a sickly child, would constantly
carry him around, hoping that Theodore’s lungs would become stronger. Because of this,
Theodore always admired his father that would protect him. He would follow the strenuous
exercise regiments that his father set on him to become stronger. He would do weightlifting,
gymnastics, and any other activity that would give him endurance. Slowly, his asthma decreased
to lesser degrees.
Theodore hardly ever went to school because of his sickly nature, so he was instructed by
his Aunt Annie, that lived with the family. He spent much time reading, and is there where he
became obsessed with natural history, a passion that stayed with him throughout his lifetime. He
would even kill animals and stuff them himself when he was a teenager. Theodore wanted to
attend Harvard in the fall of 1876, but did not have all the preparation necessary. Nevertheless,
he completed three years of college preparation in less than two years. He also passed all of his
preliminary exams. He entered Harvard in late September 1876. During the summer of 1877
Theodore published his first work entitled The Summer Bird of the Adirondacks in Franklin
County, NY. While he was away at college, his father died at the young age of 46 from stomach
cancer. Theodore made it home only hours after his father had died. The loss of his father would
have a profound effect on Theodore as seen later in his life. Yet, he returned to Harvard the
following year, and was during this time that he met Alice Lee. He fell madly in love with, and
they married on October 27, 1880.
After moving to New York, Teddy decided to go into the field of politics. With the help
of Jack Hess and Joe Murray, Roosevelt was elected to his first political office in 1881 as a
representative for the New York Assembly. At the age of 23, he was the youngest man on the
floor. He would not be bound by the political machine and would fight for what he believed in.
He was soon appointed as a member of the Committee of the City. Soon afterwards, his
reputation as a reformer began to build. He introduced four reform bills immediately after
entering office. Because of his strong personality Roosevelt was elected for two more terms. He
introduced a bill that became known as the Roosevelt Bill which wanted to pass more power to
the elected officials such as the mayor. Then on February 12 his first child, Alice was born. But
with the happiness, tragedy was not far behind. On February 14, Roosevelt lost his mother to
typhoid, and within hours, his wife died of Bright’s disease. This completely destroyed
Roosevelt. He never spoke of Alice again, and decided to move to the Badlands of North Dakota.
He left the care of his newborn Alice, under the supervision of Theodore’s sister Bamie.
In North Dakota, Theodore would rebuild himself from his losses, and sort out his
emotions. Because he was able to carry his own weight, Roosevelt won the respect of many
cowboys, that would help him in his future career. He started two cattle ranches, and became a
man of the West. But because he was losing money in the cattle business, Roosevelt returned
back East in October of 1886.
When he returned to New York, Roosevelt was offered, the Republican nomination for
Mayor of New York. He accepted although he knew that there was not much chance in him
winning. But through his speeches, he was able to receive much attention. Yet despite all his
work, he did not win. Also during this time Roosevelt had married his childhood friend Edith
Carrow in England on December 2, 1886.
Then in the Presidential campaign of 1888, the Republican nominee, Harrison, needed
somebody that would give speeches to catch the listeners attention. When he won, Roosevelt
hoped for a political appointment as compensation, such as Assistant Secretary of State, but was
only given the job as a Civil Service Commission. But this proved to be a no-win situation for
Roosevelt, because if he did