- Category : 1858-births
- Type : ME
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 3
American politician, U. S. president--the youngest--from 1901-1909, 1906 Nobel Peace Prize winner for bringing about the Peace of Portsmouth between Russia and Japan in 1905, soldier and leader of "The Rough Riders," explorer, author, athlete, and one of four American president faces immortalized on Mt. Rushmore. Considered the first "modern president," of the U.S., he was the first president to ride in an automobile, a submarine and an airplane; championed the creation of the country's first consumer protection law and the first narcotics law; launched America internationally; and promoted technology with his delight over the wireless telegraph.
Born in a brownstone at 28 East 20th street in New York City to the proper and prosperous Roosevelt's known for their philanthropy, he suffered from bronchial asthma attacks that caused panic in his family: by age 11, he used the attacks to get what he wanted. He grew up with a keen interest in nature, and his study of creatures was the only education he had before age 15. In 1874, he began receiving private tutoring to prepare him for the Harvard entrance examination.
At Harvard, Roosevelt was considered an odd character, but he dominated his classmates. He wrote a book about the navy and a book about birds. At his father's death, he had to pursue a profession and chose law but never made much money at it, and did not even finish his degree. Instead, he gravitated toward politics. It was while he was at New York's Columbia Law School that he joined a local Republican association. In November 1881, the group nominated the 23-year-old Roosevelt for the state assembly. He won the election, and moved to Albany.
Roosevelt's brashness and gumption first surfaced when he was barely in office and took on a justice of the court of appeals over a kickback scandal, charging that a prominent financier was a "shark."
Roosevelt married Alice Hathaway Lee in 1880. She died after giving birth to a daughter, Alice, in February 1884. Coincidentally, Roosevelt's mother died on the same day as his wife, the former of typhoid at 3:00 AM and the latter of Bright's Disease at 2:00 PM, 2/14/1884. His wife's death affected Roosevelt deeply, and he resolved to leave New York politics behind and become a rancher. He spent three years in the West and returned to the East as a cowboy - with a hunting knife from Tiffany's. Roosevelt met Edith Kermit Carow, a childhood playmate, who enticed him back to New York for good in late 1886. Roosevelt lost a race for mayor, and he and Edith sailed for England, then returned to New York to raise Roosevelt's daughter, adding four boys and another daughter to the family over the next ten years.
After Republican Benjamin Harrison won the White House position in 1888, Roosevelt was appointed to a seat on the Civil Service Commission in Washington, where he and his growing family would spend six years. In 1894 he was named president of the New York City Board of Police Commissioners.
Roosevelt continued to chime in on national and international issues. Among other causes, he was all for intervening in a Cuban rebellion that had erupted against Spain. This situation gave him the fight he was looking for. After McKinley won the presidency in 1896, he appointed Roosevelt as assistant secretary of the navy. When the USS "Maine" blew up in the Havana harbor in February 1898, McKinley couldn't resist the calls for war. Roosevelt resigned as assistant secretary of the Navy to accept a commission as lieutenant colonel in a new cavalry regiment. Second in command, but very visible, the group acquired the name "Roosevelt's Rough Riders." Roosevelt joined the regiment in Texas, which was the stepping stone to the presidency.
The Rough Riders went from Texas to Florida, then by ship to Cuba where they went ashore without their horses on 6/22/1898. Roosevelt was promoted to colonel and made commander of the Rough Riders, and all his life he preferred to be called "colonel." On 7/01/1898, Roosevelt and his men charged the entrenched Spaniards on Kettle Hill and, above it, San Juan Hill. The hills were captured in short order and Roosevelt rode shoulder-to-shoulder with his soldiers, risking his life. He returned from Cuba a hero, and political bosses wasted no time in making him governor of New York. When they saw that Roosevelt couldn't be controlled, they "kicked him upstairs" to the vice presidency as McKinley's running mate in 1900. McKinley won, but was assassinated in September 1901, and suddenly Roosevelt was president of the United States. He took the presidential oath of office 9/14/1901, 3:32 PM, Buffalo, NY. In 1904, he was elected again in his own right.
Upon leaving the White House, Roosevelt hand-picked his successor, William Howard Taft, and then went hunting in East Africa. Taft disappointed him with his conservatism and in 1912, Roosevelt again declared himself a presidential candidate, but the Republican nomination went to Taft. Roosevelt put together the Progressive ("Bull Moose") party, and outpolled Taft in November. But the Republican split handed the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
In his last years, Roosevelt explored Brazil, returning to urge America's entry into World War I. All four of his sons enlisted, and one was killed. It was possible that the event hastened his own death after a brief illness (rheumatism) on 1/06/1919, Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, NY.