Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 27, 1858. He was the second of the four children by the parents of Theodore and Martha Bulloch Roosevelt. Theodore was a puny kid when he was little and suffered from bad asthma. This kept him from being able to get out and play like other kids(Stefan Lorant 13-17) When Theodore was about 12, his father told him that he would need a strong body to give his mind a chance to develop fully. The next year, while alone on a trip to Maine, Theodore was tormented by two big bullys. He felt ashamed because he was not strong enough to fight back. Roosevelt's father built a gymnasium in the family home, and Theodore exercised there regularly. He overcame his asthma and built up unusual physical strength. He studied under tutors until he entered Harvard in 1876. He earned good grades, and it was said that Theodore would ask so many questions during class, that the teacher would often have to remind him who the teacher was. The 22 year old Roosevelt started his career as a politician right after finishing his Harvard law degree. He was appointed to the U.S Civil Service Commission in 1889.

Cuban rebels had been revolting against their Spanish rulers. Many Americans demanded that the United States help the Cubans. On Feb. 15, 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor. Roosevelt tried to rush getting prepared for war against Spain. He became impatient with McKinley's attempts to avoid war. In private, Roosevelt complained that the president had "no more backbone than a chocolate eclair." The United States declared war on Spain. Roosevelt immediately resigned as assistant secretary of the Navy so he could fight. Even before resigning, he had started to recruit men for a cavalry regiment. This unit became the First Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Under Roosevelt's command, they were known as the Rough Riders. Most of the men were former college athletes and Western cowboys. American troops attacked a ring of fortified hills surrounding Santiago, Cuba. Colonel Roosevelt led his men in a charge up Kettle Hill, which flanked the blockhouse on San Juan Hill (Theodore Roosevelt 156-158) He and the Rough Riders became nationally famous. Twenty years later he declared: "San Juan was the great day of my life."

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most well liked Presidents America has ever had. Perhaps it was because he was not scared to stand up for the working class, or maybe because he was a respectable family man. He was the youngest man to become president at 42 years old. Roosevelt became president in 1901 after William McKinley was assassinated (George Mowry) Teddy Roosevelt started from the bottom, but he would eventually earn the respect of Americans. Though he was not perfect, Theodore Roosevelt was a very intelligent man, a family man, and lastly, a man for the people.

Theodore Roosevelt was a devoted father and husband. His first wife passed away at an early age. After the death of his wife and mother, Roosevelt would remarry and eventually have five more kids with his new wife. Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to raise a young family in the White House. Because Roosevelt was regarded in public circles as a family man, he quickly earned the respect of American. President Roosevelt was a very large and muscular man, but he also had brains to match his brawn. Roosevelt wrote a four volume historical set dealing with the naval wars of 1812. He also wrote biographies of Thomas Hart Benton, Governor Morris Oliver, and Oliver Chromwell. It was once said that Roosevelt would laugh one hundred times a day. Roosevelt was also known to read three to four books a day. By the time he left office, Roosevelt had written a total of thirty-eight books and had composed over 150,000 letters. Theodore Roosevelt was a very intelligent man.

Trust Buster, as Roosevelt was called, was not scared to take on the large monopolies. Because Roosevelt was from a wealthy family, he was not intimidated by money. Roosevelt was the first U.S. President to eat dinner with an African American in the White House. He did what he thought was best for the people. Roosevelts mother was southern, his father was from the north, and he was considered a westerner. After the death of his wife and mother in 1884,

Roosevelt left politics. He ran two cattle ranches on the Little Missouri River in the Dakota Territory. The rough life and endless activity of a rancher helped him recover from his sadness. Wearing cowboy clothes, Roosevelt often spent 14 to 16 hours a day in the saddle. He hunted buffalo and other wild animals, tended cattle, and even helped law officers capture a band of outlaws. Theodore Roosevelt was accepted by Americans from all walks of life, and from all regions of the country. Roosevelt made notable achievements in conservation. He added about 150 million acres to the national forests and in 1905 established the United States Forest Service. He also set up five new national parks. He also set aside 15 sites as national monuments and worked to preserve wildlife. He also created the first 51 federal bird reservations and established the first four national game preserves (Lewis Gould pg41-42, 199-207). In 1919 Theodore would pass away at his home in Oyster Bay, New York.

In conclusion, because of his intelligence, family orientation, and dedication to the people, Theodore Roosevelt was admired and respected. The Life And Times of Theodore Roosevelt by Stefan Lorant, paints an honest picture of an American hero. Theodore Roosevelt was a cowboy, a boxer, a father, and most importantly, a President of the United States.