Teddy Roosevelt: A Singular Life
Roosevelt barely survived childhood. Illness might have slowed his body but
his mind raced. He transformed his sickly frame into an athletic, rugged body.
He not only became a great president, he made himself a world authority on wildlife,
wrote prodigiously, fought to expand
For all of these serious aspects of TR, there was another side to the man. It has been said that while he and his wife, Edith, had six children, Edith had seven. He wrestled and played with his children at their home on Long Island and the grounds of the White House. He boxed, losing his sight in one eye to a sparring partner while president. He rode horses, swam wherever he could, including in Washington's Potomac River, loved rowing, wrestled, played tennis and polo, organized hikes that left his comrades breathless, and even took up jiujitsu.
He traveled the world meeting the crown princes of Europe, inspected his handiwork, the Panama Canal, went on safari and led an expedition to chart an unknown river. He was the first president to fly in a plane, to travel overseas while in office, and ride in a submarine.
Roosevelt became president upon the death of William McKinley, he was and remains
our country's youngest chief executive. Despite his age, few had come to the
office so prepared to take on its demands. No one save possibly Jefferson was
as well read. The energy he brought to the office ensured that McKinley would
soon be forgotten and
and critics called him a cowboy, a madman, a dude, four-eyes, Rough Rider, the
Gunpowder Governor, Colonel, a bully, the cyclone, Bull Moose, childish, brilliant,
insane, caring and daring. One observed, "You had to hate the Colonel a whole
lot to keep from loving him." Historian H.W. Brands stated, "Those who hated
him often did so for the same reason the many more loved him: He called to
the rigors of what he termed a strenuous life ended his stay on earth at age
60, Theodore Roosevelt's time spanned from