Growing up, “Teddie” was a sickly child who suffered from asthma. His father, who wanted a rugged son, was completely disappointed. Teddie decided that he would “make his body” and enrolled in gymnastics and weightlighting classes to help develop him into more of a rugged man. Over time, he adopted a lifelong love of exercise and “the strenuous life.”
He went on to attend Harvard University, where he met his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee. Soon after they got married, Teddie enrolled in Columbia University, but quickly left to pursue a career in public service. Unfortunately, he was struck with a stream of bad luck and lost his wife to kidney disease and his mother to typhoid fever—both within hours of each other and in the same house.
Overcome with extreme sadness, Teddie went out west to become a cowboy, which perfectly matched his attitude towards life. He later returned to New York, married his childhood sweetheart, Edith Kermit Carow, and began his political career. In 1900, he became the Vice President of the United States, and then went on to become president after President McKinley was assassinated.
How much do you know about Teddy Roosevelt? Here are some interesting facts that you may not know about him!
- His face is on Mount Rushmore. Teddie’s nose is approximately 20 feet long and his face is as tall as a six-story building.
- He was the youngest man to become President of the United States.
- Teddie preferred the nicknames “Colonel” or “TR,” and hated the nickname “Teddie.”
- He created the United States Forest Service and established five new national parks: Carter Lake, Oregon; Wind Cave, South Dakota; Sullys Hill, North Dakota; Mesa Verde, Colorado; and Platt, Oklahoma.