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From Rancher to President: Theodore Roosevelt’s Impactful Presidency

via Library of Congress
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Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, led a remarkable life filled with adventures, achievements, and fascinating experiences.

Prolific Author

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Roosevelt wrote over 35 books on various topics, including history, biography, nature, and politics. His works include “The Naval War of 1812,” “The Winning of the West,” and his autobiography, “Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography.”

Accomplished Naturalist

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Roosevelt had a deep love for nature and wildlife from a young age. He was a dedicated conservationist and established numerous national parks, forests, monuments, and wildlife refuges during his presidency, including Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon.

Youngest President in History

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At the age of 42, Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest person ever to assume the presidency following the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901.

War Hero

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Roosevelt resigned from his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to join the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry regiment, during the Spanish-American War. He became a national hero for his leadership during the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba.

The Teddy Bear Was Named After Him

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The teddy bear got its name from an incident involving President Roosevelt during a hunting trip in Mississippi. Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear that had been tied to a tree by his hunting party, leading to a cartoon depicting the event. Toymakers began producing stuffed bears called “Teddy’s bears,” eventually leading to the creation of the teddy bear.

Advocate for Progressive Reforms

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Roosevelt championed progressive reforms aimed at regulating big business, protecting consumers, and conserving natural resources. His domestic policy agenda, known as the Square Deal, focused on three key principles: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

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In 1906, Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War. He became the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Assassination Attempt

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While campaigning for a third presidential term in 1912, Roosevelt was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Despite being wounded, he delivered his scheduled speech before seeking medical attention. The bullet had been slowed down by a folded copy of his speech and a metal eyeglass case in his pocket.

Adventurous Explorer

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Throughout his life, Roosevelt embarked on numerous expeditions and adventures, including a perilous journey down the uncharted River of Doubt in the Amazon rainforest in 1914, which was later renamed the Rio Roosevelt in his honor.

Family Man

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Despite his busy political career and adventurous pursuits, Roosevelt was a devoted husband and father. He had six children with his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, and five children with his second wife, Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt. He cherished family time and often took his children on outdoor adventures and nature expeditions.

Accomplished Boxer

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Roosevelt was an avid boxer and practiced the sport regularly throughout his life. While attending Harvard University, he became the university’s boxing champion in the lightweight division.

Blind in One Eye

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In 1905, while boxing in the White House, Roosevelt was struck in the face, leading to a detached retina in his left eye. Despite this injury, he continued his active lifestyle and political career with impaired vision in that eye.

Creation of the Panama Canal

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Roosevelt played a significant role in the construction of the Panama Canal, a strategic waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Under his presidency, the United States acquired the rights to build the canal from France and oversaw its completion in 1914.


via Library of Congress

Roosevelt was a passionate advocate for conservation and environmental protection. He established the United States Forest Service and signed legislation creating five national parks, 18 national monuments, and over 50 wildlife refuges during his presidency.

An Explorer

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In addition to his adventures in the Amazon, Roosevelt embarked on numerous expeditions to remote regions of North America, Africa, and Europe. He was a member of the Boone and Crockett Club, a conservation organization dedicated to preserving wildlife and natural habitats.

He Was an Orator

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Roosevelt was known for his powerful and dynamic speaking style. He delivered over 150 speeches during his presidency, covering a wide range of topics, from foreign policy to social reform. His speeches often inspired and mobilized the American public to support his progressive agenda.

The Square Deal

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Roosevelt’s domestic policy agenda, known as the Square Deal, aimed to balance the interests of labor, business, and consumers. It included efforts to regulate monopolies, protect workers’ rights, and improve public health and safety standards.

Roosevelt’s Literary Legacy

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In addition to his books on history and politics, Roosevelt was an accomplished writer of essays, articles, and letters. He wrote prolifically throughout his life, contributing to numerous publications and using his writing to advocate for his beliefs and causes.

Police Commissioner

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Prior to his presidency, Roosevelt served as the Police Commissioner of New York City from 1895 to 1897. He implemented various reforms to combat corruption and improve the efficiency and professionalism of the city’s police force.

The Roosevelt Corollary

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Roosevelt’s foreign policy doctrine, known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, asserted the United States’ right to intervene in the affairs of Latin American countries to maintain stability and protect American interests. It significantly expanded the scope of US influence in the Western Hemisphere.

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