(31.) THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1858-1919)
Progressive “Bull Moose” Roosevelt/Hiram W. Johnson
Defeated by Democrat Woodrow Wilson/Thomas Marshall, 1912
Roosevelt graduated from Harvard and entered public life, serving in the New York legislature the following year. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, member of the U. S. Civil Service Commission, New York Police Commission, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New York, and Vice President under McKinley.
He led the volunteers in the Spanish-American War known as “Rough Riders” and is famous for their charge up San Juan Hill. Upon McKinley’s death, he became President, and was reelected for another term. By a firm foreign policy of “speaking softly and carrying a big stick,” he strengthened America abroad, began the building of the Panama Canal, and ended the Russo-Japanese War for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. His dissatisfaction with later events prompted him to run as the “Bull Moose” candidate for a third term, which split the Republican Party, resulting in the election of Wilson.
Roosevelt’s big game hunting in Africa, collecting specimens for national museums, inspired production of toy Teddy bears, named for him. He later explored the Brazilian jungles and was author of several books. He advocated intervention in World War I. His four sons fought overseas, Quentin being killed in action.