Oct. 27, 1858 - Jan. 6, 1919
State: New York
Religion: Dutch Reformed
Marriages: Alice Hathaway Lee, Edith Kermit Carow
Military service: During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt was commander of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, known as the Rough Riders, rising from lieutenant colonel to colonel. In Cuba, he led his men in the charge up San Juan Hill and occupied the city of Santiago.
Term: Sept. 14, 1901 - March 3, 1909
Vice president: Vacant 1901-1905; Charles Warren Fairbanks, 1905-1909
Highlights of presidency: He described his foreign policy with the slogan "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Great Britain conceded to the U.S. the right to build the Panama Canal, for which Roosevelt had to purchase the land from Colombia, the nation that controlled Panama. Colombia rejected the offer; Panama revolted and won its independence, then granted to the U.S. the right to use the canal zone in 1904. Under Roosevelt, the Interstate Commerce Commission grew in its regulation of railroads, and antitrust policies assured labor and consumer rights. In 1906, he was the first president in office to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. While president, he tried unsuccessfully to have "In God We Trust" taken off U.S. currency.
Did you know? Roosevelt, who assumed the presidency upon William McKinley's death, was the youngest president at age 42. He wore a ring with a lock of Lincoln's hair to his inauguration. Roosevelt was blind in his left eye. He was the first president to travel outside the U.S. while in officeto Panama and Puerto Rico in 1906. On Oct. 14, 1912, Roosevelt was shot in the lung just before giving a campaign speech in Milwaukee during his unsuccessful campaign for president as the "Bull Moose" candidate, and he went on to give the speech before being taken to the hospital. He recovered completely with no complications. Roosevelt was a member of the New York State Assembly, 1882-1884; member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1889-1895; president of the New York City Police Board, 1895-1897; assistant secretary of the Navy, 1897-1898; governor, 1898-1900; and vice president March-Sept. 1901. His mother and his first wife both died Feb. 14, 1884, in the same house. Roosevelt's is the third figure from the left on Mt. Rushmore.