Short biography of Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States. Describes his early years as he developed from a sickly child, to an advocate of the 'strenuous life'. His years spent studying in the east were followed by those of sport, exercise and work in the far west. His rise to national fame came quickly, particularly after his famous Charge with the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill. As a president he was an uncompromising reformer, who gathered both a large following, and many enemies. He remains one of the most colorful of American presidents.
Theodore Roosevelt while alive was the most-talked-of man in the world. Since his death, many volumes have been written about him, in the effort to explain the phenomenon of his life to the American people.
His life-span extended only threescore years, but was crowded with so many interests that it seems the life of three or four men, instead of merely one. An interesting book could be written on "Roosevelt the Ranchman"; another on "Roosevelt the Big Game Hunter"; another on "Roosevelt the Naturalist"; another on "Roosevelt the Writer"; and still another on "Roosevelt the Statesman"—and there would be material yet remaining!
The present brief life-story touches all these elements, but only suggestively. We have tried merely to present an outline portrait of the man, done in simple lines, rather than an over-technical character study. We have also tried to avoid hero worship, a common fault of most books extant upon Roosevelt to-day. Washington thus suffered at the hands of his early biographers; as also did Lincoln. Let us keep Roosevelt human! Let us recognize his faults as clearly as his virtues.
Frederick the Great it was, we believe, who told his court painter: "I wish to be painted warts and all!"
The life of Roosevelt furnishes inspiration to every young American. He proved that wealth was no barrier to success; that the handicaps of city life and ill health were but spurs to higher effort. He felt that he could conquer all things because he had conquered, first of all, himself.
The source of some material in this edition is found in The Boy's Life of Theodore Roosevelt, by Hermann Hagedornm published by Harper & Brothers, and we acknowledge their courtesy with thanks. Among other books of interest and value to which we have referred are:
- The Making of An American, and Roosevelt, the Citizen, by Jacob A. Riis (Macmillan Co.);
- The Many-Sided Roosevelt, by George William Douglass (Dodd, Mead & Co.);
- Camping and Tramping with Roosevelt, by John Burroughs (Houghton, Mifflin Co.);
- Roosevelt, the Boy and the Man, by James Morgan (Macmillan Co.);
- Life of Roosevelt, by William D. Lewis (John C. Winston Co.);
and Roosevelts own books, letters, and addresses, as published by Charles Scribner's Sons, The Macmillan Company, G. P. Putnam's Sons, George H. Doran Company, The Century Company, and others—to all of which we desire to give due acknowledgement.