On this day in 1858 Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the United States’ 26th President, was born.
Theodore Roosevelt was born into a wealthy family, and suffered from severe asthma. Despite this, he was determined to lead an adventurous life, becoming a marksman, horseback rider, boxer, and the leader of the Rough Riders, who became famous for their heroic exploits during the Spanish-American War.
Roosevelt was New York City Police Commissioner and governor of New York State before becoming President in 1901. He was only 42 years old at that time, making him the youngest President ever to hold the position. Roosevelt had previously been Vice President to William McKinley, but when the president was assassinated, Roosevelt stepped up to fill the role. He then went on to win the 1904 Presidential election by a huge margin.
Teddy Roosevelt was known as a Progressive president, expanding government protections for citizens. Known for his political philosophy of “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, Roosevelt was an effective and popular president, as well as a brilliant diplomat. Among other accomplishments, he gained control of Panama in order to build the Panama Canal, and negotiated the settlement of the Russo-Japanese War, which won him the Nobel Prize and brought the United States onto the stage of world diplomacy.
Changing from a frail child to an original Rough Rider and hero, to a President who changed how the United States interacted with tie world? Happy Birthday, Teddy Roosevelt, you were extremely cool.