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AMERICAN HISTORY

26th President: Theodore Roosevelt
Years in Office: 1901 -- 1909  ( 8 yrs )
Party:  Republican
Vice President:  Charles W. Fairbanks
First Lady: Edith Carow Roosevelt
Year Born:  1858
Year Died:  1919  ( 61 yrs old )

If ever there was a president who possessed all the glamour of our national identity, it was Theodore Roosevelt.  A larger - than - life leader, he faced every obstacle head on.

    A frail and asthmatic child who took up boxing to develop stamina,  Roosevelt was a born naturalist and gathered animal artifacts to study.  He was also a brilliant scholar, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard. He was only 23 when he was elected to the New York state assembly and 26 when appointed chairman of the state delegation to the Republican National Convention in 1884.

    When his wife died just two days after giving birth, he retreated to his vast ranch in the Dakota territory and worked as a cowboy and acting deputy sheriff.  From 1889 to 1895,  Roosevelt served as civil service commissioner, under President Benjamin Harrison.  From there he moved to New York City as police commissioner, and in 1897 President William McKinley appointed him assistant secretary of the navy.  He recruited cowboys and former college athletes for his famous " Rough Riders " and led them on a victorious charge up Kettle Hill against the Spanish.

    In 1898, he was elected governor of New York, and conservatives nominated him vice - president to McKinley to keep him running for president.  Alas, he succeeded the assassinated McKinley and became the youngest U.S. president ever.