Theodore Roosevelt Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

Instructor: Dina Albert
Of all the jobs you might see yourself doing as an adult, is becoming a national leader one of them? Leading a nation requires focus, confidence and a vision of the future. In this lesson you'll explore Theodore Roosevelt's life and accomplishments.

Life of Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt, 'Teddy' for short, was born on October 27, 1858 and had three siblings. His father was a businessman and his mother came from a wealthy family that owned a plantation. As a child Roosevelt had severe asthma; he also had bad eyesight. However, that did not stop him from making sure he was always active and staying strong. In his youth he had private tutors for schooling, and when he grew up he went to and graduated from Harvard College. Afterwards he went to Columbia Law School for a little while, but left to pursue his passion for politics.

Roosevelt was married twice. The first time was in 1880 and they had one child before his wife passed away. Then in 1886 he married again and lived the rest of his life with her in Long Island, New York, and having five children. He was concerned about corrupt politics and spent his life working against corruption, and he also was concerned about the health of the environment.

Roosevelt in Politics

When he was 23, Theodore Roosevelt was elected to the New York State Assembly as a Republican representative. In 1889 he was a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission and was also president of the New York City Board of Police Commissioners. As if his plate wasn't full at this point, he also became the assistant secretary of the Navy and in his new position he grew the Navy and pushed for war with Spain.

Theodore Roosevelt
theodore roosevelt

Then in 1898, when the Spanish-American War was declared, Roosevelt organized the cavalry known as the Rough Riders and went to fight in Cuba. Fighting with his cavalry in the Battle of Santiago on Kettle Hill made him a national hero.

Roosevelt as President

In 1900, Theodore Roosevelt became Vice President to President McKinley. In 1901, McKinley was assassinated, and in September of 1901 Roosevelt took over as the 26th President and stayed in office until 1909. The place we now call the White House was actually called the 'executive mansion' before Roosevelt renamed it. Among his many accomplishments is that, starting in 1904, he initiated the construction of the Panama Canal, which was completed in 1914.

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