Theodore Roosevelt was small and weak when he was a boy. His eyesight was bad, and he suffered from asthma.* (AZ muh) With the help of his father, he was able to overcome his weakness. He lifted weights and practiced gymnastics every day. He also rode horseback, swam, hiked, and studied wrestling, boxing and judo.
The hard work paid off. He overcame his asthma and became well and strong.
During the time when he was ill, he had to spend a lot of time in bed.
He loved to read, and continued to love reading all his life.
Roosevelt liked a challenge. He left his home in New York and went to
North Dakota to become a rancher. He read everything he could about
ranching, and hired people who could teach him about cattle.
He didn't let anything stand in the way of duty. Once when he was running
for president, someone shot him in the chest. He insisted on giving his
speech before he had his wound treated. He said, "I have a message to
deliver, and I will deliver it as long as there is life in my body."
He only slept 4 or 5 hours a night. He would sit up and read or work
while his family slept.
He was a military man. His motto was, "Speak softly and carry a big
Once in a battle in the Spanish-American war, he led
his cavalry soldiers* (called Rough Riders)
straight up San Juan Hill, even though he feared that he or his soldiers
might be wounded.
He was also very concerned about America's natural resources; the land,
forests, and rivers. He agreed to protect 150 million acres of wilderness
During cattle drives, he worked right along beside the cowboys.
He went into politics because he decided he needed to serve the public.
He was honest, and expected others to be honest, also.
He served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.
He helped to bring about the construction of the Panama Canal.
When he was young, he promised himself he would live his life "to
the hilt"* until he was 60. And that is just what he did.
This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2001.