Theodore Roosevelt- Mr.America

By in Leadership, Military Leaders, Political Leaders

Matthew Kraus  Wagner College’16

“I don’t think any President ever enjoyed himself more than I did. Moreover, I don’t think any ex-President ever enjoyed himself more.”… “Success – the real success – does not depend upon the position you hold, but upon how you carry yourself in that position. (May 26th 1910)


Theodore Roosevelt evolved from a very sickly child who upon graduating Harvard University, into a man who lived one of the most interesting lives a president has ever walked. From his time in the Spanish American War, forming the first volunteer cavalry unit, called the Rough Riders. To his last gasp to claim the presidency in 1912 forming his own political party, Bull Moose Party, to challenge his successor because he disagreed with the incumbent’s policies. Roosevelt was able to have this long successful political career due to his revolutionary use of the media, and how open he was to the public. Theodore Roosevelt’s use of the media was not only revolutionary, but allowed him to not only excel in all aspects of his presidency, and, in turn modernized the president’s role as a politician and a public figure.

Early Life

Born on October 27, 1858 in New York City, Theodore Roosevelt was born into a family of wealth of promise. Despite this though Roosevelt was forced to overcome much as a young boy, diagnosed with asthma and forced to fight with other disease constantly Roosevelt could not even sleep lying down. Teddy’s father though made him a very active child making Teddy pick up boxing, he would later finish second in Harvard’s boxing championship.



–       Roosevelt’s first victory as a politician, the 1882 election for New York State Assembly, was the beginning of his career in politics. This also showed the Roosevelt would not let his apparent health deficiencies slow him down as being a politician, a very stressful life, was not recommended by his doctor.

–       Leaving his very nice position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, to form his own volunteer cavalry group and fight in the Spanish American War. Roosevelt who was a big supporter of war stating once “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one” showed he was not just a paper pusher by forming the Rough Riders

–       The Election of 1912, despite not having been in office for 4 years, Roosevelt was so disgusted by his successor term as president, William Taft; Roosevelt made a comeback and ran for president by forming his own political group. This new group, the Bull Moose Party, and Roosevelt’s near victory showed his immense popularity and his true success as a politician.

Leadership Lesson

Theodore Roosevelt was the first modern president, meaning he made himself open and available to the media on a daily basis. His openness made him enormously popular with the American people because he kept them in the loop of what was going on in their country with his openness.



Roosevelt was a man who overcame much to become president of the United States. However, he never allowed that position to define him as a man, through his legacy as man who modernized politics and how his bravado still lives on today. Roosevelt is a true example of a model American President



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