#26: Theodore Roosevelt: A Life Well Lived

Teddy Roosevelt was like the Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man" of his time.  His life read like some blockbuster adventure novel and the facts and antedotes go on and on.

Here's a couple that I like:

  • He wore a ring made with Abraham Lincoln's hair.
  • A life long anti corruption crusader, he went against the NYPD and the NYC political machines and they attempted to frame him for prostitution and have thugs rough him up on multiple occasions.
  • He was definately pro conceal and carry, since he carried around a revolver to defend himself against his many political enemies.
  • He was a best selling author multiple times on subjects as varied as big game hunting, the wild West and Naval Warfare.
  • "The Naval War of 1812" was published by TR when he was only 23 years old, but is considered one of the best historical accounts of Naval Warfare ever written.  The U.S. Naval Academy still teaches from this book today.  This is somewhat amazing since TR was never in the Navy prior to him writing this book and only pursued the subject as an academic interest.
  • An avid hunter of all big game, TR ate the heart of the first elephant he killed.
  • In his african safari, it's estimated that his crew killed over 11,000 animals.  Although many of these animals were small mammals or insects, over 500 were big game animals such as elephants, rhinos and lions.
  • The african safari costed the equivelent of $1,800,000 in today's currency.
  • TR himself mapped a 1500 mile river in Brazil.  The river was renamed Rio Roosevelt in his honor.  He nearly died on this trip and on many others from infection and disease.
  • He lived a real cowboy's life in North Dakota.  During this time, he was appointed deputy sherrif and hunted down three people who stole his boat.  Instead of hanging them, as was the custom, he drove them back to town to stand trial, a 40 hour trip he made without sleep.
  • He wrote 35 books on various subjects, and unlike the half literate politicians of today, none of them were ghost written.  Few of them were even about politics.
  • Giving a speech, he got shot in the chest.  Rather than seek medical attention, he simply exclaimed "it will take more than that to stop a bull moose!" and continued with his speech.  He knew that since he was not coughing blood, the wound would not be mortal.
  • TR largely led and funded a volunteer regiment in Cuba during the Spanish American War.  The unit was largely successful and he personally led the charge to storm Spanish positions.

I'm not sure what else I can even say.  I'm sure that there's a lot of things that I'm leaving out, but I have to say that TR is in the running for the "Most Interesting President" award.