Is there more deserving of a spot on our Featured Alphas list than the 26th President of the United States? We think not. If this man was alive today, we feel he would be none too impressed with the false bravado shown by many of the world's leaders. Let's take a closer look at some facts that make Teddy someone we should look up to even 100 years past his death.
- He grew up extremely wealthy and was highly influenced by his father whom he said “combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness.”
- At an early age, he had severely debilitating asthma. He finally discovered through hiking the Alps that physical exertion helped his asthma and this began his lifelong love affair with exercise.
- He once was beaten badly by school bullies. It impacted Roosevelt to the point that he began boxing training immediately which continued into his years while he was President.
- He witnessed first-hand Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession. He was 6 years old.
- He enrolled at Harvard after being homeschooled for almost all of his life. As a true sign of his father’s character, his advice to Teddy upon starting college was “Take care of your morals first, your health next, and finally your studies.”
- His father passed in 1878 and in 1884, he lost his mother and his wife to illness on the exact same day.
- While at Harvard, Roosevelt became completely enamored with the Navy and is often considered the “father” of the modern Navy. He was even the executor of the creation of the Panama Canal.
- He was leader of the Rough Riders which was a combat regimen. He saw combat and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in the Battle of Kettle Hill.
- He was the first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He won this for his 1906 role in bringing Russia and Japan to a peace meeting in New Hampshire.
- In 1908, he suffered a detached retina during a boxing bout. He then turned his focus to jiu-jitsu.
- He survived an assassination attempt in 1912. Not only did he survive, but Roosevelt explained to the audience that he had been shot, that the bullet was now inside his chest and that he likely could not give as long as a speech due to the wound (he still went 84 minutes post-shot!). He assured the audience “it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.” Wow.
- The Teddy Bear was named after him. During one of his famed hunting trips, Roosevelt refused to kill an old bear that fellow hunters had tied to a tree. He said it lacked “sportsmanship.” After the papers published the story, a shopkeeper in NY asked Roosevelt if he could start calling his toy bears “Teddy Bears.” It was approved and the rest is history. It should be noted that Roosevelt hated the nickname “Teddy” and those that new him referred to him as Colonel or Theodore.
There you have it. A VERY small portion of the things that landed Theodore Roosevelt on our list. We encourage you to do your own additional research because this guy was truly one of a kind. A soldier, a rancher, a poet, a Harvard grad, a fighter and ultimately, a President.