“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
Theodore Roosevelt's Biography
Theodore Roosevelt Jr., better known by his nickname Teddy, was the 26th President of the United States and a legendary figure in American history and popular culture. His exploits as a soldier in the Spanish-American War, his deep commitment to environmental conservation, and his immense personality have given him an almost mythic status in the minds of many.
Teddy Roosevelt (first cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who would become President in 1933) suffered from debilitating asthma as a child, a disease that he chose to conquer by leading a strenuously active life. He reportedly suffered from depression throughout his life, and never liked to sit still for too long lest it get the better of him (a deeply outmoded idea, but it seemed to work as a distraction for T.R.). Roosevelt was known to drink massive cups of coffee throughout the day, and when he got bored would often challenge whoever was in the room—staffer or statesman—to physical contests like arm wrestling or pushups.
Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest US President ever to take office at 42, which he did upon the assassination of William McKinley in 1901. His forceful personality allowed him to push through the most progressive reforms of the era, including breaking up monopolies and creating numerous national parks, as well as establishing safety standards for food and drugs due to the epidemic of tainted or mislabeled products.
Then, of course, there are his exploits after his presidency, such as his presidential candidacy as a member of the Bull Moose Party (also known as the Progressive Party) and the assassination attempt that followed. While giving a speech on the campaign trail, he was shot—but after determining that it was not a fatal wound, he finished the speech with the bullet still lodged in his chest. Later in life, he set off on an expedition through the Amazon Rainforest that nearly killed him.
While Theodore Roosevelt’s life is too big to capture in a few paragraphs, his choice of cocktail is pretty straightforward. He liked to whip up Mint Juleps for himself and his guests, which he made with fresh mint straight from the White House gardens. Teddy would reportedly make them in an attempt to convince his cabinet members to join him for games of tennis.