Nickname: TR

Years in office: 1901–1909

Political party: Republican

Birthday: October 27, 1858

Official presidential portrait of Theodore Roosevelt

by John Singer Sargent, 1903

The Original Teddy Bear, Smithsonian Archives

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt traveled to Mississippi and Louisiana on a hunting expedition. While on the trip, the president refused to shoot a captured bear. A political cartoonist from the Washington Post named Clifford Berryman used the story in his drawings. Berryman’s cartoons inspired Morris Michtom to create a toy based on the event. Michtom’s “Teddy” bear became a favorite toy of the time and still bears the president’s name today.

The election of 1904 went to the popular incumbent, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt, who ascended to the presidency upon the assassination of William McKinley, used his first term to push progressive and government reforms. Roosevelt easily won the election with 71% of the electoral votes. Notable in this election is the emergence of the Socialist party and its famous candidate, Eugene Debs.

After Roosevelt was elected in 1904, he promised to serve only that term and then leave office. He did not run again in 1908, but he did in 1912.

The election of 1912 pitted Woodrow Wilson against two worthy opponents. The first was incumbent William Howard Taft, the hand-picked successor of Teddy Roosevelt. The second was Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt re-entered politics fearing that Taft was too conservative.  Since the Republican party already had its candidate in Taft, Roosevelt ran as a Progressive (also know as the Bull Moose Party). Wilson ran on policies of lowering tariffs, breaking up monopolies, and supporting small businesses. He won the electoral votes of 40 states, becoming our 28th president.


New York, NY


Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, NY


Medora, ND


Oyster Bay, NY


Davis, Kenneth C., and Pedro Martin. Don’t Know Much about the Presidents. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

DeGregorio, William A., and Aaron Jaffe. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, Inc., 2017.

Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2009.


Encyclopedia Britannica, britannica.com

Library of Congress, loc.gov

Miller Center, University of Virginia, millercenter.org/the-presidency

The White House, whitehouse.gov

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