Theodore Roosevelt: A Man for All Ages

By Tullai, Martin D. | The World and I, April 1998 | Go to article overview

Theodore Roosevelt: A Man for All Ages

Tullai, Martin D., The World and I

It may be that we are presently so devoid of legitimate heroes that we are hungrily looking to the past for one we can justly venerate. Or it may be just a reflection of the nostalgic temper of the times. Whatever the case, we are witnessing a revival of interest in one of the most astute and discerning leaders the United States has ever known: Theodore Roosevelt, our twenty-sixth president, who was born on October 27, 1858.

Certainly from the standpoint of raw, physical courage, he qualifies as a genuine hero.

He displayed it during his ranching days in the Dakota Badlands in numerous ways, including the pursuit and capture of three lawbreakers in his role as deputy sheriff of Billings County.

He revealed it at Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights during the Spanish-American War when he charged headlong with his Rough Riders into murderous enemy fire during his "crowded hour."

He demonstrated it in his African adventures and his exploration of the unmapped River of Doubt in Brazil in 1914.

He showed it during the presidential campaign of 1912 when John Schrank shot him in the chest from a range of six feet. Although saved from death by a metal eyeglass case and a fifty-page speech that was folded double in his breast pocket, Roosevelt's wound had him coughing up blood. Nevertheless, he went on to present his speech as he exclaimed, "It takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose."

Physical courage? In abundance! But he was more. No wonder then:

* When American sculptor Gutzon Borglum created his massive monument to four eminent U.S. statesmen at Mount Rushmore, Roosevelt was part of this distinguished quartet.

* When Time magazine presented its special issue on the American presidency in 1976, he was accorded the singular distinction of appearing on the cover.

* When Newsweek devoted much of its August 6, 1979, issue to the study "Where Have All the Heroes Gone?" he was selected for the cover for being a great and inspiring leader.

* When the New York Times reviewed Edmund Morris' compelling study The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, the book received prominent front-page coverage. (This is but one of some half dozen books recently published detailing the life and exploits of this exuberant personality.)

* When in 1981 the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame decided to name its NAIA Division II Football Championship after a distinguished American, the honor fell to Theodore Roosevelt. This is especially significant when one recalls the important role he played in helping to save this great national game shortly after the turn of the century.

* When the U.S. Navy launched a new aircraft carrier on October 27, 1984, the 126th anniversary of Roosevelt's birth, it was named in his honor. (This is the fourth notable ship to be named after him and is especially fitting since many regard him as the father of the modern U.S. Navy.)


Over the past three decades, a series of polls dealing with presidential greatness have confirmed his lofty status. In 1962, the Schlesinger poll listed him in the seventh position. By 1977, he had jumped dramatically to the fourth spot in the U.S. Historical Society survey. In 1982, the Chicago Tribune poll also placed him in the fourth position, and the 1994 Sienna College Research Institute's Presidential Ranking Survey had him in the third position.

Unquestionably, we are now in the midst of a Theodore Roosevelt renaissance.

And why not? In an era hungry for heroes, Americans are yearning for those qualities of strength, solidity, and honesty so evident in this most lovable president.

The first man to truly enjoy the presidency--"I don't think any president ever enjoyed himself more than I did," he said--this advocate of the "Square Deal" has been characterized as the most restless and flamboyant personality ever to attain that office, a sort of elective bombshell. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Theodore Roosevelt: A Man for All Ages


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.