Children Of Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States, known for his energetic personality and range of interests. But beyond his public life, he was also a father to six children who each led fascinating lives of their own. This article will introduce you to Theodore Roosevelt’s family.

We’ll look at how his passion for life and strong family values influenced his children. Despite facing personal tragedies, including the loss of his first wife and his mother on the same day, Roosevelt’s family remained central to his world. His children grew up in the spotlight of their father’s remarkable career, carving out their own paths and leaving their marks on American history.

Early Life and Family Dynamics

Roosevelt family in 1903 with Quentin on the left, Theodore Roosevelt, Ted, Archie, Alice, Kermit, Edith, and Ethel

Theodore Roosevelt’s family life began with his marriage to Alice Hathaway Lee in 1880, a union that brought him great joy. Together, they welcomed their first child, Alice Lee Roosevelt, in 1884. Tragically, Roosevelt faced unimaginable loss when both his wife and his mother died on the same day, February 14, 1884, just two days after Alice was born. This devastating event deeply affected Roosevelt, leading him to rarely speak of his first wife in later years.

A New Chapter with Edith Kermit Carow

Roosevelt’s life took a turn for the better when he married Edith Kermit Carow in 1886. Edith, a childhood friend, became a steadfast partner and the mother to five more children: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin. This new chapter in Roosevelt’s life was marked by a bustling household filled with the laughter and chaos of growing children. Edith played a significant role in managing the household and raising the children, especially during Roosevelt’s political ascendance.

The Influence of Roosevelt’s Career on Family Life

Theodore Roosevelt’s political career, including his ascent to the presidency in 1901, had a profound impact on his family. The Roosevelts became one of the most prominent families in America, with their private lives often in the public eye. Despite the demands of his career, Roosevelt was a devoted father who valued spending time with his children. He believed in raising them with the same rugged individualism and sense of adventure that he himself embodied. Family activities often included outdoor adventures, reading sessions, and engaging discussions about politics and history, all of which helped to shape the personalities and futures of the Roosevelt children.

Nurturing a Legacy of Leadership and Service

The dynamic family environment nurtured by Theodore and Edith Roosevelt was grounded in principles of service, leadership, and civic duty. Roosevelt encouraged his children to pursue their interests and to serve their country with pride and dedication. This upbringing not only bonded the family but also prepared the children to navigate the complexities of life in the public eye. As a result, each child developed a strong sense of self and a commitment to making their own impact on the world, influenced by the values of their remarkable parents.

The Roosevelt Children

Theodore Roosevelt had six children in two marriages. His first marriage, which was to Alice Hathaway Lee, was in 1880 until her death in 1884. She died two days after the birth of their only child. His second marriage was to Edith Kermit Carow in 1886, and they had five children. Below are the six Roosevelt children:

Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth

Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980), daughter of 26th US President, Theodore Roosevelt

Alice Lee Roosevelt, the eldest of Theodore Roosevelt’s children, was born from his first marriage to Alice Hathaway Lee. Known for her sharp wit and strong personality, Alice quickly became a prominent figure in Washington, D.C., famed for her outspokenness and her social prowess. She often said she had “a good time” regardless of the rules of etiquette of her era, leading to the famous quote by her father: “I can either run the country, or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both.” Throughout her life, Alice used her position to influence politics behind the scenes, becoming a celebrated figure in the capital and beyond.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1887-1944)

Theodore “Ted” Roosevelt Jr., the eldest son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, followed closely in his father’s footsteps. With a life dedicated to public service, Ted made his mark both in the military and political arenas. He served with distinction in both World Wars, earning the Medal of Honor posthumously for his role in the D-Day landings during World War II. Ted’s political career included acting as Governor of Puerto Rico and the Philippines, showcasing his commitment to his country and the values instilled by his father.

Kermit Roosevelt

Kermit Roosevelt in 1926

Kermit Roosevelt was an adventurer at heart, much like his father. He accompanied Theodore on many expeditions, including the famous African safari and the harrowing journey through the Amazon rainforest. Kermit also served in both World Wars, showcasing the Roosevelt family’s strong tradition of military service. Despite facing personal challenges, including battles with alcoholism, Kermit’s contributions to the Roosevelt legacy through his adventures and service are undeniable.

Ethel Carow Roosevelt Derby

Ethel Roosevelt, youngest daughter of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt

Ethel Roosevelt Derby, the second daughter of Theodore and Edith, dedicated her life to philanthropy and public service. She was deeply involved in nursing during World War I and later contributed significantly to the healthcare sector, focusing on children’s health and welfare. Ethel’s philanthropic efforts reflected the Roosevelt family’s commitment to making a tangible impact on society, carrying on her father’s legacy of service.

Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt

Archie Roosevelt with his pony, Algonquin on the White House Lawn in 1902

Archibald “Archie” Roosevelt, like his brothers, served valiantly in both World Wars, reflecting the family’s strong military tradition. His service in World War I left him wounded, but that did not deter his spirit. Archie’s career spanned both business and government roles, showcasing the versatility and dedication that were hallmarks of the Roosevelt children. His commitment to his country and family values was evident throughout his life.

Quentin Roosevelt

Lt. Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, a pilot in the 95th Aero Squadron, Air Service, United States Army

Quentin, the youngest son, was known for his bright spirit and enthusiasm for aviation. His passion for flying led him to join the Air Service during World War I, where he tragically lost his life in combat at the young age of 20. Quentin’s death deeply affected the Roosevelt family, serving as a poignant reminder of the costs of service and patriotism. He is memorialized as a symbol of youthful bravery and the ultimate sacrifice for one’s country.

Each of Theodore Roosevelt’s children carved their own paths, influenced by their father’s legacy of leadership, service, and adventure. Their diverse contributions to American society and their personal achievements reflect the unique upbringing provided by Theodore and Edith Roosevelt. The Roosevelt children’s lives exemplify how a family’s values and traditions can leave a lasting impact on future generations.


The children of Theodore Roosevelt carried forward a legacy of courage, service, and leadership. Through their diverse achievements and personal challenges, they each contributed to America’s story in their own significant way. Their lives remind us of the importance of family values, the pursuit of personal passions, and the commitment to serving the greater good. Just like their father, each Roosevelt child left a unique stamp on history, proving that the spirit of Theodore Roosevelt lived on through his descendants. Their stories continue to inspire us to lead lives of purpose and impact.