Inside Theodore Roosevelt’s Gilded Age Upbringing

A family fortune, a beloved father, and a determination to overcome childhood infirmities set young Theodore Roosevelt on the path to becoming the 26th President of the United States. Born into one of New York’s wealthiest clans on October 27, 1858, Roosevelt was called “as sweet and pretty a young baby as I have ever seen” by his maternal grandmother, even though his mother thought the newborn looked like a turtle.

Renowned for his vigor as a president, Roosevelt possessed little as a child. Malnourished from lack of appetite, the thin, hollow-chested boy suffered from frequent colds, coughs, nausea, headaches, cramps and fevers. Not to mention the dream that their young “Tedie” might one day occupy the White House, Roosevelt’s parents feared he might not survive his fourth birthday.

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