Theodore Roosevelt: The Children

Figure 1.--I believe this is a photograph of Quintin, wearing a sailor suit, with a black friend. I'm not sure who the black boy is, but believe he is one of the children of the White Hoouse staff. As far as I know, Archie and Quintin were the only presudential kids with black playmates.

The Roosevelt children fascinated America. The press was mesmerized by their larger than life father and his large nuclear family made for great press copy and photographs just when the technology for printing photographs became available. America soon began to follow the new, energetic president and his young family in the White House. One child Alice resulted from his first marriage and five children (four boys and a girl) from the second marriage. Roosevelt was a wonderful father, the kind of father most boys would have wanted. And unlike many presidenbtial children, theyvall turned out well. He was a great father with Akice as well once he regained his footing, although she proved to be a real handfull. Edith idealized him.

Alice (1884-1980)

Alice was Theodore Roosevelt's first child. When her mother Alice Lee Hathaway died, her father left her with relatives for several years as he attempted to cope with his grief. She was an older teenager when her father became president. As a teenager and young adult, Alice proved difficult to handle. She was called "Princess Alice" by the press. Her father said, "I can either manage Alice or the country. I can't do both. Alice married Ohio Nicholas Longworth, an influential Congressman, in a magnificent White House ceremony during 1906. He eventually became Speaker of the House of Representatives. Alice lived into her 90s. She became a Wahington institution and even in her later years lost none of the lively nature she exhibited as a teenager. She could be sarcastic and loved nothing more than Washington gossip and scandal. She was especially known for sating at a social event, "If you haven't got anything good to say about anybody come sit next to me".

Theodore Jr. (1887-1944)

Theodore was born in Oyster Bay, N.Y. He was educated at Harvard University. During World War I he was commissioned major of the 26th U.S. Infantrys, with which he saw service in France. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1918, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre. He was active in the organization of the American Legion. He was a member of the New York Assembly (1919-20), and Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1920-24). Thereafter, he became active as a business manager. He had hoped to follow his father to the White House, but was not succeful politically. He ran for Governor of New York in 1924. Elenor Roosevelt, the future First Lady, worked against him for Al Smith. I'm not sure why she worked so hard against her cousin, especially since his father had taken such an interest in her. Theodore Jr. became a severe critic of the New Deal and was a leading spokesman for the America First isolationist movement. When it became clear that America would enter World War II, he returned to active duty, having been advanced to Brigadier General in 1940. He was a fighting general. He died from a heart attack at his division command post in Normandy after gettin his division ashore at Utah Beach. He took part in Asiatic scientific expeditions for the Field Museum of Chicago in 1925 and 1928-29 and was governor of Puerto Rico (1929-32) and the Philippines (1932-33). He is the author of Average Americans (1919) and Colonial Policies of the United States (1937); and coauthor (with his brother Kermit) of East of the Sun and West of the Moon (1926). He mairred Eleanor Butler Alexander in 1910. they had four children: Grace Green (1911-1994) who married William McMillan, Jr.; Theodore III (Teddy) (1914- ) who married Anne Babcock; Cornelius Van Schaak (1915-91) who never married; and Quentin II (1918-48) who married Frances Webb (3 daughters).

Kermit (1889-1943)

Kermit attended Groton and Harvard and fought in the two World Wars. Kermit married Belle Willard (1892-1968). They had four children: Kermit ("Kim") Roosevelt (1916- ); Willard (1918- ); Belle ("Clochette") (1919-1985); and Dirck (1925-1953).

Ethel Carrow (1891-1977)

Edith was by all accounts a very playful child, no doubt influenced by growing up with four active brothers. The press and American public lived her antics. Like her brothers, Ethel joined the war effort. Ethel served as a Red Cross nurse and ambulance driver at the American Ambulance Hospital in Paris, accompanying her husband, surgeon Dr. Richard Derby (1881-1973). They had four children: Richard (1914-1922); Edith; Sarah; and Judith. She delivered one of the nominating speeched for Vice-President Nixon at the 1960 Republican Convention.

Archibald Bulloch (1894-1979)

Archie, unlike his older brothers and sisters was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up in the White House, very much in the public eye. The public loved to read about his and Quintin's antics. They were both very active, but better behaved than the Lincoln boys. Archie, according to his father, the President, was very "warm-hearted" and "loving." He even befriended the police sentries at the White House, according to report. He was wounded in both World War I and II. He married Grace Lockwood (1893-1971). They had four children (Archbald Bulloch Roosevelt, Jr. (1918-1990), Nancy, Theodora, and Edith).

Quentin (1897-1918)

Quintin, the youngest child, was also born in Washington DC. Quentin was probably his father's favorite, as is often the case of the youngest. All of the Roosevelt boys enlisted in World War I. Quetin was killed as a fighter pilot in aerial combat over France. This great personal tragedy caused his father to rethink his attitude toward war in his later years.


Wead, Doug. All the President's Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families (Atria: New York, 2003), 456p.


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Created: June 25, 1999
Last changed: 1:15 AM 3/9/2014