Presidential First Lady. She was the 2nd wife of 26th US President Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt who served from September 1901 until March 1909. Her father was a merchant and her maternal grandfather, Daniel Tyler, was a Union general in the American Civil War. She grew up next door to the Roosevelt family and was best friends with T.R.'s sister, Corinne Roosevelt. She attended Miss Comstock's finishing school. A quiet girl who loved books, she was often T.R.'s companion for summer outings at Oyster Bay, Long Island but when he left to attend Harvard College, their companionship ended. Following the death of T.R.'s first wife Alice in 1884, he left for the Dakotas to get away from his grief. When he returned to New York City, New York the following year, he rekindled his friendship with her, proposed marriage in November 1885 and they were married in December 1886 in London, England. After President William McKinley's assassination, she assumed her new duties as First Lady with characteristic dignity. She opened the White House to fresh air and light and remodeled it at a cost of $475,000 dollars. She personally supervised the expansion and renovation of the White House, restoring the classic simplicity of the early 19th century. She began many traditions, including the categorizing the contents of the White House by inventory and the placing of portraits of first ladies in a special corridor that continues today. She was the first to hire a social secretary to book engagements and oversee invitations. During her term as First Lady, the White House became the unmistakable social center of the land, highlighted by three family events; the debut of her stepdaughter Alice Lee Roosevelt in 1902, Alice's wedding to Ohio Congressman Nicholas Longworth III in February 1906, and her daughter Ethel's debut in December 1908. She supported several charities as First Lady and was a lifetime knitter and president of the Needlework Guild, making clothes for the needy and then, during World War I and World War II, After her husband's 2nd presidential term ended, they returned to their home at Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, New York. In 1911 she suffered a severe concussion that permanently robber her of her sense of smell. After her husband's death in 1919, she traveled abroad and returned to her home at Sagamore Hill. She established a second residence in the Tyler family's ancestral hometown of Brooklyn, Connecticut. In 1932 she came out of retirement and campaigned briefly for President Herbert Hoover in his bid for re-election, thus campaigning against her nephew-in-law Franklin D. Roosevelt. She died at the age of 87. At her request, the following inscription was placed on her marker: "Everything she did was for the happiness of others."
Bio by: William Bjornstad
1858–1919 (m. 1886)