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See It Now: A Bully President

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The national him / Gordon Ross. June 15, 1910. Prints and Photographs Division.

A Nobel prizewinner, a paleontologist, a taxidermist, an ornithologist, a field naturalist, a conservationist, a big-game hunter, a naval historian, a biographer, an essayist, an editor, a critic, an orator, a civil-service reformer, a socialite, a patron of the arts, a colonel of the cavalry, a ranchman … the list goes on. Add to that the 26th president of the United States, and you’ve got Theodore Roosevelt.

Teddy was a beloved figure in American politics and a favorite subject of political cartoonists. His exuberance, larger-than-life personality and exploits lent themselves perfectly to the medium. As author Rick Marschall has stated, “Presidents were boring up until Roosevelt and boring after him.”

Marschall was on hand at the Library late last year to discuss his new book, “Bully! The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt,” the webcast of which is now available. You can watch it below.

The Library’s collection of political cartoons includes a variety of Roosevelt-related items, many coming from Puck, America’s first successful humor magazine. Roosevelt was favored on the cover more than 80 times in his career.

The youngest president at age 42, Roosevelt was also the first to have his life and career chronicled on film. The Library’s online presentation includes a selection of 87 motion pictures that represent different times and phases in his life.

Perhaps one of the most bully boons in the Library’s presidential collections are the papers of Teddy Roosevelt. Numbering some 250,000 items, they constitute one of the largest among our presidential holdings. While plans for future digitization are still being made, selections from his diaries can be see here.

Wait, there’s more. Scattered throughout the institution’s various American Memory collections, online exhibitions and other resources are assets pertaining to TR, all collected in this handy guide.


  1. I am a big admirer of Roosevelt’s. What he did for the national park system alone is enough to merit his reputation as one of the great presidents.

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