Harvard educated, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt first entered into public life at the age of 23 when he won election to the New York State Assembly. There he served three terms. But disaster struck when both his wife and mother died within hours of each other in 1884. He left New York and started a ranch in Wyoming. The ranch was less than successful and he returned to New York in 1886 and then got back into politics in 1888. He joined the Army in 1898 during the Spanish-American War, where he became famous for his Rough Riders. Later that year, he because New York’s governor and then was named Vice President in the McKinley administration. After McKinley was assassinated, Roosevelt became President of the United States. He left office in 1909, though he attempted to be re-elected as President in 1912, but lost to Woodrow Wilson. Theodore Roosevelt died in 1919.

Roosevelt gained much experience and wisdom through his incredible life. Here are just a few gems:

  1. There is a homely old adage which runs: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.’
  2. A healthy-minded boy should feel hearty contempt for the coward and even more hearty indignation for the boy who bullies girls or small boys, or tortures animals.
  3. Any man who tries to excite class hatred, sectional hate, hate of creeds, any kind of hatred in our community, though he may affect to do it in the interest of the class he is addressing, is in the long run with absolute certainty that class’s own worst enemy.
  4. Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.
  5. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so.
  6. No people is wholly civilized where a distinction is drawn between stealing an office and stealing a purse.
  7. Any nation which in its youth lives only for the day, reaps without sowing, and consumes without husbanding, must expect the penalty of the prodigal whose labor could with difficulty find him the bare means of life.
  8. If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness.
  9. It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best law, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws.
  10. The object of government is the welfare of the people.