|First Lady of the United States|
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
|Preceded by||Ida Saxton McKinley|
|Succeeded by||Helen Herron Taft|
|Second Lady of the United States|
March 4, 1901 – September 14, 1901
|Preceded by||Jennie Tuttle Hobart|
|Succeeded by||Cornelia Cole Fairbanks|
|Born||Edith Kermit Carow
August 6, 1861
Norwich, Connecticut, U.S.
|Died||September 30, 1948
Oyster Bay, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.|
Gertrude Elizabeth Tyler
Born in Norwich, Connecticut, the daughter of Charles Carow (1825–1883), a merchant, and the former Gertrude Elizabeth Tyler (1836–1895) and a granddaughter of Daniel Tyler who was a general in the American Civil War, Edith grew up next door to Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr. (the elder son of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. and Martha "Mittie" Bulloch) in New York and was best friends with his younger sister Corinne. She was T.R.'s first real playmate outside his immediate family.
She and her sister Emily Tyler Carow (1865—1939) were brought up in an environment of comfort and tradition. An infant brother, Kermit (February 1860 — August 1860) died one year before her birth.
At Miss Comstock's school, Edith acquired the proper finishing touch for a young lady of that era. A quiet girl who loved books, she was often T.R.'s companion for summer outings at Oyster Bay, Long Island; but this ended when he entered Harvard College. Although she attended his wedding to Alice Hathaway Lee in 1880, their lives ran separately until 1885.
Romance and marriage
T.R. proposed to Edith November 17, 1885 and she accepted. However, for appearance's sake, the young widower delayed the announcement.
They married on December 2, 1886, at St. George's Church of Hanover Square, in London, England. On the day of the wedding, a quiet affair with few guests, the London fog was so thick that it filled the church. The groom was visible however, for he wore bright orange gloves. His best man was Cecil Arthur Spring-Rice, later British ambassador to the U.S. during World War I.
After a 15-week honeymoon tour of Europe, the newlyweds settled down in a house on Sagamore Hill, at Oyster Bay. Mrs. Roosevelt, reserved and efficient, managed the household budget. Throughout T.R.'s intensely active career, family life remained close and entirely delightful.
First Lady of the United States
After William McKinley's assassination, Mrs. Roosevelt assumed her new duties as First Lady with characteristic dignity. She meant to guard the privacy of a family that attracted everyone's interest, and she tried to keep reporters outside her domain. The public, in consequence, heard little of the vigor of her character, her sound judgment, her efficient household management.
As First Lady, she converted the traditional weekly levees to musicales, remodeled the White House at a cost of $475,000 into what the president described as "a simple and dignified dwelling for the head of a republic." During T.R.'s administration, the White House was unmistakably the social center of the land. Beyond the formal occasions, smaller parties brought together distinguished men and women from varied walks of life. Three family events were highlights: the debut of her stepdaughter Alice Lee Roosevelt in 1902, the wedding of "Princess Alice" to Nicholas Longworth, and Ethel's debut. A perceptive aide described the First Lady as "always the gentle, high-bred hostess; smiling often at what went on about her, yet never critical of the ignorant and tolerant always of the little insincerities of political life."
Later life and death
After her husband's death in 1919, she traveled abroad but always returned to Sagamore Hill as her home. She kept till the end her interest in the Needlework Guild, a charity which provided garments for the poor, and in the work of Christ Church at Oyster Bay. She established a second residence in the Tyler family's ancestral hometown of Brooklyn, Connecticut. Mrs. Roosevelt came out of retirement and campaigned briefly for Herbert Hoover in his bid for re-election in the 1932 presidential election, thus campaigning against her cousin-in-law/nephew-in-law Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Original text based on White House biography
- Additional information at The Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt 
Jennie Tuttle Hobart
|Second Lady of the United States
Cornelia Cole Fairbanks
Ida Saxton McKinley
|First Lady of the United States
Helen Herron Taft