He was born on June 13, 1825 and became a member of his father Cornelius Roosevelt's mercantile firm at the age of twenty, and eventually succeeded him as its head. He was connected with many other institutions, including as vice president of the Chemical Bank of New York; president of the Broadway Improvement Company; vice president of the Bank of Savings; member of the board of managers of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company; director of the New York Life Insurance Trust, among others; member of the Board of Park Commissioners; and trustee to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He was a president of Roosevelt Hospital, founded by his distant cousin James H. Roosevelt. He married Elizabeth Norris Emlen on December 22, 1847 and had four children, including William Emlen Roosevelt. He died on July 15, 1898 near Mineola, New York while riding a train on his way home to Oyster Bay, New York.