Corinne Roosevelt Robinson

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Corinne Roosevelt at the 1920 Republican Convention – upper top left row

Corinne Roosevelt (September 27, 1861 — February 17, 1933) was an American poet, writer, lecturer, and public speaker. She was also the younger sister of former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt and an aunt of former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Early years[edit]

Corinne Roosevelt was born on September 27, 1861, at 28 East 20th Street in New York City, the fourth and youngest child of businessman/philanthropist Theodore "Thee" Roosevelt, Sr. (1831—78) and socialite Martha Stewart "Mittie" Bulloch (1835—84). Her siblings were socialite Anna "Bamie/Bye" Roosevelt (1855—1931); President Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr. (1858—1919); and socialite Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt (1860—94), the father of future First Lady of the United States Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884—1962).

Corinne was best friends with Edith Kermit Carow (1861—1948), her brother T.R.'s second wife and later the First Lady of the United States. Theodore Sr. was a supporter of the North during the Civil War, while Mittie supported the South. Mittie's home state was Georgia, and she had moved to New York only because of her marriage to Theodore. Mittie's brothers were members of the Confederate Navy. However, the conflict between Corinne's parents' political loyalties did not prevent her from experiencing a privileged childhood, including the best schools and regular travel, or the formal debut into society expected of the daughters of prominent families.


Robinson began writing at an early age, through the encouragement of her friends, in particular Edith Wharton who helped critique her poetry. In 1911, Robinson published her first poem, "The Call of Brotherhood", in Scribner's Magazine. Her first book of poems of the same title was published in 1912. This volume was quickly followed by One Woman to Another and Other Poems (1914) dedicated to her daughter, also named Corinne, commemorating the loss of Robinson's brother Elliott and son, Stewart. Other volumes of poetry by Robinson include Service and Sacrifice (1919) dedicated to her brother Theodore Roosevelt, The Poems of Corinne Roosevelt Robinson (1924), and Out of Nymph (1930) dedicated to Charles Scribner. She also wrote the prose memoir My Brother Theodore Roosevelt (1924). In 1920, Robinson became the first woman ever called upon to second the nomination of a national party convention candidate; speaking before a crowd of 14,000, she endorsed General Leonard Wood as the 1920 Republican candidate for president.[1]

Personal life[edit]

On April 29, 1882, Corinne Roosevelt married Douglas Robinson, Jr. (January 3, 1855 — September 12, 1918), son of Douglas Robinson, Sr. (March 24, 1824 — November 30, 1893) and Frances Monroe (April 14, 1824 — August 22, 1906).[2] Frances was a grandniece of President James Monroe (1758—1831). Their marriage produced four children:

  1. Theodore Douglas Robinson April 28, 1883 — April 10, 1934), a member of the New York State Senate. He married his distant cousin Helen Rebecca Roosevelt, half-niece of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882—1945), daughter of James Roosevelt "Rosey" Roosevelt (1854—1927) and Helen Schermerhorn Astor (1855—1893) of the Astor family
  2. Corinne Douglas Robinson (July 2, 1886 — June 23, 1971), mother of columnists Joseph Wright Alsop V (1910—1989) and Stewart Johonnot Oliver Alsop (1914—1974)
  3. Monroe Douglas Robinson (December 19, 1887 — December 7, 1944)
  4. Stewart Douglas Robinson (March 18, 1889 — February 21, 1909), committed suicide by jumping from his college dormitory window after a party.

Throughout the 1920s, Robinson's health failed her a number of times and she had a total of sixteen eye surgeries.

Corinne voted for her fifth cousin/nephew-in-law Franklin when he ran for Governor of New York in 1928 and in 1932 when he was elected President of the United States.

Robinson died on February 17, 1933, age 71, of pneumonia, in New York City less than a month before Franklin was inaugurated as President.



Some published works[edit]

  • The Call of Brotherhood (1912) (poetry)
  • One Woman to Another and Other Poems (1914) (poetry)
  • Service and Sacrifice (1919) (poetry)
  • The Poems of Corinne Roosevelt Robinson (1924) (poetry)
  • Out of Nymph (1930) (poetry) dedicated to Charles Scribner
  • My Brother Theodore Roosevelt (1924) Biography of her brother Theodore Roosevelt


  1. ^ Hart, G. L. (1920). Official Report of the Proceedings of the Seventeenth Republican National Convention (PDF). New York, NY. 
  2. ^ "Douglas Robinson, Jr. + Corinne Roosevelt". 
  3. ^ "Barnhill family". Retrieved 22 October 2013. 


External links[edit]