James H. Roosevelt

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James H. Roosevelt
Appletons' Roosevelt Nicholas J - James Henry.jpg
Appletons' Roosevelt Nicholas J - James Henry signature.jpg

James Henry Roosevelt (November 10, 1800 – November 30, 1863) was an American philanthropist who, by bequest, founded Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. A member of the Roosevelt family, he was born in New York on Warren Street near Broadway to Catherine (Byvanck) and James Christopher Roosevelt. He was a third cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt's grandfather and second cousin of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's grandfather.


Roosevelt graduated from Columbia College in 1819 and studied law at Harvard University, but was unable to practice due to delicate health, possibly resulting from polio. Confined largely to his home he was forced to abandon the law and break off his engagement to Miss Julia Boardman. He lived off of a modest inheritance and expanded it through prudent investments and simple living.

He died in 1863.


His will left most of his estate, including property worth nearly $1 million, to found Roosevelt Hospital, which was opened on November 2, 1871. On the tablet that is placed to his memory in Roosevelt Hospital is inscribed: "To the memory of James Henry Roosevelt, a true son of New York, the generous founder of this hospital, a man upright in his aims, simple in his life, and sublime in his benefaction."