JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1820"THE OLD LION IS DEAD!"
Oyster Bay, New York (JFK+50) Ninety-seven years ago early this morning, January 6, 1919, the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt*, passed away quietly in his sleep at his home at Sagamore Hill here in Oyster Bay.
The former President, known as "Colonel" because of his service in the Spanish-American War, had been suffering from inflammatory rheumatism in the weeks before but doctors determined the cause of death was from a "clot of blood which detached itself from a vein and entered the lungs."
TR's sudden death took doctors and family by surprise. One of TR's sons relayed the bad news to his brothers in Europe by a cable which read...
"The old lion is dead."
The Colonel himself apparently had no idea of the seriousness of his illness. In the days before his death when asked about his health, TR responded with his characteristic "BULLY!"
Roosevelt died between 4 and 4:15 a.m. Vice-President Thomas R. Marshall said...
"Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight."
*Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was born in NY City & graduated from Harvard. He served as Asst. Sec of the Navy, Governor of NY, Vice-President & President of the United States. During the Spanish-American War he was a Colonel in the Volunteer Cavalry known as the Rough Riders.
Manners, William. TR and Will: A Friendship That Split the Republican Party. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969.