Theodore Roosevelt died at Sagamore Hill in the early hours of January 6, 1919. In the 10 years since he had left office, he had contracted malaria during an expedition in the Amazon jungles, taken a bullet in the chest from a would-be assassin in Milwaukee, and suffered the loss of his youngest son in World War I. Weakened more than anyone
knew, he died in his sleep of a coronary embolism. He was 60.
T.R. was buried at Youngs Memorial Cemetery on January 8 after a simple service at Christ Church in Oyster Bay. Family members and dignitaries made their way up the steep snow-dusted hill, and a bugler blew taps. When the ceremony ended, one mourner stayed behind. Former President William Howard Taft—by turns a political ally and a foe—stood by the grave weeping. As he later wrote to Edith Roosevelt, “I loved him always and cherish his memory.” America felt the same.
WHAT THEY SAID
“The old lion is dead.”
—Archie Roosevelt, a son of T.R., in a telegram to his brothers
“Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have
been a fight.”
—Vice President Thomas Marshall
“I see clearly even now that America is going to appreciate him more and more, and
understand him better, and I have no doubt that he will stand in history as our greatest
—Historian W.R. Thayer
“He was so alive at all points, and so gifted with the rare faculty of living intensely and
entirely in every moment as it passed.”
“Both life and death are part of the same great adventure.”