Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
This edition of Biography, the long running documentary series from A&E, explores the life of Theodore Roosevelt. Named president of the New York police board in 1895, his vigorous reformist efforts - and his tendency to get himself into the headlines - gained him a national reputation, which led to his being appointed assistant navy secretary by President William McKinley. When war with Spain broke out in 1898, Roosevelt resigned to lead the "Rough Riders," a volunteer cavalry unit whose celebrated charge up Kettle Hill in the battle outside Santiago, Cuba, made him a national hero and propelled him to the governorship of New York. He appeared on the 1900 Republican ticket as McKinley's vice-president and succeeded to the presidency upon the assassination of McKinley in 1901. He pioneered in government regulation of big business with his prosecution of corporations for trust violations; he also created national parks, oversaw passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, and signed the Hepburn Act regulating railroads. During his campaign in 1904, he declared that he would not run again. He moved on to a life of traveling, hunting, and writing but by 1911 he was clearly unsatisfied with the conservative direction of the government. He made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1912 with the Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party.