Main Content

Media Contact

For all media inquiries and image requests:

Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association released a new episode of The White House 1600 Sessions podcast today featuring a conversation on the five extraordinary women without whom Theodore Roosevelt may never have become the 26th President of the United States. Stewart McLaurin, president of the Association, met with Edward O’Keefe, CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation and author of the new book, “The Loves of Theodore Roosevelt: The Women Who Created a President,” to discuss the impact his mother, sisters and wives made on Roosevelt’s life. In this episode, McLaurin and O’Keefe visit Theodore Roosevelt Island, the national memorial located in Washington, D.C.’s Potomac River, and reflect on the man born in New York City who would become known as “the conservation president.”

“Powerful, influential women helped shape Theodore Roosevelt into the man, leader, and president that he became,” said McLaurin. “And his strong ongoing legacy was his daughter Alice, who continued to have an impact on the national capital scene for generations.”

Theodore Roosevelt is often thought of as the Rough Rider and the man known for quoting the proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick….” but it was five women who helped shape his life. He was an imperfect man of his time, one born to privilege but who advocated the strenuous life after struggling with ill-health and losing two of his greatest loves on the same day: his mother, Mittie, a Southern belle with a keen wit, and Alice, his college sweetheart and first wife. Both drew him away from science and into politics, including the support of women’s suffrage.

His older sister, Anna, would become his trusted advisor and political strategist, and his younger sister, Corinne, would be his top supporter and informal spokesperson. First Lady Edith Carow Roosevelt, Theodore’s childhood playmate and second wife, would go on to leave her own mark on the White House both in the role of presidential spouse as well as with a major renovation of the Executive Mansion.

“There are these extraordinary women who are behind the scenes, who have written themselves intentionally out of history,” said O’Keefe. “Probably the most hypermasculine president in the American memory was the product of women.”

The full video of this podcast episode is also available on the White House Historical Association’s YouTube channel here.

The White House 1600 Sessions podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

For more information, please contact

The White House 1600 Sessions

The White House Historical Association’s President Stewart McLaurin is the host of The White House 1600 Sessions, the Association’s official audio and video podcast devoted to exploring the history, cultural impact, untold stories, and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and highest office.

P.D.F. Resources

Download the PDF

About the White House Historical Association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $115 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit