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Edward O’Keefe
54 minutes

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….“ Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, met with Edward O’Keefe, CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation and author of the new book called The Loves of Theodore Roosevelt: The Women Who Created a President to discuss another side of T.R.: the five extraordinary women without whom he may never have become the 26th President of the United States. Join Stewart and Ed as they 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 some would call “the conservation president.” Roosevelt 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, his mother and his first wife, on the same day. We learn about his mother, Martha, a Southern belle with a keen wit, and Alice, his college sweetheart and first wife, who drew him away from science and into politics, including the support of women’s suffrage. We meet T.R.’s older sister, Anna, who would become his trusted advisor and political strategist, and his younger sister, Corinne, would become one of his best promoters. Then we’re introduced to First Lady Edith Carow Roosevelt, Theodore’s childhood playmate and second wife, who 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. Hear more about these five women, an update on the new Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library being built in North Dakota, and get a view of Theodore Roosevelt Island, in this episode of The White House 1600 Sessions.

The podcast host

Stewart McLaurin, Host

President of the White House Historical Association

As President of the White House Historical Association Stewart McLaurin leads the nonpartisan, nonprofit in its mission to preserve, protect, and provide access to White House history. As a lifelong student of history, Stewart is an avid reader, author, and storyteller. Drawing on his own experiences, relationships, and knowledge he provides listeners with a front row seat to history at the White House.