AKA Edith Kermit Carow
Birthplace: Norwich, CT
Location of death: Oyster Bay, NY
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Youngs Memorial Cemetery, Oyster Bay, NY
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: First Lady
Party Affiliation: Republican
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wife of US President Theodore Roosevelt
Edith Carow was a childhood playmate of Corinne Roosevelt, whose older brother Theodore Roosevelt eventually became her husband. They grew up in the same high-class New York neighborhood, and were close enough friends through adolescence that at 16, young Theodore named his small rowboat Edith in honor of his 13-year-old girlfriend. When she was 17 they had a falling out, and their relationship cooled. Two years later she attended his wedding to Alice Hathaway Lee, then saw little of him for some five years, until after his wife died from complications of childbirth. Barely a year later, Theodore and Edith were married in London.
The second Mrs Roosevelt became accustomed to playing a politician's wife as he rose from Civil Service Commissioner to Governor of New York. But a mere six months after her husband became Vice President, the assassination of William McKinley elevated him to the Presidency, and made her America's First Lady. She was described as a "gentle, high-bred hostess", who sometimes tactfully curtailed her husband's long-windedness by gently tapping on a tabletop. She was the first First Lady to put a social secretary on the payroll, and she arrange portraits of past First Ladies in a "First Ladies’ Gallery", where the paintings still hang. She was treated warmly by the press, but most of the media's fascination was with her vivacious and somewhat troublesome teenaged stepdaughter, Alice Roosevelt, or as she was usually called in news accounts, "Princess Alice".
Alice's White House wedding to Congressman Nicholas Longworth was considered the social event of the young century, and she later became an outspoken activist for Republican causes, known for her skewering impression of subsequent First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Teddy and Edith Roosevelt's first son, Ted Jr, served as Governor of Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Their second son Kermit was a well-known military man and free-lance adventurer who suffered from alcoholism and eventually shot himself. Their daughter Ethel married a doctor and disappeared from public life, but returned to make a stirring speech at the 1960 Republican National Convention, seconding the nomination of Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon. Their third son Archibald was decorated for his service as a military officer in both World Wars, worked as a investment banker, and was among the whistleblowers who exposed the Teapot Dome scandal. Their youngest son Quentin was one of the first combat pilots for the Army Air Corps, and became the first of the Roosevelts' children to die when he was shot down behind German lines in World War I.
Edith Roosevelt lived almost thirty years after her husband's death in 1919, spending most of her time at Sagamore Hill, the Oyster Bay, New York estate her husband had built for his first wife. In 1932, as the Great Depression crippled the country, she campaigned for Herbert Hoover's re-election as President. Hoover, a sixth cousin to Mrs Roosevelt, lost that election to her husband's fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt. After FDR took office, Edith Roosevelt spoke out against his "New Deal" policies. At her request, her tombstone was inscribed, "Everything she did was for the happiness of others".
Father: Charles Carow (shipping magnate, b. 4-Oct-1825, d. 17-Mar-1883)
Mother: Gertrude Tyler Carow (b. 16-Feb-1836, m. 8-Jun-1859, d. 27-Apr-1895)
Brother: un-named (b. 26-Feb-1860, d. Aug-1860)
Sister: Emily Carow (nurse, b. 18-Apr-1865, d. 19-Mar-1939)
Husband: Theodore Roosevelt (US President, b. 1858, m. 2-Dec-1886, d. 1919)
Daughter: Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth (stepdaughter, b. 12-Feb-1884, d. 20-Feb-1980)
Son: Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ("Ted", Governor of Puerto Rico, b. 13-Sep-1887, d. 12-Jul-1944)
Son: Kermit Roosevelt (explorer, b. 10-Oct-1889, d. 4-Jun-1943 suicide)
Daughter: Ethel Carow Roosevelt Derby (b. 13-Aug-1891, d. 10-Dec-1977)
Son: Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt ("Archie", investment banker, b. 9-Apr-1894, d. 29-Jul-1991)
Son: Quentin Roosevelt (military pilot, b. 19-Nov-1897, d. 14-Jul-1918 World War I)
High School: Miss Comstock's School, New York, NY
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