title: Theodore Roosevelt: Icon of the American Century

Jacob Jacob Riis was a valuable friend and source of information for Roosevelt when he became a New York City police commissioner in the spring of 1895. As a police reporter for the New York Evening Sun, Riis understood the reforms needed within the police department, as well as the evils in the slums, which he frequented to gather stories. Riis was successful in awakening public awareness to the plight of New York's tenement population, especially the children, in several books, including his classic How the Other Half Lives. In 1904 Riis published a biography of his good friend, with whom he used to walk the streets of New York, titled Theodore Roosevelt: The Citizen.

Jacob Riis (1849-1914)
Unidentified photographer
gelatin silver print, circa 1900
National Portrait Gallery,
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Gift of Howard Greenberg


Past Exhibitions | National Portrait Gallery Home