spacer Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
Twenty-sixth President (1901-1909)

No one ever craved the presidency more than Theodore Roosevelt or used its powers more joyously. In early 1901, however, his rise toward that office was suddenly checked. Having gained national prominence as a civil service reformer, hero of the Spanish-American War, and reform-minded governor of New York, he was now relegated to a political backwater as William McKinley's Vice President. But McKinley's assassination several months later changed all of that, and Roosevelt was soon rushing headlong into one of American history's most productive presidencies. By the time he left office in 1909, his accomplishments ranged everywhere from implementing landmark efforts to conserve the nation's disappearing natural heritage, to instituting some of the first significant curbs on the excesses of big business, to building the Panama Canal.

When Hungarian-born English artist Philip de Lászlo painted the original version of this portrait, he encouraged Roosevelt to have visitors chat with him during the sittings, apparently thinking that it made for a more animated likeness. On the picture's completion, Roosevelt declared it the only likeness that he "really enjoyed having painted."

Adrian Lamb (1901-1988)
Oil on canvas, after the 1908 oil by Philip de Lászlo, 1967
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Gift of the Theodore Roosevelt Association

Enlarged image