- No other figure towered over American life at the turn-of-the-century as Theodore Roosevelt did. Even before he assumed the presidency following William McKinley’s assassination in 1901, Roosevelt was widely regarded as a national hero. Once in the White House, he proved exceptionally energetic, fighting to break up corporate trusts, leading the effort to build the Panama Canal, and pushing efforts to conserve America’s natural resources. Each of the figures in this section was a fervent supporter of Roosevelt. In addition to sharing his political vision, they also admired the public persona he projected, in particular his belief
- in the so-called “strenuous life” and his assertion of American strength – a belief characterized by his favorite proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Ben-Yusuf photographed Roosevelt during his tenure as governor, and many other figures whose careers intersected with America’s twenty-sixth president.
The Old Guard