Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., was born on October 27, 1858, in New York City. Roosevelt graduated from Harvard College in 1880, and entered Columbia Law School. He dropped out of school in 1881 to run for New York Assemblyman. He became president of the board of New York City Police Commissioners in 1895, and was made Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897. When the United States declared war in 1898, Roosevelt resigned from the Navy Department and formed the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, nicknamed the "Rough Riders." He was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel but was soon promoted to Colonel before taking the Rough Riders into combat. Under his leadership, the Rough Riders became famous for dual charges up Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898. For his actions, Roosevelt was nominated for the Medal of Honor, but it was disapproved at the time. Col Roosevelt left the Army after the war, and was elected Governor of New York in 1898. He was William McKinley's running mate in the 1900 election, and took the oath of office as Vice President of the United States in 1901. On September 6, 1901, President McKinley was shot. When he died on September 14, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States. Roosevelt served as President until 1909, and died on January 6, 1919. In 2001, President Roosevelt was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Spanish-American War. He remains the only President awarded our nation's highest decoration for valor, as well as one of only two father and sons awarded the Medal of Honor (his son, Brig Gen Theodore Roosevelt, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II). At this time he is also the only person ever awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize.
His Medal of Honor Citation reads:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to LIEUTENANT COLONEL THEODORE ROOSEVELT UNITED STATES ARMY for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt distinguished himself by acts of bravery on 1 July, 1898, near Santiago de Cuba, Republic of Cuba, while leading a daring charge up San Juan Hill. Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt, in total disregard for his personal safety, and accompanied by only four or five men, led a desperate and gallant charge up San Juan Hill, encouraging his troops to continue the assault through withering enemy fire over open countryside. Facing the enemy's heavy fire, he displayed extraordinary bravery throughout the charge, and was the first to reach the enemy trenches, where he quickly killed one of the enemy with his pistol, allowing his men to continue the assault. His leadership and valor turned the tide in the Battle for San Juan Hill. Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.