It's Theodore Roosevelt. I've been a fan since fifth grade, when I wrote a report on him for Social Studies. I think we could use more Teddy Roosevelts.
Ironically for a man of action, he became president by chance. President McKinley was shot while giving a speech and it fell to Teddy, Vice-President, to step in. At the age of 42, Roosevelt remains the youngest man to take office (Kennedy, often thought to be youngest, was 44). What's so great about Theodore Roosevelt, you ask?
The Bullet Points:
A sickly, asthmatic child, he overcame his health problems by adopting a strenuous active lifestyle. Asthma? No thanks! I've got too much to accomplish. (I have asthma. No easy feat to overcome it).
He's often defined by his "robust masculinity." Swoon!
One of his main interests and a priority was preserving our lands in their natural state. We have Theodore Roosevelt to thank for the establishment of our National Parks system.
His mother and his wife died on the same day in the same house, his mother from typhoid fever and his wife from kidney disease just two days after giving birth to their daughter. In his devastation, he launched himself deeper into his work, exposing corruption in the New York City government.
He risked aggravating his supporters in the segregated south by inviting Booker T Washington to dinner at the White House.
Unhappy with his political party (Republican), he created his own Progressive Party (aka the Bull-Moose Party).
Ignoring friends who wanted him to stay in Washington, Roosevelt resigned from his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to form the First US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, the Rough Riders. Colonel Roosevelt surrounded himself with Ivy Leaguers, gentlemen, frontiersmen, athletes, cowboys, miners, and Native Americans. His victories leading the Rough Riders led to his eventual Medal of Honor.
And so much more, but I can't go on all day. If you need to develop an alpha male hero who is rugged and athletic, and not afraid to take action and stand up for his beliefs and for others, look to Theodore Roosevelt. My final evidence? We think of Roosevelt like this.
But this is what he looked like as a young man. Hubba!
Not to mention he inspired the Teddy Bear.
Tell me about your personal heroes!