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Theodore Roosevelt was more than just the 26th president of the United States He was a writer historian explorer big-game hunter soldier conservationist ranchman and Nobel Peace Prize winner It is not surprising that his philosophy of life was known as The Strenuous Life Theodore was born into a wealthy and socially prominent New York family in 1858 Although blessed with a quick mind he was not blessed with a strong body He suffered from life-threatening asthma attacks throughout his childhood Spurred on by his father Theodore began to build up his body by strenuous exercise and by adulthood he had become a model of physical courage and toughness This early example of his character was indicative of the way he lived the rest of his life He did not back down in the face of adversity and he continually displayed remarkable physical and moral courage Early Political Life As a young man Roosevelt decided on a dual career law and politics At the time New York politics was dominated by men involved in machine politics These were not exactly the kind of people he had met at Harvard Yet he persisted in getting to know and understand them while at the same time attending Columbia Law School Eventually he secured the friendship and patronage of an influential man named Joe Murray who was able to get him nominated as a 21st District State Republican Assemblyman Together with Murrays contacts and knowledge of machine politics and his own family and social connections Roosevelt was able to easily win the election He was 23 and in Albany Theodore served three terms in the New York Assembly He became known as an outspoken and active opponent of the wealthy criminal class as he called them and of political corruption - of which there was no shortage He was a rising progressive star His ascent however was cut short by the
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