The man was a gun-wielding animal-killer, yet a conservationist. He came from a family of money, yet he fought corruption on Wall Street. He was an outdoorsman, yet a lover of books. And he's my favorite president.
His name is Theodore Roosevelt, and he WAS Chuck Norris before Chuck Norris was Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris wears pajamas with Theodore Roosevelt on them.
From the time he overcame his sickly and asthmatic youth through exercise and boxing he never slowed down or sat still for very long. His childhood was filled with trips to Europe and Africa, and after graduating from Harvard Magna Cum Laude in 1880 his first foray into politics came with three successive years in the New York State Assembly. After the death of his first wife Roosevelt spent time in the American West, growing a love for the outdoors and hunting. He had a ranch, spent time as a sheriff and came back east when he got bored (and his herd of cattle died during a cold winter).
Theodore Roosevelt's presidency came at an important time in American history, as the corporate world monopolized and ran roughshod over all those in its past. Everyone that surrounded the president said taking on corporations was a bad idea. Both parties hated the idea of going against the people that financially-supported their campaigns. Yet he never let the detractors take away from his battles against the coal industry, the railroad industry and Wall Street.
In addition to the fight against big business Roosevelt fought to preserve the natural beauty the continent and young country had to offer. Roosevelt was an avid hunter, being what we might nowadays consider to be a card-carrying member of the NRA. He was also a conservationist, one we might call a tree-hugger. The nickname "Teddy" was one he hated, but on one of his many hunting trips he became the inspiration for those cuddly-wuddly bears we love so much. Prior to his hunting party arriving on-location in Mississippi a black bear was trapped and tied to a tree to make it easier for the larger-than-life president to bag a new head for his wall. Rather than taking the sport out of the hunt, Roosevelt freed the bear. Word got out, and the world now lovingly holds their thunder buddies and calls him Teddy.
We've had presidents that are conservative, progressive, liberal, isolationist and war-mongering. Theodore Roosevelt was all-in-one, and I challenge anyone to find me a president Sir Chuck Norris would be more proud to be compared to than our first Roosevelt president.
In honor of Presidents Day, who was your favorite president?