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Theodore Roosevelt

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

also known as "Princess Alice" and "The Other Washington Monument"

Born on Tuesday, February 12, 1884     -     Died on Wednesday, February 20, 1980

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Famous Quotes

If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me.

I have a simple philosophy: Fill what's empty. Empty what's full.
Scratch where it itches.

I've always believed in the adage that the secret of eternal youth
is arrested development.

My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral,
the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening.

He [Calvin Coolidge] looks as though he's been weaned on a pickle.

My specialty is detached malevolence.

You can't make a soufflé rise twice.

Books about
Alice Roosevelt

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Alice Roosevelt Longworth: A Life in Pictures

Biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth

The oldest child of T.R. and Alice Hathaway Lee, Alice was born at the family home on 6 West 57th St. in New York City.
Two days after her birth, Alice's mother died of Bright's disease and her paternal grandmother (Martha Bulloch Roosevelt)
also died of typhoid fever. Alice's father was so distraught by this double loss that he moved to North Dakota for two years,
leaving Alice in the care of his sister, nicknamed Bamie (Anna Cowles).

Bamie, a.k.a. "Auntie Bye", was to be a key stabilizing figure throughout Alice's life. Indeed, Alice remarked
later in life: "There is always someone in every family who keeps it together. In ours, it was Auntie Bye."

Family Rebel

Theodore married Edith Kermit Carow, and Alice's relationship was always strained with both her father and stepmother.
Alice even remarked that she often like her father loved her one-sixth as much as his other children.
Despite this strained relationship and Edith's demanding personality, Alice was well cared for; so much so that when
Alice developed a mild form of polio and the muscles in one leg started growing shorter than the other leg, it was
Edith's nightly ministrations and physical therapy that spared Alice any further disability or after-effects.

In an age defined by social conformity, Alice always bucked the system and the public adored her for it.
Alice smoked cigarettes in public, rode unchaperoned in cars with men, partied late into the night, engaged in voodoo, and
was seen placing bets with a bookie.

On the February 17, 1974, edition of 60 minutes, Alice told correspondent Eric Sevareid that she was "a hedonist".

It is reputed that when the Roosevelt family was moving out of the White House, Alice buried a voodoo doll of Nellie Taft,
the incoming First Lady, one of many such incidents that earned her a ban from the residence.

Alice's headstrong and unabashed personality once lead her father to famously quip to his friend Owen Wister:
"I can either run the country or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both."

The Imperial Cruise

When her father assumed the Presidency, Alice became an instant celebrity and fashion icon; so much so that
a particular shade of blue became known as "Princess Alice Blue".

Quick to recognize the value of such celebrity, President Roosevelt sent Alice on the infamous "Imperial Cruise".
Billed as the largest diplomatic mission in U.S. History, the junket's participants included Secretary of War
William Howard Taft, Alice's future husband Nicholas Longworth, 22 other Congressmen, 7 senators, and various
other diplomats and U.S. government officials.

Alice made headlines at every stop of the journey. She was photographed attending sumo wrestling matches,
having tea with the Meiji Emperor in Japan, and the Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty of China.
She even jumped fully-clothed into the ship's pool, and coaxed a Congressman to join her. The press reported
her extravagant purchases of Chinese silk, and the pearl necklace given to her by the Cuban government.

Married Life

Alice married Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Cincinnati Ohio, a man 14 years her senior with a
reputation as a Washington playboy. It was a mismatched, awkward marriage that led both to seek
emotional and carnal solace with other people.

It is generally accepted knowledge that Alice had a long and ongoing affair with Senator William Borah of Ohio
that produced Alice's daughter Paulina Longworth.

Post-Presidental Life

An ardent Republican, Alice nevertheless supported John F. Kennedy for President, had a cordial relationship with
Robert F. Kennedy, and even admitted voting for Lyndon B. Johnson (she thought Barry Goldwater was "too mean").
Alice ardently campaigned against Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidential bid in 1932, and in 1924 campaigned for
her brother Ted's bid for the New York State governorship.

Alice and Richard M. Nixon formed a long lasting friendship, until Nixon misquoted Theodore Roosevelt's private diary
during his televised resignation speech. In 1944, she compared Thomas E. Dewey to "the little man in the wedding cake",
a description that stuck in the voter's minds and indirectly contributed to Dewey's consecutive presidential election losses.

On several occasions, Alice served as a delegate to the Republican Party's National Convention.
Alice never ran for public office, but instead conducted "informal policy directives" from her home located at
2009 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C., near Dupont Circle on Embassy Row.


Daughter:     Paulina Longworth Sturm     (1925-1957)
Her biological father was Senator William Borah, and she overdosed on sleeping pills.
Vice-President Richard Nixon was a pallbearer at her funeral.

Granddaughter:     Joanna Mercedes Alessandra Sturm     (1946)

The Later Years

A heavy smoker, Alice underwent two mastectomies (1956 and 1970), and was diagnosed with emphysema in 1960.
In 1955, Alice fell and broke her hip. Alice died at the age of 96 after contracting pneumonia.
She was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington D.c.

Links to Other Resources

Theodore Roosevelt Association


National Park Service: The Roosevelt Children

Stacy A. Cordery's website about Alice Roosevelt