First Ladies
Theodore Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Who was Theodore Roosevelt's first wife?

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Answer

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01/17/2008

Roosevelt's first wife was named Alice Hathaway Lee. He met her while attending Harvard and became friends with her family members in order to get nearer to her. She was reknowned as a beautiful Victorian wife with piercing blue eyes. Roosevelt's love for her was vibrant and all but consumed him. They were married on Roosevelt's birthday, October 27, 1880. She presented Roosevelt with a daughter in February 1884, but died tragically a few days later - February 14, 1884, Valentine's Day - from complications of Bright's Disease, which had gone undetected through her pregnancy. Hours earlier, Roosevelt's mother had passed away in the same house. Roosevelt, heartbroken, wrote only "The light has gone out of my life," in his diary that day. Little is known about Alice Hathaway Lee: she was only 22 when she died, and T.R. tried very hard to erase the painful memory of his lost love, destroying any mention of her in letters. In fact, he would never mention her name again in conversation, nor would he ever address his daughter named for her by name. T.R. never spoke to baby Alice about her mother.