Person

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Portrait of Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth
Portrait of Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth

NPS/Sagamore Hill NHS Collection

Quick Facts

Alice Lee Roosevelt was born on February 12, 1884, the first and only child born to Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Hathaway Lee. 

After her mother’s death, Alice, known as “Baby Lee,” lived with her aunt, Anna “Bamie” Roosevelt, while her father started a ranching venture in the Dakota Territory. Once Theodore remarried and moved back to Oyster Bay, Alice moved in with him and his new wife, Edith Kermit Carow, at Sagamore Hill. Two years later, she was joined by Edith and Theodore’s first child, Theodore Jr. She was then referred to as “Sister” by her father and all of her siblings. 

When her father became president in 1901, Alice delighted in the spotlight. Washington, D.C. papers consistently wrote about her adventures and antics. Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying, “I can do one of two things. I can be President of the United States or I can control Alice Roosevelt. I cannot possibly do both.” While her father and stepmother disagreed with her behavior, the American public fell in love with her.

In 1906, Alice married Republican Representative Nicholas Longworth of Ohio. They lived in Washington, D.C. Alice took a front row seat to politics and became close with many of the Republicans and other politicians. She frequently voiced her political opinion and in the 1930s spoke out against her cousins Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Because of her strong opinions and colorful personality, she came to be known as “the other Washington Monument.”

Alice had one child, Paulina Longworth, and wrote a memoir titled Crowded Hours. Throughout her life she continued to meet powerful men and women, hosted meetings, and wrote newspaper columns out of her Washington, D.C. home. She was remembered by many for her acerbic wit and humor. She died on February 20, 1980 at the age of 96.

She is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
 

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

Last updated: October 13, 2020