Corinne Roosevelt was born on September 27, 1861 and was the fourth and youngest child of the Roosevelt children. ‘Conie’, as she was nicknamed, was a playmate of Edith Kermit Carow, her brother Theodore's future wife and later the First Lady of the United States.
Although Martha Roosevelt was a Confederate sympathizer and Theodore Sr. favored the Union cause, the conflict between their political loyalties did not prevent Corinne from experiencing a privileged childhood, including the best schools and regular travel, or the formal debut into society that was expected of the daughters of prominent families.
On April 29, 1882, Corinne Roosevelt married Douglas Robinson. Their marriage produced four children: Theodore Douglas Robinson (1883-1934), Corinne Douglas Robinson (1886-1971), Monroe Douglas Robinson (1887-1944), and Stewart Douglas Robinson (1889-1909).
Corinne was a published poet, lecturer, and orator. She began writing at an early age, through the encouragement of her friends, in particular Edith Wharton who helped critique her poetry. In 1911, Corinne published her first poem, ‘The Call of Brotherhood’, in Scribner's Magazine. Her first book of poems of the same title was published in 1912. This was quickly followed in 1914 by ‘One Woman to Another and Other Poems’. It was dedicated to her daughter, also named Corinne, commemorating the loss of Corinne’s brother Elliott and son, Stewart. Other volumes of poetry include ‘Service and Sacrifice’ (1919), dedicated to her brother Theodore Roosevelt, ‘The Poems of Corinne Roosevelt Robinson’ (1924), and ‘Out of Nymph’ (1930), dedicated to Charles Scribner. She also wrote the prose memoir, ‘My Brother Theodore Roosevelt’ in 1924.
In 1920, Corinne became the first woman ever to address a nomination convention and spoke before a crowd of 14,000.
Throughout the 1920’s, Corinne's health failed her numerous times and she had a total of sixteen eye surgeries. On February 17, 1933, at the age of 71, Corinne Roosevelt Robinson died in New York City of pneumonia.
Last updated: February 26, 2015