When Theodore Roosevelt went to bed on the evening of January 5, 1919 at his home on Long Island, he was suffering from a particularly nasty bout of Malaria that had lingered throughout the holiday season. Nevertheless, he had put in a full day's work and was feeling better than he had in weeks. Late that night however, his breathing became particularly labored, aggravating the chronic Inflammatory Rheumatism that had plagued him since his great Amazon adventure four years earlier. By the early morning it was evident that he was in serious distress. Before the sun rose, he fell into unconsciousness, never to awaken.
His family wired the news, "The old lion is dead."
The world was stunned. He was not yet 61 years old but he was able to accomplish in those few years what most men could hardly expect to squeeze into a half dozen lifetimes. He seemed almost super-human in his energy and exploits.
He had served as a New York State Legislator, the Under-Secretary of the Navy, Police Commissioner for the City of New York, US. Civil Service Commissioner, the Governor of the State of New York, the vice-president under William McKinley, a Colonel in the US. Army, and two terms as the President of the United States. In addition, he had run a cattle ranch in the Dakota Territories, served as a reporter and editor for several journals, newspapers, and magazines, and conducted scientific expeditions on four continents. During his career he was hailed by supporters and rivals alike as the greatest man of the age--perhaps one of the greatest of all ages.
His passing was, not surprisingly, mourned all around the world.