This tender photo of TR with baby Quentin and the quotation shows how important fatherhood was to him. He often talked about the sanctity of families, but also just loved playing with his children. Indeed, he ended his New Nationalism speech otherwise full of pronouncements on governmental policy with this statement:
In the last analysis, the most important element in any man’s career must be the sum of those qualities which, in the aggregate, we speak of as character. If he has not got it, then no law that the wit of man can devise, no administration of the law by the boldest and strongest executive, will avail to help him. We must have the right kind of character – character that makes a man, first of all, a good man in the home, a good father, a good husband – that makes a man a good neighbor.
His example of courage and service to his country led all of his children into military service, two of whom died. Quentin was one of them as well as his namesake Theodore Roosevelt III, who commanded troops on Utah Beach on D-Day and later died in France. TR’s words and example of fatherhood will always be an inspiration to all fathers everywhere.
Happy Fathers Day!