Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt, First Lady from 1901 to 1909, was born August 6, 1861, in Norwich, Connecticut. She grew up in New York City near Union Square, where the grandparents of future President Theodore Roosevelt also lived. She visited often and became friends with Theodore and his younger sister Corinne.
Years later, Roosevelt was a young widower with an infant daughter. He married Edith in 1886.
In 1901, when Roosevelt had been Vice President under William McKinley for just a few months, the president was assassinated. Roosevelt became president and the couple moved into the White House.
Mrs. Roosevelt as first lady started an enduring tradition. She began having portraits of first ladies hung in various rooms on the ground floor of the White House.
After President Roosevelt's death, she returned to their home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, and frequently travelled abroad. She died in 1948.
Design on Reverse
The reverse features the White House behind a column and compass. These represent Mrs. Roosevelt's work on the restoration of the White House in 1902.
As the West Wing of the White House was being renovated, Mrs. Roosevelt helped with the interior decoration activities. These activities included enlarging and modernizing the public rooms in that wing.