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Theodore Roosevelt Nature & History Association

Becoming Teddy Roosevelt

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Today we think of Theodore Roosevelt as a larger-than-life figure, but before he became a legendary outdoorsman, Badlands rancher, Rough Rider, trust buster, and political maverick, he was a "thin pale youngster with bad eyes and a weak heart," in the words of William Wingate Sewall, the upcountry Maine woodsman who would become Roosevelt's mentor and lifelong friend. The two met at a crucial time in Roosevelt's life, and Sewall exerted a quiet but profound influence on the man who would become America's twenty-sixth President. This is the untold story of their friendship - and the many adventures they shared.