When Theodore Roosevelt became president at age forty-two upon the assassination of William McKinley, he was the youngest President to have ever served – then and now - and was father to six children, ranging in age from three to seventeen. During his term, watching the Roosevelt family became a national pastime. Each day, news of the First Family was consumed by newspaper readers. The best known Roosevelt child was, of course, the President himself. His pillow fights with his sons, sometimes while keeping the cabinet waiting, were notorious. One magazine described the phenomenon by saying people could no more ignore the Roosevelt stories “than a small boy can turn his head away from a circus parade followed by a steam calliope.”
Roosevelt’s children, along with some of their cousins and friends, came to be called the White House Gang. Roosevelt, certainly the most famous Gang member, was singularly able to encourage the positive qualities of his and other boys while leading the United States into the 20th Century. But the Gang’s real leader was Roosevelt’s youngest child Quentin. They roller skated in the hallways, stilt-walked through high ceilinged rooms, spit-balled portraits and explored every possible space of the White House from roof to attic to basement. One of their favorite games was to stage “attacks” upon various government office buildings.
“This book tells how Theodore Roosevelt handled his children, how he won their love and respect, and how he won them to his way of thinking. There ought to be an Amendment to the Constitution compelling every mother and father to read this book. It is a fascinating story, and if you read it and heed it, you will be a better parent. Your children will be happier, and you will be happier.”
----Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”,
April 20, 1938