Archibald Roosevelt

Archibald Roosevelt

Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt (April 9, 1894October 13, 1979), the fifth child of US President Theodore Roosevelt was a distinguished US Army officer and commander of U.S. forces in both World War I and II. In both conflicts he was wounded. He earned the Croix de Guerre and Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, respectively. After World War II, he became a successful businessman and the founder of a New York City bond brokerage house, as well as a spokesmanFact|date=May 2008 for extremeFact|date=May 2008 right wing political causes.

Early life


Archibald, nicknamed both "Archie" and "Archikins", was born in Washington, D.C., the fourth child of president Theodore Roosevelt and his second wife, Edith Carow. His sibilings included brothers Quentin, Theodore Jr. and Kermit, sister, Ethel and half-sister Alice. Archibald was named for his great-great-great grandfather on his father's side, Archibald Bulloch, a patriot of the American Revolution.

Education and early career

After being expelledFact|date=May 2008 from Groton, Archie was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover and Harvard University, where he graduated in 1916. Upon graduation, Archie's first employment was at the Bigelow Carpet Company, Thompsonville, Connecticut.


Archie married Grace Lockwood, at the Emmanuel Church in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 14, 1917. Grace was the daughter of Thomas Lockwood and Emmeline Stackpole of Boston. The couple spent most of their married life in a pre-Revolutionary house on Turkey Lane in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, not far from Oyster Bay, where they raised four children, Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt, Jr. (CIA Officer; 1918-1990); Theodora Roosevelt (a writer of pulp novels under her married name Theodora Keogh, later Theodora Rauchfuss; (1919-2008), Nancy Dabney Roosevelt (b. 1923), and Edith Kermit Roosevelt (1927-2003).

World War I

With the outbreak of war in Europe in August 1914, there had been a heightened concern about the nation's readiness for military engagement. Only the month before Congress had belatedly recognized the significance of military aviation by authorizing the creation of an Aviation Section in the Signal Corps. In 1915 Major General Leonard Wood, a friend of Archie's father since the Rough Rider days, organized a summer camp at Plattsburg, New York, to provide military training for business and professional men at their own expense.

It would be this summer training program that would provide the basis of a greatly expanded junior officers corps when the country entered World War I. During that fateful summer of 1915, many well-heeled young men from some of the finest East Coast schools, including three of the Roosevelt sons, would attend the Camp.

When the United States entered the war, commissions were offered to the graduates of these schools based on their performance. The National Defense Act of 1916 continued the student military training and the businessmen's summer camps and placed them on a firmer legal basis by authorizing an Officers' Reserve Corps and a Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).

After the declaration of war, when the American Expeditionary Force was organizing, Theodore Roosevelt wired Major General John "Black Jack" Pershing asking if his sons could accompany him to Europe as privates. Pershing accepted, but, based on their training at Plattsburg, Archie was offered a commission with rank of second lieutenant, while Ted, Jr. was offered a commission and the rank of major. Quentin had already been accepted into the fledging Army Air Service.

Archie therefore joined the United States Army, shipped over to France and was wounded while in World War I with the U.S. 1st Infantry Division. His wounds were so severe he was discharged from the Army with full disability. He had ended the war as an Army captain. For his valor, Roosevelt received the French government's Croix de Guerre.

Between the wars

After the death of his father in 1919, he was the one who sent a telegram informing all his siblings.After the end of the war, he worked for a time as an executive with the Sinclair Oil Company. Eventually, after resigining from Sinclair, Roosevelt gave key testimony to investigators probing the Teapot Dome Scandal, in which Roosevelt was not implicated. Following this, Roosevelt took a job working for a cousin in the family investment firm, Roosevelt & Son.

In the summer of 1932, Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, William Marshall Bullitt, and Richard E. Byrd, among others, formed a conservative pressure group known as the National Economy LeagueFact|date=May 2008, which called for balancing the federal budget by cutting appropriations for veterans in halfFact|date=May 2008.

World War II

In 1942, following the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt tried to rejoin the Army. He was turned down for active duty because of both his age (48 in 1942) and because of his previous discharge on full disability. He wrote his cousin, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt requesting a commission and explaining, "There may come many places and many times … where you would like to have the son of the former President and someone with your name to share the dangers of soldiers or sailors or marines in some tough spot … I would be perfect for such a job … You would not be throwing away [someone] who was useful elsewhere."

FDR interceded on his behalf and he was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel. Given command of the US Army's 162nd Infantry, 41st Infantry Division in New Guinea from 1943 into early 1944. Working with the Australian 3rd Division, Roosevelt and his men played an important role in the Salamaua campaign. His service was recognized in the naming of a battleground during the campaign: Roosevelt Ridge.

He was later wounded a second time in combat in the Pacific Theater of Operations, for which he earned the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Clusters. A grenade shattered the same knee Roosevelt had injured during combat in WWI, thus earning him the dubious distinction of being the only American to ever be classified as 100% disabled twiceFact|date=October 2007.

Right-wing firebrand

Following the end of the war, Archie Roosevelt formed the investment firm of Roosevelt and Cross, a brokerage house specializing in municipal bonds. It is still a going concern with offices in New York City, Providence, Buffalo and Hartford.

During the early 1950s, Archie became affiliated with a variety of extreme right wing organizations and causesFact|date=May 2008. He joined the John Birch Society, and was the founder of the controversial Veritas Foundation, dedicated to the routing out of presumed socialist influence at Harvard and other major colleges and universities. Writing in the book "America's Political Dynasties" (Doubleday, 1966), Stephen Hess commented: "Archie Roosevelt has, in recent years, added the family's name to many ultra-rightist causesFact|date=May 2008. As a trustee of the Veritas Foundation he was a leader among those seeking to root out subversion at HarvardFact|date=May 2008. He also sent a letter to every U.S. Senator, stating 'modern technical civilization does not seem to be as well handled by the black man as by the white man in the United States.' Present civil rights difficulties he blamed on 'socialist plotters.'"Fact|date=May 2008

In 1954, when the Theodore Roosevelt Association made a decision to award the Theodore Roosevelt Medal for Distinguished Public Service to black diplomat Ralph Bunche, Archie loudly protested the award. He even went so far as to write and publish a 44-page pamphlet that attempted to prove Bunche had been working as an agent of the "International Communist Conspiracy" for more than two decades.Fact|date=May 2008

In his introduction to Zygmund Dobbs' "The Great Deceit: Social Pseudo-Sciences" (Sayville, NY: The Veritas Foundation, 1964), Archie wrote: "Socialists have infiltrated our schools, our law courts, our government, our MEDIA OF COMMUNICATIONS. ... the Socialist movement is made up of a relatively small number of people who have developed the TECHNIQUE OF INFLUENCING large masses of people to a VERY HIGH DEGREE." Archie Roosevelt also edited 1968's incendiary "Theodore Roosevelt on Race, Riots, Reds, Crime" (Metarie, LA: Sons of Liberty Press).Fact|date=May 2008

Later years

Archie's wife, Grace Lockwood Roosevelt died in an automobile crash near her home on Turkey Lane in Cold Spring Harbor in 1971, with her husband at the wheel. He was understandably inconsolable over this tragedy, and her loss contributed to his physical decline and death eight years later.

On October 13th, 1979 Roosevelt died of a stroke at the Stuart Convalesent Home in Stuart, Florida. He was 85 years old. He is buried with his wife at Youngs Cemetery, Oyster Bay. His tombstone reads: "The old fighting man home from the wars."


External links

*Find A Grave|id=5914 Retrieved on 2008-02-09
* [ Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt]
* [ Quentin and his brother Archie and their father Theodore Roosevelt on film during World War I]
* [ Theodore Roosevelt Association for short biographies on Archie and his family as well as other siblings]
* [ Roosevelt & Cross]

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