Muckrakers & Reformers
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the twenty-sixth president of the United States, a leader of the Republican Party and, later, the Progressive movement. He was the first president to become a truly "popular" leader by using the media to appeal directly to the American people.
Roosevelt, who became a national hero for his leadership of the "Rough Riders" regiment in the Spanish-American War, ran as William McKinley's running mate in the presidential election of 1900. When McKinley was assassinated by a crazed anarchist in 1901, the young Roosevelt suddenly became president. Unlike his conservative predecessor, Roosevelt shared many of the goals of the Progressive movement and might fairly be considered the first Progressive president. In his own time, Roosevelt was one of the most popular presidents in American history.