Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Alice Lee Roosevelt)
BiographyNew York City, New York, USA
Alice Lee Roosevelt was the daughter of Theodore Roosevelt, then a New York state assemblyman. Her mother died two days after her birth; Theodore remarried 'Edith Kermit Carow' and established a family seat in Oyster Bay, Long Island, where Alice grew up amid wealth, tradition, and politics. When her father suddenly became U.S. president in 1901 after the death of President McKinley, Alice Roosevelt was thrust into the national spotlight. Read more... slavishly recorded her comings and goings, her defiance of conventions, and her acidic comments on her contemporaries. When asked by the press about his daughter's unconventional behavior, the President sighed, "I can control the affairs of state, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both." In 1906 she married Ohio Representative Nicholas Longworth. Though the marriage was generally an unhappy one, the Longworth house was a center of Republican conviviality. Longworth became speaker of the House of Representatives in 1925, the same year that Alice gave birth to the couple's only child, Paulina, at the age of 41. After Longworth's death in 1931, Alice remained near Washington politics and capital social life. She campaigned against her fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and her scathing imitation of her first cousin Eleanor was favorite entertainment in Republican social circles during the New Deal. In 1934 she published her memoirs, 'Crowded Hours.' She famously kept a pillow in her parlor, embroidered with the words, "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." Her acerbic wit, gossip, and irreverence were legendary and were frequently recorded. Even in old age she was a fixture of the Washington scene, earning the nickname "Washington's other monument." She died at her home in 1980 at the age of 96.