Born on October 27, 1858 in New York City, Roosevelt grew up very sickly with asthma and other illnesses. As he grew up, he exercised and boxed to try and build up his constitution. His family was wealthy travelling to Europe and Egypt in his youth. He received his earliest education from his aunt along with a series of other tutors before entering Harvard in 1876. Upon graduation he went to Columbia Law School. He stayed there one year before dropping out to begin his political life.
In 1882, Roosevelt became the youngest member of the New York State Assembly. In 1884 he moved to the Dakota territory and worked as a cattle rancher. From 1889-1895, Roosevelt was a U.S. Civil Service Commissioner. He was President of the New York City Police Board from 1895-97 and then Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1897-98). He resigned to join the military. He was elected Governor of New York (1898-1900) and Vice President from March-September 1901 when he succeeded to the presidency.