After only a few short years of marriage, Roosevelt’s first wife, Alice, died of kidney disease. She had just given birth to their first baby, Alice Lee, who was named for her mother. A year later, Roosevelt wrote this tribute to his dead wife:

“I … loved her as soon as I saw her sweet, fair young face … We spent three years of happiness such as rarely comes to a man or woman … Fair, pure, and joyous as a maiden; loving, tender, and happy as a young wife; when she had just become a mother, when her life seemed to be but just begun, and when the years seemed so bright before her – then by a strange and terrible fate, death came to her. And when my heart’s dearest died, the light went from my life forever.”

Theodore Roosevelt, as quoted in Lion in the White house, Aida D. Donald