| Theodore Roosevelt
and the Teddy Bear
Frameworks for America's Past
The Teddy Bear
An interesting fact about Theodore Roosevelt is that he is the inspiration for the "Teddy Bear," the popular stuffed toy animal for children.
On a hunting trip to Mississippi in 1902, Roosevelt refused to shoot a young bear that other hunters on the trip had captured and tied to a tree. The famous outdoorsman said it would be "unsportsmanlike" to shoot a tied up bear. He told the men to release the bear back to the wild.
A cartoonist at the Washington Post newspaper made the drawing below. A toy maker who saw it when it was published in the paper asked "Teddy" Roosevelt if he could use the "Teddy" name for the stuffed bears he wanted to create and sell. Roosevelt agreed.
The photo on the right shows a factory worker in the early 1900s putting stuffing in the cloth body of a Teddy Bear.
| Far better it is
to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even
though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits
who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray
twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
-- Theodore Roosevelt, 1899
Copyright 2009, 2012 by David Burns. All rights reserved. As a guide to the Virginia Standards of Learning, some pages necessarily include phrases or sentences from that document, which is available online from the Virginia Department of Education. The author's copyright extends to the original text and graphics, unique design and layout, and related material.