November 19, 2010
Quentin Roosevelt, circa 1904. From Edward Curtis collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division
On this date in 1897, Quentin Roosevelt was born. The last child of Theodore and Edith, Quentin was considered his father’s favorite. As the youngest of the Roosevelt family, he grew up in the White House and had many adventures. He and his friends were dubbed the “White House Gang” by Theodore, though the president was an honorary member and often joined them in mischief.
Later in life, Quentin attended Groton School and Harvard College like his brothers, but he did not complete his university degree. As a sophomore, Quentin enlisted for World War I. Always mechanically inclined, Quentin joined the newly formed Army Air Service upon enlistment. He served first as a supply officer at a training air field in France and later became a pilot in the 95th Aero Squadron. He shot down his first German fighter on July 10, 1918, and then was himself shot down and killed four days later on Bastille Day, July 14, 1918. He was 21 years old. It is said that Theodore never recovered from the loss of Quentin, and some posit that Theodore’s death just six months later was due to a broken heart.
Quentin in uniform. From the Quentin Roosevelt collection, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site