The Life of General Ted Roosevelt, Jr.
Tim Brady

Berkley/January 2017

The story of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., a fortunate son who proved himself on the battlefields of two world wars.

General Omar Bradley said of him, “I have never known a braver man or a more devoted soldier.” But for much of his life, Theodore Roosevelt’s son Ted seemed born to live in his father’s shadow. With the same wide smile, winning charm, and vigorous demeanor, Ted possessed limitless potential, with even the White House within his reach.

In the First World War, Ted braved gunfire and gas attacks in France to lead his unit into battle. Yet even after returning home a hero, he was unable to meet the expectations of a public that wanted a man just like his father. A diplomat, writer, and man of great adventure, Ted remained frustrated by his lack of success in the world of politics, witnessing instead the rise of his cousin, Franklin, to the office that had once seemed his for the taking.

Then, with World War II looming, Ted reenlisted. In his mid-fifties with a gimpy leg and a heart condition, he was well past his prime, but his insistence to be in the thick of combat proved a vital asset. Paired with the irascible Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr., Ted soon distinguished himself as a front-line general in a campaign that often brought him into conflict with another hard fighter, George Patton. On D-Day, Ted became the oldest soldier and the only general in the Allied forces to storm the beach in the first wave, hobbling across the sand with his cane in one hand and a pistol in the other. His valor and leadership on Utah Beach became the stuff of legends—and earned him the Medal of Honor.

His Father's Son delves into the life of a man as courageous, colorful, and unwavering as any of the Roosevelt clan, and offers up a definitive portrait of one of America’s greatest military heroes.

“Readers familiar with Henry Fonda’s portrayal of an arthritic, middle-aged general in The Longest Day will be impressed. This well-crafted biography brings Ted Roosevelt Jr. out from the shadow of his famous father to reveal a man who served heroically in two world wars, helped found the American Legion, and earned success in business and as a public servant. Thoroughly researched and moving, His Father’s Son is a must read by anyone interested in World War II or the Roosevelt family saga.”—James P. Duffy, Author of War at the End of the World: Douglas MacArthur and the Forgotten Fight For New Guinea, 1942-1945

“Trapped in the shadow of his Rough Rider father and a political rival of his savvy presidential cousin Franklin, Ted Roosevelt spent much of his life struggling to define himself—a feat he accomplished against all odds sloshing ashore on D-Day. In His Father's Son, Tim Brady has crafted a masterful tale of a true American hero.”—James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Author of Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

“In fresh, galloping prose, Tim Brady brings Ted Roosevelt to life as a war hero, political activist, businessman and world traveler in the finest traditions of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor. His Father's Son is a long-overdue spotlight on the fourth great pillar of the Roosevelt dynasty.”—Jonathan W. Jordan, New York Times Bestselling Author of American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II

“A man born into one of America’s greatest families, Ted Roosevelt ably stepped from his father’s shadow. In this wide-sweeping odyssey, Tim Brady expertly maneuvers through the highs and lows of Theodore Roosevelt’s son’s own political life, military service, and exotic hunting expeditions, providing page-turning proof that Ted was nothing short of a blooded, first-class soldier, from the trenches of Cantigny in World War I to the sands of Utah Beach on D-Day.”—Stephen L. Moore, Author of As Good as Dead: The Daring Escape of American POWs from a Japanese Death Camp

“Brave combat leader in two world wars, intrepid hunter, icon of flapper-era Republican politics, Ted Roosevelt Jr. led one of the twentieth century’s most interesting lives. Tim Brady expertly recreates Roosevelt’s life and times in this engaging, beautifully-written book.”—Jack Cheevers, Author of Act of War: Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo

“The story of a man of great personal and political integrity, extraordinary bravery, and a profound sense of mission, His Father’s Son is an engaging and often touching account of a life in the unforgiving spotlight that was nonetheless exceptionally well-lived.”—Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer, Authors of Hissing Cousins: The Lifelong Rivalry of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth