Henry L. Roosevelt

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Cincinnati Enquirer, February 23, 1936

Henry Latrobe Roosevelt (October 5, 1879 – February 22, 1936) was an Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy and a member of the Roosevelt family.

Early life[edit]

Roosevelt was born on October 5, 1879 in Morristown, New Jersey, to Lieutenant Nicholas Latrobe Roosevelt, USN, who had a naval career of distinction, and was a grandson of Nicholas Roosevelt (1767–1854), an inventor and land-owner. He was a hereditary companion of the California Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States in succession to his father. In 1896, he entered the United States Naval Academy but did not graduate.[1]


On December 8, 1899, Roosevelt was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.[1] During his career with the Marine Corps he was stationed in, among other places, Philadelphia, Panama, Cuba and Haiti.

In 1920, he retired from the Marine Corps, and then served as the European manager for the Radio Corporation of America from 1923 to 1928, overseeing the building of large radio stations in Ankara, Turkey, and Warsaw, Poland.[1]

In 1933, he returned to the United States to head the Radio Real Estate Corporation, but was soon selected by Naval Secretary Claude A. Swanson for the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the administration of his distant cousin, President Franklin Roosevelt.[2] He served in the position from March 17, 1933 until his death on February 22, 1936. He became the fourth Roosevelt and fifth member of the Roosevelt family to occupy that office, after Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt (the current president at the time), Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and Theodore Douglas Robinson.[1][2] Due to Swanson's poor health, Roosevelt was at times Acting Secretary. He made many tours of inspection and speeches, calling for the strengthening of the navy as a deterrent to war.[1][3]

Personal life[edit]

In 1902, he married Eleanor Morrow, daughter of California Circuit Judge W. W. Morrow.[4] Together, they had three children:

Roosevelt died on February 22, 1936 at Bethesda Naval Hospital of a heart attack following intestinal influenza.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Schriftgiesser, Karl (1942). The Amazing Roosevelt Family, 1613–1942. Wildred Funk, Inc. 
  2. ^ a b "Another Roosevelt". TIME. 1933-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Big Navy Pledged by H.L. Roosevelt". New York Times. 1933-05-27. p. 7. 
  4. ^ a b Whittelsey, Charles B. (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649–1902. 
  5. ^ "Miss Roosevelt Engaged to Wed". New York Times. 1937-01-09. p. 14. 
  6. ^ "Henry Roosevelt Dead in Capital". New York Times. 1936-02-23. p. 1. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Ernest L. Jahncke
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
March 17, 1933 – February 22, 1936
Succeeded by
Charles Edison