James Roosevelt Roosevelt
Rosey Roosevelt.jpg
BornApril 27, 1854
DiedMay 7, 1927 (1927-05-08) (aged 73)
Other namesRosy
Alma materColumbia University (1877)
Helen Schermerhorn Astor
(m. 1878; died 1893)
Elizabeth Riley
(m. 1914)
Children2, including Tadd
RelativesRoosevelt family

James Roosevelt "Rosy" Roosevelt (April 27, 1854 – May 7, 1927) was an American diplomat, heir, and the older half-brother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States.[1]

Early life

James Roosevelt "Rosy" Roosevelt was born on April 27, 1854.[2] He was the son of James Roosevelt I (1828–1900) and his first wife, Rebecca Brien Howland (1831–1876), who were second cousins.[3] When his father died in 1900, the family's estate was split between Rosy and his half-brother, Franklin.[1] Throughout his life he was considered "an aimless if charming member of New York society's sporting set."[4]


Roosevelt graduated with honors from Columbia College in 1877.[5] President Grover Cleveland, who counted Rosy's father as a friend and supporter, appointed him first secretary of the United States legation in Vienna, Austria and as first secretary of the embassy in London, England.[1][6]

Roosevelt was a trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and a close friend of Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hayes. He donated more than $250,000 to St. Francis Hospital in New York and also gave substantial funds to the parish of St. James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, New York.[1]

During World War I, he sold Liberty bonds and war savings stamps from an office he maintained in New York's Post Office Building.[5]

Personal life

On November 18, 1878, Roosevelt married Helen Schermerhorn Astor (1855–1893), the second daughter of businessman William Backhouse Astor Jr. (1829–1892) and socialite Caroline Webster Schermerhorn (1830–1908).[7][8] Together, Roosevelt and Helen had two children:

After his first wife's death in 1893, Roosevelt married Elizabeth Riley on August 7, 1914.[1] On May 7, 1927, Roosevelt died at his Hyde Park home as a result of complications related to bronchitis and asthma, according to news reports at the time. His second wife died in 1948.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Times, Special to The New York (8 May 1927). "J. R. Roosevelt, 73, Dies at Hyde Park; Philanthropist and Trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Victim of Bronchitis – Brother-in-Law of Late Col. J. J. Astor and Half Brother of Franklin D. Roosevelt". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Roosevelt – Claes Martensen of New Amsterdam–New York City".
  3. ^ Whittelsey, Charles Barney (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649-1902. Press of J.B. Burr & Company. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  4. ^ Ware, Susan. "Hyde Park Bucolic" The New York Times. (July 14, 1985). Review of Ward, Geoffrey C. Feore the Trumpet Young Franklin Roosevelt: 1882–1905 (New York: Harper & Row, 1985)
  5. ^ a b Timcs, pecia! to Tle 2ocw 7ork (May 8, 1927). "J. R. ROOSEVELT, 73, DIES AT HYDE PARK; Philanthropist and Trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. VICTIM OF BRONCHITIS Brother-in-Law of Late Col. J, J, Astor and Half Brother of Franklin D. Roosevelt". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "LIFE". 9 September 1940.
  7. ^ "A Notable Social Event; The Wedding of Miss Astor and Mr. Roosevelt; An English Morning Ceremony in Grace Church the Reception in the Astor Mansion; The Bride's Presents and Some of the Costumes". The New York Times. 19 November 1878. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Court Disposes of an Astor Fund.; Provisions as to It in Mrs. Roosevelt's Will Held to be Inoperative". The New York Times. 25 May 1894. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Mrs. Theodore Robinson Dies | Navy Official's Widow Was 80". The New York Times. July 10, 1962. Retrieved 4 October 2016.