Alice Lee Longworth

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Alice Lee Longworth (Roosevelt)

Birthplace: 6 West 57th Street, New York, New York, New York, United States
Death: February 20, 1980 (96)
Washington, D.C., United States
Place of Burial: Washington, DC, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA and Alice Hathaway Roosevelt
Wife of Rep. Nicholas Longworth, III
Partner of Senator William Edgar Borah
Mother of Paulina (Longworth) Sturm
Half sister of Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Medal of Honor; Kermit B. Roosevelt, Sr.; Ethel Carow Derby; Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt and Quentin Roosevelt

Managed by: Rodney Frederick Nock
Last Updated:

About Alice Lee Longworth

Alice Lee Longworth (Roosevelt)

Find A Grave Memorial ID # 1656

The song "Alice Blue Gown" was written for Alice Roosevelt Longworth.
Wikipedia Page

Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth (February 12, 1884 – February 20, 1980) was the oldest child of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. She was the only child of Roosevelt and his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee.

Longworth led an unconventional and controversial life. Despite her love for her legendary father, she proved to be almost nothing like him. Her marriage to Representative Nicholas Longworth (Republican-Ohio), a party leader and 43rd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was shaky, and the couple's only child was a result of her affair with Senator William Borah of Idaho. She temporarily became a Democrat during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and proudly boasted in a 60 Minutes interview with Eric Sevareid broadcast February 17, 1974, that she was a "hedonist".

Washington Socialite and Folk Figure. She was a mainstay of the Washington scene for decades, unconventional, irreverent, witty, liberated and politically influential. She held court and lobbied for change at her home near Dupont Circle on Massachusetts Avenue, Washington's Embassy Row. It was the meeting place of many high ranking politicians. She publicly quarreled with many famous Americans and chastised them with an acid tongue in the form of witty sarcastic remarks. In the forefront were members of her own family, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. An utterance toward Franklin..."I'd rather vote for Hitler than to vote for him." Her best was reserved for Eleanor, who she vilified her entire life and imitated perfectly at various high Republican gatherings. Mrs Longworth heaped disparaging remarks, using every opportunity, upon the home district of her Congressman husband, Cincinnati, Ohio calling its residents "ignorant savages" and saying when asked if she would consider burial in Cincinnati. With the response..."This would be a fate worse than death itself."

She was born Alice Lee Roosevelt, the only daughter of Theodore Roosevelt (26th U.S. President) and his first wife Alice Hathaway Lee at 6 West 57th St, The family mansion in New York City. Her mother died two days after her birth of Bright's disease, a kidney ailment. Her father simply abandoned her until his remarriage to Edith Carrow when she was reunited at age three through the insistence of her new step mother to the family. Alice had been living with her care taker Aunt. Her education was minimal, however, she rejected religion and remained a nonbeliever for her entire life. At the time her father became President, she was still a teenager.

She shattered precedents in an era when women conformed to a strict code of conduct. She roamed the halls of the Executive mansion smoking and danced the fox trot publicly with a cigarette dangling from her lips which gained national attention. Her father banned smoking in the White House but she countered by indulging on the roof. She drove her own car and was the bell of the ball when fully clothed, she plunged into the swimming pool. Alice was seen placing bets at local racetracks then in public wearing a boa constrictor around her neck. She set off firecrackers on the White House lawn and on a rail trip, shot at telegraph pole insulators with a pistol. Romance would enter her life while living in the White House and she would marry Nicholas Longworth, a Congressman from Ohio, in a dazzling White House wedding. Her residence became the family home in Cincinnati when not in Washington.

She would return to the Capitol upon the death of her husband setting up residency on Massachusetts Avenue which would be her home until her own death from emphysema and other old age symptoms in her decaying mansion, alone, at age 96, She was cremated and the urn was buried on top the grave of her daughter Paulina, who died years before. Legacy...An author, Alice and Eleanor were competing newspaper columnists, but Alice's "Capitol Comment" column was no match for her famous cousin's "My Day" and it was eventually cancelled.

In 1932, she penned her autobiography, "Crowded Hours." In deference to her favorite color gray-blue, the song "Alice Blue Gown" was written. It became a hit song and sheet music sold as fast as printing allowed. She was a popular figure at public events during her entire life... she bore witness to the test flight of a Wright brothers biplane prototype in 1909 and was the 1926 California Rose Bowl Queen. After declining a dress rehearsal, Alice Roosevelt Longworth missed the bow repeatedly with the champagne bottle during the launch ceremony for the namesake nuclear submarine "Theodore Roosevelt," at Mare Island, San Francisco.

She could have had a career in politics, however, she turned down offers to seek her husbands seat in Congress after his death but was a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Ohio in 1940. Mrs Longworth worked against the entry of the U.S. into the League of Nations. Her dinners and receptions for Congressman and Senators are credited in a large measure to the derailment of America's membership in the League. In a bit of trivia...In 1960, burglars broke into her residence. As a counter measure, Mrs Longworth planted and trained poison ivy to grow up the facade of the house as a deterrent to future attempts.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth, née Alice Lee Roosevelt (born Feb. 12, 1884, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Feb. 20, 1980, Washington, D.C.), American socialite, the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was known for her wit and her political influence.

At the time of Alice Roosevelt’s birth, her father was a New York assemblyman. Her mother died two days after her birth, and during her father’s long absence in Dakota Territory she was reared by an aunt. After her father’s marriage in December 1886 to Edith Kermit Carow and the establishment of the family seat at Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, Long Island, she grew up in a home of wealth, tradition, and politics.When her father became U.S. president in 1901, Alice Roosevelt became the centre of national attention. Headstrong and rebellious and with a pronounced taste for the society of aristocrats and the Gilded Age wealthy, she was a favourite topic ... (150 of 427 words)

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Alice Lee Longworth's Timeline

February 12, 1884
6 West 57th Street, New York, New York, New York, United States
February 14, 1925
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
February 20, 1980
Age 96
Washington, D.C., United States
Age 95
Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC, United States