Major Granville Roland "Rollie" Fortescue, Rough Rider

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Major Granville Roland "Rollie" Fortescue, Rough Rider

Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: New York, NY, USA
Death: April 21, 1952 (76)
Place of Burial: Arlington, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Barnwell Roosevelt and Marion Fortescue / Roosevelt
Husband of Grace Hubbard Fortescue
Father of Thalia Massie; Marion "Rion" Viskniskki and Kenyon "Helene" Reynolds
Half brother of John Ellis Roosevelt; Robert Barnwell Roosevelt; Margaret Barnhill Roosevelt and Helen Roosevelt

Occupation: Soldier/Author
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Major Granville Roland "Rollie" Fortescue, Rough Rider

Granville Roland Fortescue (October 12, 1875-April 21, 1952) was an American soldier, a Rough Rider serving with his cousin, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt in Cuba, a presidential aide in the first Roosevelt administration and later, a journalist and war correspondent for the London Standard during the Rif War in 1920 Spanish Morocco. He wrote for the London Daily Telegraph during World War I and during the Spanish Civil War.


Fortescue was the son of U.S. Congressman Robert Roosevelt (1829–1906), who was the brother of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., the uncle of President Theodore Roosevelt and the great-uncle of Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt married his mistress, Marion Theresa "Minnie" O'Shea Fortescue, after the death of his first wife. He then adopted the three children conceived before the marriage, Granville, Kenyon, and Maud.

Fortescue's undergraduate education began at Yale College; then he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. His college years were cut short when he volunteered in 1898 for the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry. He completed his education when he graduated from the Army Staff College in 1904.

In 1910, Captain "Rolly" Fortescue married Grace Hubbard Fortescue (née Grace Hubbard Bell) (1883–1979), a niece of the inventor Alexander Graham Bell and an heir to the Bell Telephone Company fortune. The wedding party included Captain Archibald Butt, who served with the groom in the White House as a Presidential aide.

The couple had three daughters. An alleged rape of daughter Thalia Massie embroiled his wife in the 1932 murder trial in Hawaii, known as the "Massie Affair". Afterwards, she returned to a quiet life with her husband as they moved seasonally between family homes on Long Island and in Palm Beach. Another daughter took the stage name of Helene Whitney (1914–1990) as an actress.


Fortescue was a Rough Rider wounded at San Juan Hill in Cuba and serving in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.

Fortescue was posted as a U.S. military attaché in Japan during the Russo-Japanese War. Along with other Western military attachés, he had two complementary missions—to assist the Japanese and to observe the Japanese forces in the field during the Russo-Japanese War.

Service as an artillery officer during World War I was the capstone of Fortescue's military career.

Captain Fortescue's final resting place is in Arlington National Cemetery, the only Roosevelt to be buried there.

Selected work

His journalism experience led to further writing:

1914 -- At the Front with Three Allies: My adventures in the Great War. London: A. Melrose, Ltd.
1915 -- Russia, the Balkans and the Dardanelles. London: A. Melrose, Ltd. OCLC: 1562062
1915 -- What of the Dardanelles? An Analysis. London: Hodder and Stoughton. OCLC: 2736904
1916 -- Fore-armed: How to Build a Citizen Army. Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co. OCLC: 406647
1917 -- France Bears the Burden. New York: Macmillan. OCLC: 1183757
1937 -- Front Line and Deadline: The Experiences of a War Correspondent. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. OCLC: 987696


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Major Granville Roland "Rollie" Fortescue, Rough Rider's Timeline

October 12, 1875
New York, NY, USA
February 14, 1911
Age 35
District of Columbia, United States
May 9, 1912
Age 36
July 8, 1914
Age 38
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
April 21, 1952
Age 76
Arlington, Virginia, United States