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US president of a century ago is still inspiring wannabes

A handful of 2008 presidential candidates from both parties lately have been slipping references to Theodore Roosevelt into their public statements and remarks. For example, on his website, US Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona, says "TR" (as confidants called him) is his "ultimate hero." Sen. Joseph Biden (D) of Delaware cites Roosevelt's trust-busting tradition as a valuable model even today. At this point, however, most Americans could probably use a refresher course on the 26th president. Some selected facts:

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• In White House: 1901-09
• Party: Republican
• College degrees: Harvard and Columbia
• Political background: Lost race for mayor of New York, but later became state's governor
• Military background: Helped to organize the volunteer Rough Riders regiment in the Spanish-American war
• Achievements: – Pushed for construction of the Panama Canal– Forced football to change rules to make sport safer
• Miscellaneous: – A published historian and early conservationist – Became the first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize– Inspired the practice of naming stuffed toy bears "teddy bears"

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