American Experience (1988– )
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T.R.: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt (Part I) 

An assassin's bullet ended the life of William McKinley in 1901, making his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt, an "accidental" president at the age of 42.


David Grubin


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Episode credited cast:
John Morton Blum John Morton Blum ... Himself
John Milton Cooper John Milton Cooper ... Himself
Edith Derby Williams Edith Derby Williams ... Herself
John Gable John Gable ... Himself
William Harbaugh William Harbaugh ... Himself
Nancy Jackson Nancy Jackson ... Herself
Walter LaFeber Walter LaFeber ... Himself
David McCullough ... Himself
Jason Robards ... Narrator (voice)
Theodore Roosevelt IV Theodore Roosevelt IV ... Himself
Kermit Roosevelt Kermit Roosevelt ... Himself
P. James Roosevelt P. James Roosevelt ... Himself
Theodore Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage)
Tweed Roosevelt Tweed Roosevelt ... Himself
Jean Strouse Jean Strouse ... Herself


An assassin's bullet ended the life of William McKinley in 1901, making his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt, an "accidental" president at the age of 42.

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

6 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Badlands, North Dakota, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WGBH See more »
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Technical Specs


(2 parts)


Black and White | Color | Black and White (archive footage)
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User Reviews

Good documentary
16 January 2006 | by briandaniel67See all my reviews

The title is actually, "TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt." It is part of PBS's American Experience series.

I enjoyed it, even though it runs around 4 hours. TR was an especially energetic president and would most likely be an Independent today. He romanticized war (a Republican characteristic), but supported labor (Democratic). He was chauvinistic, but a conservationist and did more to preserve land and parks and animals than probably anyone.

Grubin (the director) left out a good deal of history, but at 4 hours I suppose he had to leave out a lot. I recommend supplementing this documentary with a few biographies beforehand.

Also, this film tends to err on the side of "the good TR," rather than one we might disapprove of. Still, it's a good work and I recommend it.

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