Lost in the Shadow of Fame

Lost in the Shadow of Fame
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  • Item #: 9781620061268

The Neglected Story of Kermit Roosevelt; a Gallant and Tragic American

Kermit Roosevelt was family to two of the twentieth century's most revered Presidents - he was the son of Theodore Roosevelt and cousin to Franklin Roosevelt. He influenced each in a major way - as protector to one and a major risk to the other. He would accompany his father on two dangerous and demanding expeditions to remote regions of the world and later become a major threat to Franklin's administration - his story with its mysterious ending has never been published. 

He was a brilliant and complex combination of conflicting character traits and inner turmoil. Immersing himself in literature, languages and natural history he became compelled to engage in adventure and war with an unbridled obsession.

He managed major shipping companies, discovered new and rare animal species while traveling the world and even organized an amateur spy organization for his cousin FDR as the Fascists rose to power in the 1930s.

But for all of Kermit's many gifts, there was a darker side to Kermit Roosevelt. Later, at the behest of FDR, the FBI would watch him for more than a month as he disappeared while he lived in a hotel and carried on an affair with a shady woman. Alcoholism began to rule his life. His mounting indiscretions became a serious problem for the War Department and the Roosevelt Administration.

And then there is the manner of his death in 1943 which the New York Times reported the cause and location unknown, although presumably it was natural. For two decades, the circumstances of his death were concealed by the government. Even into the 1970s there were efforts to suppress any information. Was it suicide, which eventually was released as the official cause of death? Or was there a more sinister reason for his demise? A thorough review of the classified government documents reveal numerous inconsistencies, oversights and implausibility's. Much conflict exists in the testimony taken from military personnel with no follow-up or corroborating testimony. His supposed manner of death is highly improbable. Even the official time of death conflicts between the autopsy report and the Army's investigation. The Army rushed to expedite and close the case with no forensics, no ballistics investigation and no follow-up questioning of witnesses. Although a President's son, and a well-known figure in his own right, the coroner's report stated: "parents unknown." Almost thirty-years later when a general officer requested information on "how he died," the government replied "Died as a result of self inflicted gunshot wound...this information is not to be released."

Who was this multi-dimensional, brilliant man? Perhaps as Kermit himself wrote: "...it is when men are off in the wilds that they show themselves as they really are." Surely Kermit Roosevelt has been lost in the shadow of his family's fame.  The last chapter covering details of the Iranian involvement of Kermit's son Kim presents a Roosevelt influence on the United States and the world long after the eras of Theodore and Franklin - an influence concealed for many years and little known even today by most Americans.

by William E. Lemanski
Trade paperback - 6 x 9 x 1
216 Pages
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century 
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Price $19.95
Availability In-Stock

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