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Roosevelt wrote in his diary that "the light has gone out of my life."
On Valentine’s Day 1884, two days after the birth of his first child, Theodore Roosevelt experienced an unthinkable loss when his wife and mother died on the same day. Stricken with grief, Roosevelt wrote in his diary that “the light has gone out of my life.” He tried to resume his work as a New York state assemblyman — an office to which he’d been elected three years before at the age of 23 — but Roosevelt had lost his zest for the political life he’d chosen. At the 1884 Republican national convention, Roosevelt and his like-minded party members watched as his party nominated a candidate who was not interested in reforming political corruption. Disappointed and still aching from the loss of his wife and mother, Roosevelt left office and retired to a ranch he’d purchased in the Dakota Territory.
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