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Painted by Elaine M. Dudley

As an infant and a youth, Theodore Roosevelt was called "Teedie" by family and friends. In his teen years, he indiscriminately called himself "Ted", "Theodore", "TR", and "Teedie". To his first wife, "the light of my life" and to his mother, whom he adored, he was forever "Teddy".

Tragically, both women died in his arms, hours apart, in the same house on Valentine's Day when TR was just 24 years old, and he was emotionally devastated. Thereafter, he adopted and maintained a strict sense of formality, even signing his full name in personal correspondence. The only nickname he acknowledged was "TR". He confided to a friend, "No one who truly knows me calls me "Teddy", and he considered those who did, vulgar and guilty of "outrageous impertinence."

Regarding his family name, Theodore Roosevelt explained, "As for my name, it is pronounced as if it was spelled 'Rosavelt". That is in three syllables. The first syllable as if it was 'Rose.'"

Those privileged to serve in the national treasure that is USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) know of and respect his desires in regard to his name. He and the ship named in his honor are referred to either as THEODORE ROOSEVELT or TR. Nothing else will serve.