Writers often are known to guzzle great quantities of coffee in order to keep their senses sharp. But one famous writer probably “hands down” ahead of the rest of us in imbibing the stuff -- who also happens to be one of our most famous politicians – is Theodore Roosevelt.
I say writer, because before he became famous in politics, Roosevelt penned several best-selling books, including some that are still referenced by scholars today (The Naval War of 1812 and The Life of Thomas Hart Benton, for example). All told the prolific Roosevelt (who was born in 1858 and died in January 1919) wrote 35 books. (He also is said to have been a speedreader able to devour a book every single day).
In the his years, Roosevelt was a sickly child and not expected to survive . . . or at least not to have the strength to do much in adulthood. His parents believed in strong coffee and cigar smoke as “remedies,” particularly to help him overcome his severe asthma. For T.R. the unorthodox remedies worked.
A famous coffee drinker from then on, he had a custom-made cup that one of his sons called “More in the nature of a bathtub.” After his death, from 1919-1928, his children honored their father’s coffee-drinking legacy by operating the nation’s first coffeehouse chain (in New York City), first called “Brazilian,” then “The Double R.”
T.R., by the way, is indirectly credited with coining the first coffee advertising slogan. While touring President Andrew Jackson’s Tennessee estate in 1907 he drank a cup of Maxwell House coffee and proclaimed it “Good to the Last Drop.” The company immediately latched onto that and still uses the slogan today.
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