When US president Theodore Roosevelt died in his sleep in 1919, the sitting vice president, Thomas R. Marshall, said: “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.


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When US president Theodore Roosevelt died in his sleep in 1919, the sitting vice president, Thomas R. Marshall, said: “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.

On the night of January 5, 1919, Roosevelt suffered breathing problems. After receiving treatment from his physician, Dr. George W. Faller, he felt better and went to bed. Roosevelt's last words were "Please put out that light, James" to his family servant James Amos. Between 4:00 and 4:15 the next morning, Roosevelt died in his sleep at Sagamore Hill after a blood clot had detached from a vein and traveled to his lungs. He was 60 years old. Upon receiving word of his death, his son Archibald telegraphed his siblings: "The old lion is dead." Woodrow Wilson's vice president, Thomas R. Marshall, said that "Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight." Following a private farewell service in the North Room at Sagamore Hill, a simple funeral was held at Christ Episcopal Church in Oyster Bay. Vice President Thomas R. Marshall, Charles Evans Hughes, Warren Harding, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Howard Taft were among the mourners. The snow-covered procession route to Youngs Memorial Cemetery was lined with spectators and a squad of mounted policemen who had ridden from New York City. Roosevelt was buried on a hillside overlooking Oyster Bay.