Alice Roosevelt Longworth was the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt. She was born on February 12, 1884. Alice began her life with much sadness. Her mother, also named Alice, died two days after she was born. Her father's mother, or her paternal grandmother, died the same day. Theodore was so saddened by the deaths of his wife and mother that he moved to North Dakota for two years. Baby Alice was left with his sister, Anna Cowles. Alice called her Auntie Bye. Auntie Bye raised Alice while her father was away. When Theodore returned from North Dakota, he married a friend from his childhood named Edith Carow. Edith became Alice's stepmother. Edith and Alice did not always get along. Alice was very outgoing and headstrong. She liked to take risks. Edith was quiet and headstrong. At this time, Theodore was very busy running for different political offices. Alice was cared for by Auntie Bye, Edith, and Alice's grandparents on her mother's side. Alice felt as though her father did not have a lot of time for her.
Alice developed a mild form of polio as a child. It made the muscles in one of her legs shorten. Edith made sure that Alice wore special leg braces and shoes, and made her do physical therapy to strengthen her legs. Because of all this work, Alice was able to run and touch her toe to her nose, even when she was eighty years old!
Theodore became president when Alice was a teenager. Alice was very famous, too. She was called "Princess Alice." She and her five siblings lived in the White House. Alice would sometimes cause trouble in the White House. She had a pet snake, named Emily Spinach, which she would bring out for visits. Alice liked to do things that most women at the time were not allowed to do. She liked to drive her own car very fast. She would visit with men without another adult present. Alice liked to party late into the night.