Yes, Theodore Roosevelt experienced a devastating personal tragedy early in his political career. On February 14, 1884, he suffered the loss of both his mother and his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, within hours of each other. Roosevelt's mother, Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, died of typhoid fever, and his wife died of Bright's disease, a type of kidney disease, just two days after giving birth to their daughter, also named Alice.
In his diary on that day, Roosevelt wrote a large "X" on the page and wrote:
"The light has gone out of my life."
This poignant statement reflects the profound grief he felt at the loss of his loved ones. Despite this immense personal tragedy, Roosevelt continued his political career, which eventually led him to the presidency. His ability to persevere through personal hardship is often cited as one of the defining characteristics of his robust and resilient personality.