TR is born into a wealthy New York family that has a strong sense of social justice. He fights his severe asthma through a strenuous exercise program. He becomes New York State assemblyman. Then tragedy strikes with the untimely deaths of his beloved first wife and his mother. To escape his grief, he flees to the Dakota Badlands for the rigors of ranch life. When he returns, his political career flourishes; he eventually becomes William McKinley's Vice President.