To the Woods!


This political cartoon by Clifford Kennedy Berryman (1869-1949) features President Theodore Roosevelt and the Teddy Bear character. Berryman, a cartoonist for the Washington Post, was responsible for the association between Roosevelt and the popular toy bear. In November 1902, Roosevelt took part in a bear hunt in Mississippi. In the course of the hunt, Roosevelt came upon a bear that had been wounded by the hunt’s dogs and at first refused to shoot it, but later ordered that the animal be killed to end its suffering. The Washington Post ran a Berryman cartoon that illustrated the event. Berryman’s picture of a cuddly cub soon became associated with toy bears for children. When Morris Michtom, a Jewish immigrant who owned a small store in Brooklyn, New York, began making toy bears to sell in his shop, he sent one to Roosevelt and asked for permission to use his name. Roosevelt agreed and Michtom began mass-producing the bears for sale in the United States and around the world.

Last updated: September 18, 2015