According to one legend, Roosevelt was settling a border dispute between Louisiana and Mississippi in 1902. During this trip, he attended a bear hunt in Mississippi where a fellow hunter captured an injured bear, tied it to a tree and asked Roosevelt to shoot it. But Roosevelt didn't have the heart to kill the defenseless bear. The Washington Post ran an editorial cartoon created by the cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman that illustrated the event called "Drawing the Line." The cartoon and the story became popular and was published in newspapers all over the country.
Store owners Morris and Rose Michtom in New York saw the cartoon. Rose made some small stuffed bears to sell in their store. Morris wrote to Roosevelt requesting his permission to call the bears "Teddy Bears". President Roosevelt granted them the usage of his nickname, but added that he did not think using his name would help sell the bears. The bears proved to be a hit and the rest is history.