38 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Bear Week will come and Bear Week will go, but in pop culture, bears are forever. And much of it is thanks to the 26th President of the United States, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, Jr.

In 1902, Roosevelt went on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi with the state's governor, Andrew Longino. After a long chase by hounds, a black bear was captured, clubbed and tied to a tree where Roosevelt was asked to shoot it. Out of empathy, the president refused.

QUIZ: Which bear are you most like?

The event became 1902's equivalent of an instant Twitter meme -- a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post. Berryman made the bear smaller, cuter, and quintessentially "Teddy," inspiring toy maker Morris Mitchom to create the teddy bear in real life.

WATCH: Thousands of bears feast on salmon

More than a century later, the icon prevails -- from Teddy Grahams to Corduroy to the Grateful Dead's dancing bears. Take a dive into USA TODAY Network's chart of the beloved bears of pop culture and see just how many teams, tales and tastes have evolved from the majestic bear.

Follow @lindsdee on Twitter.

Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1mnjFlg