Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd United States President
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In office March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
V. President John N. Garner
Henry A. Wallace
Harry S. Truman
Political Party Democratic
 
Personal Info
Born Jan. 30, 1882
Died Apr. 12, 1945 (at age 63)
Religion Episcopalian
School Harvard University
Columbia Law School
Profession Lawyer
Signature
Wife Eleanor Roosevelt
Children Anna Roosevelt Halsted
James Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (III)
Elliott Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.
John Aspinwall Roosevelt
U.S. Presidents 26-35
26. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
27. William H. Taft (1909-1913)
28. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
29. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
30. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
31. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
33. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
35. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
List of All the Presidents

According to surveys, Franklin Roosevelt is one of the historical leaders that rank as third most influential among former United States Presidents. Let’s know more about Franklin Roosevelt, what are his leadership qualities that place him at the top? What are his achievements and failures? How was his way of life? Who was Franklin Roosevelt as a person?

Early Life

Franklin Roosevelt, also known by his famous initials FDR, was born on January 30, 1882, in the town of Hyde Park, New York. He was born as the only child of wealthy families of Dutch and French origin in New York. He was experienced with an affluent life. He regularly visited Europe, making him more knowledgeable European current events. He learned to ride, play polo, row, shoot and play lawn tennis. Franklin Roosevelt also took golf in his teenage years and became an expert long-ranged hitter. He also learned how to sail, because his father provided him with a sailboat which was named “New Moon”.

Education

Schools are the training grounds of the mind, and Franklin Roosevelt proved excellence in his training ground. He went to an Episcopal boarding school in Massachusetts named, Groton School where he used to mingle with a crowd of social registry. He also attended Harvard College and extended his wealthy living in the Adams House—a part of the Gold Coast area. This house was reserved for wealthy students only. He made his own name in Harvard by sharing his excellence there. He became the editor-in-chief of The Harvard Crimson daily newspaper and he also became a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. During his time at Harvard, Theodore Roosevelt, his fifth cousin, was elected as the president of the United States. After he went to Harvard, he attended Columbia Law School in 1904. But he then dropped out after 3 years when he passed the New York State Bar exam.

Franklin Roosevelt was known as handsome, charismatic and socially active and rich man; few can deny that he was attractive during his time. In 1902 he met his future wife in the White House named Eleanor Roosevelt. She was Theodore Roosevelt’s niece, so Franklin and Eleanor were fifth cousins. Eleanor and Franklin were completely different from each other’s characteristics. Eleanor was the opposite of Franklin, she was a shy woman and she disliked social life. But despite of their differences, Eleanor became the wife of Franklin Roosevelt on March 17, 1905. On the day of their wedding, Theodore Roosevelt stood for Eleanor’s father who had passed away. Eleanor lost his parents at the early age of ten. They had six children: Anna Eleanor, James, Franklin Delano Jr., Elliot, the second Franklin Delano Jr., and his last child, John Aspinwall.

Franklin Roosevelt’s Married Life

Franklin-Roosevelt-and-Eleanor-1904There are really no perfect relationships—few bonds can withstand the trials of time. Franklin Roosevelt was allegedly accused of having an affair. And the accusation stated that the person that was involved with Franklin was Lucy Mercer, Eleanor’s social secretary. Eleanor discovered the affair after Franklin returned from World War in September, 1918. It was also found out that their affair started soon when Lucy Mercer was hired in the year 1914. They were about to divorce. The Roosevelt family said that Eleanor offered Franklin a divorce so he could freely live with his mistress, but Lucy denied him because according to her Catholic faith, she couldn’t marry a man divorced with five children. Eleanor and Franklin finally reconciled after they took a fashion with the informal mediation made by Franklin’s adviser, Louis McHenry Howe. Franklin made a promise that he will not see Lucy Mercer again nor share a bed with Eleanor. But the promise to never see Lucy was again ruined by Franklin. He started seeing Lucy in 1941 and possibly even earlier. The affair had greatly affected their family, closeness was never redeemed. Eleanor decided to move in a separate house in Hyde Park at Valkill. She devoted herself to her own social and political life. In a way, Franklin’s affair made Eleanor Roosevelt into the woman she became later in life.

Political Life

Franklin Roosevelt made his political life a historical one. He entered politics, which was inspired by his cousin, Theodore Roosevelt. In the year 1910, he won the election in New York Senate. He was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President Wilson. Then, he became a Democratic nominee for Vice President in the year 1920. He then became an elected President and inaugurated on March 4, 1933. Franklin Roosevelt made it to the top. But, he accepted United States as President during the Great Depression. Most of the workforce in the U.S. was unemployed. He was also appointed as president in the middle of the bank panic in United States. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, Franklin said in his inauguration that brings hope for the American people. He started his ruling by aiming for immediate relief for the people. Many bills presented to Congress were passed easily, including the Emergency Bank Act.

Recovering from the Great Depression

Franklin Roosevelt Secretary of the Navy 1913 192x300There was a declared bank holiday to prepare a plan for a recovery strategy. Roosevelt’s plan to recover the United States was to allow all closed banks to reopen. He created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to give people assurance in the banks. By the year 1935, two years after he was appointed as President of the United States, the country finally achieved some recovery. But businessmen and bankers started to fear Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Program. It was a series of programs for the economy in response to the Great Depression. According to historians, the program has had three foci: relief, recovery and reform. It was to relieve the unemployed and poor American people, to recover the American economy to previous levels, and to reform the financial system to avoid repeating the Great Depression. It was what the businessmen were afraid of, they are feared experimentation.

Roosevelt created a new program of reform like social security and implemented heavier taxes on wealthy members of society, new controls over banks and utilities of the public and a mass relief program for the unemployed. He was then made it again to the top in the presidential election of 1936. He required the legislation to expand the Supreme Court that invalidated the key of the New Deal Measure. He lost his battle with the Supreme Court but there was a revolution that took place in Constitutional Law. After that, the economy was legally regulated. When Roosevelt was appointed as the President, he promised a “good neighbor” policy to his country that transformed the Monroe Doctrine into an arrangement for mutual action against aggressors from a unilateral American manifesto. He also required the legislation to keep the United States protected from war in Europe.

World War II

In 1940, when France and England fell and came under barrier, Franklin Roosevelt began to send all possible aid short of definite military involvement to Great Britain. Roosevelt also had directed the man power and resources for global war of the nation when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, in 1941. He devoted himself in planning for the United Nations because he was hoping to alleviate every nation’s difficulties. He also had the feeling that the future of world peace depended on the relationship between the United States and Russia.

Health Difficulties

Roosevelt was known as a great man from the time of his childhood. He was an active man but everything was ruined by sickness that touched his body. There was a time in the summer of 1921 when Franklin and his family went on a vacation to their vacation home in New Brunswick. The day after they arrived in the said vacation home, Franklin Roosevelt started to feel weak after several outdoor activities. After his active day, he went to bed early and woke up with the worst feeling he ever had: he was experiencing high fever and pain and weakness in his legs. And there was another problem. On August 12, 1921 he found that he could no longer walk on his legs. Eleanor, his wife, called a lot of doctors to check the situation of Franklin Roosevelt. Until a Dr. Robert Lovett came and diagnosed Roosevelt with a poliomyelitis disease. The polio was an unfortunately common disease in its severest form that can cause paralysis. At Franklin’s age of 39, he lost the function of his both legs. But he did not let himself get ruined by his sickness; Roosevelt had his leg braced to align them straight. The braces allowed Roosevelt to stand and at least walk slowly. Franklin Roosevelt also had modified his car to accommodate his disability. He installed a set of hand controls over foot pedals for him to sit and continue to drive. Even though he was experiencing physical difficulty, he never lost his sense of humor and charisma.

In 1945, the war in Europe finally ended, but at the same time, Franklin Roosevelt’s health conditions were progressively getting worse. Roosevelt badly needed to rest so he decided to travel to the “Little White House” in Warm Springs Georgia. He also had undergone a spa in Warm Springs and he noted that there was a healing mineral water there that brought him relief. He had looked forward to at least two weeks of relaxation. On October 12th, 1945, Franklin sat in the living room of his cottage, sharing lively conversation with friends and relatives but he then suddenly grabbed his head and exclaimed that he had the most terrible pain. A great cerebral hemorrhage ended his life in a few minutes. When he died, it was included in his last willing testament that the Warm Springs foundation will be benefited of insurance policies of $ 560,000; he then left the remaining estate for his wife worth $ 1,900,000, which was transferred to their children on the death of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Franklin Roosevelt truly became a remarkable leader of the United States. American people will always remember Roosevelt’s participation in their life as the President that had served the nation for the longest time and the leader that recovered the United States from the Great Depression. They also honored the fact that he became a prominent leader during World War II. His actions and behavior were greatly influenced by his mentor in Groton School, Endicott Peabody, who spoke to him of the Christian duty to help those less fortunate. Peabody also encouraged to his students to enter public service. Franklin was also featured in a Time Magazine as the Man of the Year in the month of January, 1933. Anyone featured in the magazine were those who accomplished the most extraordinary and inspiring feats. Such was how Franklin Roosevelt touched the United States and the world.

2 Responses to “Franklin D. Roosevelt”

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