Franklin D Roosevelt: 32nd President
Official Presidential Portrait
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York, which now is a national historic site. He attended Harvard University and got a law degree at Columbia Law School. When he was in his young twenties, on Saint Patrick's Day in 1905, he married Eleanor Roosevelt who was a great companion and support for him.
Franklin Roosevelt's Early Careers
In 1910, he ran for the New York Senate and won. President Wilson recognized his great potential and chose him to be Assistant Secretary of the Navy, then became the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1920.
When he was 39, during the summer of 1921, he suffered from poliomyelitis, more commonly known as polio. This harmed his legs, but it did not slow him down. He worked hard to regain the use of his legs through exercise such as swimming. He soon learned to walk using heavy leg braces and crutches, though at times used a wheelchair.
Since he was unable to move around, during his political career he often delegated others to travel and represent him during appearances. His wife Eleanor was one of his great helpers appearing for him many times.
Photo of Young Roosevelt
List of United States Presidents
2. John Adams
5. James Monroe
10. John Tyler
11. James K. Polk
12. Zachary Taylor
13. Millard Fillmore
14. Franklin Pierce
15. James Buchanan
16. Abraham Lincoln
17. Andrew Johnson
18. Ulysses S. Grant
19. Rutherford B. Hayes
20. James Garfield
21. Chester A. Arthur
22. Grover Cleveland
23. Benjamin Harrison
24. Grover Cleveland
25. William McKinley
28. Woodrow Wilson
30. Calvin Coolidge
31. Herbert Hoover
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt
33. Harry S. Truman
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower
35. John F. Kennedy
36. Lyndon B. Johnson
37. Richard M. Nixon
38. Gerald R. Ford
39. James Carter
40. Ronald Reagan
41. George H. W. Bush
42. William J. Clinton
43. George W. Bush
44. Barack Obama
When Roosevelt entered office in November 1932, people were very hopeful, especially since the democratic slogan was "Happy days are here again." Unfortunately, the Great Depression, the worst depression the nation has ever experienced, only persisted and became worse. By March of the following year 130 million people were unemployed. Business were failing and most the banks had closed. This trend continued for years to come.
Fortunately, Franklin was a positive influence over the American people as he talked on the radio in what became known as the "fireside chats." He often declared that the United States would revive, and one of his most famous quotes was, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
He backed these great words with action in his first one hundred days in office. The new president passed a lot of legislation in attempt to get the country back on track. One of most notable was passing the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act which was part of the "New Deal." The "New Deal," was a reform program that he hoped would help all America, especially the poor. Through the TVA, they improved access to the Tennessee River and provided flood control that increased profitability of farmland. Although some of it was controversial, it did bring electricity to many people at a very affordable price among other things.
Although the New Deal did improve the country, the businessmen and bankers became weary of his plans, because of the aggressive actions FDR took. First of all, he allowed deficits in the budget and took the nation off the gold standard. Seeing their displeasure, he began a new reform program through Social Security, heavier taxes on the wealthy, enormous work relief programs for those who were unemployed, and new controls over public utilities and banks.
As far as international affairs, Roosevelt pledged the US to the "good neighbor" policy during World War II. He wanted to keep out of the war in Europe, while helping those nations that were being attacked. He sent England aid, but no military involvement when they were attacked by Germany in 1940. Despite his resistance in entering World War II, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, he felt there was no choice, but to enter the war and lead the country against Tojo's Japan.
Due to FDR's desire for peace between countries he chose to begin work on the United Nations. It was similar to Woodrow Wilson's League of Nation's, except this time, it would successfully form. Unfortunately Roosevelt would never see his work accomplished, as it finished forming six months after his death.
He served longer than any other president, having been elected for four terms. Due to the 22nd Amendment that was ratified in 1951, no other president will ever serve longer, as it states, "no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice." His fourth term was cut short, when he became very ill and died at Warm Springs, Georgia, on April 12, 1945 of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Excerpt from the History Channel
- First president to ride in an airplane during presidency in January 1943. He flew in a Boeing 314 from Miami to Morocco for a Casablanca Conference. There were 6 stops on the way.
- 5th cousin to Theodore Roosevelt.
- First president that his mother was allowed to vote for him.
- One of 8 presidents who died while in office.
- Longest serving president that ever has and ever will serve due to the 22nd Amendment that prohibits any president from serving more than two terms.
- Due to polio was confined to a wheelchair and leg braces most his adult life.
Secretary of the Navy
January 30, 1882 - New York
Age at Beginning of Presidency
51 years old
Term of Office
March 4, 1933 - April 12, 1945
How Long President
John Nance Garner (1933–41) Henry A. Wallace (1941–45) Harry S. Truman (1945)
Age and Year of Death
April 12, 1945 (aged 63)
Cause of Death
Franklin Roosevelt signing declaration of war against Germany
- Freidel, F., & Sidey, H. (2006). Theodore Roosevelt. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/theodoreroosevelt
- Kaplan, M. (2010). FDR and the United Nations: An Enduring Legacy. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://globalsolutions.org/blog/2010/04/FDR-and-United-Nations-Enduring-Legacy#.VxlsQvldXng
- Sullivan, G. (2001). Mr. President: A book of U.S. presidents. New York: Scholastic.
- Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1653.html
- U.S. Presidential Fun Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/history/presidential-fun-facts/#geo-washington.jpg
- What are some interesting facts about presidents and first ladies? (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.whitehousehistory.org/questions/what-are-some-interesting-facts-about-presidents-first-ladies
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