Eleanor Roosevelt
Overview
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (ˈ; October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was the First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...

 from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 policies of her husband, distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition
New Deal coalition
The New Deal Coalition was the alignment of interest groups and voting blocs that supported the New Deal and voted for Democratic presidential candidates from 1932 until the late 1960s. It made the Democratic Party the majority party during that period, losing only to Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952...

. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment
Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time...

 because she believed it would adversely affect women.

In the 1940s, Roosevelt was one of the co-founders of Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

 and supported the formation of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

.
Quotations

Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be "damned if you do, and damned if you don't."

As quoted in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1944; 1948) by Dale Carnegie|Dale Carnegie; though Roosevelt has sometimes been credited with the originating the expression, "Damned if you do and damned if you don't" is set in quote marks, indicating she herself was quoting a common expression in saying this.

Understanding is a two-way street.

As quoted in Modern Quotations for Ready Reference (1947) by Arthur Richmond, p. 455

It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

Voice of America broadcast (11 November 1951)

We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.

The New York Times (1960), as cited in The Beacon Book of Quotations by Women (1992) by Rosalie Maggio, p. 156

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

Preface (December 1960) to The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt (1961), p. xix

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.

As quoted in Todays Health (October 1966)

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.

As quoted in Eleanor : The Years Alone (1972) by Joseph P. Lash

I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.

As quoted in Peter's Quotations : Ideas for Our Time (1972) by Laurence J. Peter, p. 5

Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.

As quoted in The Beacon Book of Quotations by Women (1992) by Rosalie Maggio, p. 130

Encyclopedia
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (ˈ; October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was the First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...

 from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 policies of her husband, distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition
New Deal coalition
The New Deal Coalition was the alignment of interest groups and voting blocs that supported the New Deal and voted for Democratic presidential candidates from 1932 until the late 1960s. It made the Democratic Party the majority party during that period, losing only to Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952...

. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment
Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time...

 because she believed it would adversely affect women.

In the 1940s, Roosevelt was one of the co-founders of Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

 and supported the formation of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. Roosevelt founded the UN Association of the United States
United Nations Association of the United States of America
The United Nations Association of the United States of America or UNA-USA is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the United Nations among the American people. Its education, policy and advocacy programs emphasize the...

 in 1943 to advance support for the formation of the UN. She was a delegate to the UN General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 from 1945 and 1952, a job for which she was appointed by President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 and confirmed by the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. During her time at the United Nations she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
President Truman called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 achievements.

Active in politics for the rest of her life, Roosevelt chaired the John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 administration's ground-breaking committee which helped start second-wave feminism
Second-wave feminism
The Feminist Movement, or the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States refers to a period of feminist activity which began during the early 1960s and lasted through the early 1990s....

, the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women
Presidential Commission on the Status of Women
The Presidential Commission on the Status of Women was established to advise the President of the United States on issues concerning the status of women. It was created by John F. Kennedy's executive order 10980 signed December 14, 1961.-Background:...

. In 1999, she was ranked in the top ten of Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.

Early life

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born at 56 West 37th Street in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt
Elliott Roosevelt I
Elliott Bulloch Roosevelt was the father of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt and the brother of US President Theodore Roosevelt. Elliott and Theodore were of the Oyster Bay Roosevelts. Eleanor later married their Hyde Park cousin and future US President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.Elliott was the third of...

 and Anna Hall Roosevelt
Anna Hall Roosevelt
Anna Rebecca Livingston Ludlow Hall Roosevelt was the mother of First Lady of the United States, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt....

. She was named Anna after her mother and her aunt Anna Cowles
Bamie Roosevelt
Anna Roosevelt Cowles was the older sister of United States President Theodore Roosevelt and the aunt of Eleanor Roosevelt. Her childhood nickname was Bamie, a derivative of bambina, but as an adult, her family began calling her "Bye" because of her tremendous on-the-go energy -...

; Eleanor after her father, and was nickname
Nickname
A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

d "Ellie" or "Little Nell". From the beginning, Eleanor preferred to be called by her middle name. She was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

.

Two brothers, Elliott Roosevelt, Jr. (1889–93) and Hall Roosevelt
Hall Roosevelt
Gracie Hall Roosevelt was the youngest brother of former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt and the nephew of Theodore Roosevelt. He was usually called Hall....

 (1891–1941) were born later. She also had a half brother, Elliott Roosevelt Mann (died 1941), who was born to Katy Mann, a servant employed by the family.
Roosevelt was born into a world of immense wealth and privilege, as her family was part of New York high society
Socialite
A socialite is a person who participates in social activities and spends a significant amount of time entertaining and being entertained at fashionable upper-class events....

 called the "swells".

Roosevelt acted in such an old fashioned manner as a child that her mother nicknamed her "Granny". Her mother died from diphtheria
Diphtheria
Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, a facultative anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium. It is characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity...

 when Roosevelt was eight and her father, an alcoholic confined to a sanitarium, died less than two years later. Her brother Elliott Jr. died from diphtheria, just like his mother. Thus, she was raised from early adolescence by her maternal grandmother, Mary Ludlow Hall (1843–1919) at Tivoli
Tivoli, New York
Tivoli is a village in Dutchess County, New York, United States. The population was 1,118 at the 2010 census. The village, which was incorporated in 1872 from parts of Upper Red Hook Landing and Madalin, is the northernmost settlement in the county, located in the northwest part of the Town of Red...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. In his Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

-winning biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, Joseph P. Lash
Joseph P. Lash
Joseph P. Lash was an American radical political activist, journalist, and author. A close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, Lash won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the National Book Award in 1972 for Eleanor and Franklin, the first of two volumes he wrote about the former First Lady.-Early...

 describes her during this period of childhood as insecure and starved for affection, considering herself "ugly". Nevertheless, even at 14, Roosevelt understood that one's prospects in life were not totally dependent on physical beauty, writing wistfully that "no matter how plain a woman may be if truth and loyalty are stamped upon her face all will be attracted to her."

Roosevelt was tutored privately and, at the age of 15, with the encouragement of her father's sister, her aunt "Bamie", the family decided to send her to Allenswood Academy, a private finishing school
Finishing school
A finishing school is "a private school for girls that emphasises training in cultural and social activities." The name reflects that it follows on from ordinary school and is intended to complete the educational experience, with classes primarily on etiquette...

 outside London, England. The headmistress, Marie Souvestre
Marie Souvestre
Marie Souvestre was a feminist educator who sought to develop independent minds in young women.-Biography:Souvestre was born on April 28, 1830, in Brest, France, the daughter of French novelist Émile Souvestre....

, was a noted feminist educator who sought to cultivate independent thinking in the young women in her charge. Eleanor learned to speak French fluently and gained self-confidence. Her first-cousin Corinne Robinson
Corinne Alsop Cole
Corinne Alsop Cole was the daughter of Douglas Robinson and his wife Corinne Roosevelt and a niece of Theodore Roosevelt....

, whose first term at Allenswood overlapped with Eleanor's last, said that when she arrived at the school, Eleanor was "everything". She would later study at The New School
The New School
The New School is a university in New York City, located mostly in Greenwich Village. From its founding in 1919 by progressive New York academics, and for most of its history, the university was known as the New School for Social Research. Between 1997 and 2005 it was known as New School University...

 in the 1920s.

Marriage and family life

In 1902 at age 17, Roosevelt returned to the United States, ending her formal education. On December 14, 1902, Roosevelt was presented at a debutante ball at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. She was later given a debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

 party. As a member of the New York Junior League
Junior League
The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. is a non-profit organization of 292 Junior Leagues in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and the United States. Junior Leagues are educational and charitable women's organizations aimed at improving their communities through volunteerism and...

, she volunteered as a social worker in the East Side slums of New York City. Roosevelt was among the League's
Junior League
The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. is a non-profit organization of 292 Junior Leagues in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and the United States. Junior Leagues are educational and charitable women's organizations aimed at improving their communities through volunteerism and...

 earliest members, having been introduced to the organization by her friend, and organization founder, Mary Harriman
Mary Harriman Rumsey
Mary Harriman Rumsey was the founder of The Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movements, later known as the Junior League of the City of New York of the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. Mary was the daughter of railroad magnate, E.H. Harriman and sister to W...

.

That same year Roosevelt met her father's fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

, and was overwhelmed when the 20-year-old dashing Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 student demonstrated affection for her. Following a White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 reception and dinner with her uncle, President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, on New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

, 1903, Franklin's courtship of Eleanor began. She later brought Franklin along on her rounds of the squalid tenements, a walking tour that profoundly moved the theretofore sheltered young man.

In November 1904, they became engaged
Engagement
An engagement or betrothal is a promise to marry, and also the period of time between proposal and marriage which may be lengthy or trivial. During this period, a couple is said to be betrothed, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged...

, though the engagement was not announced until December 1, 1904, at the insistence of Franklin's mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt. She opposed the union. "I know what pain I must have caused you," Franklin wrote his mother of his decision. But, he added, "I know my own mind, and known it for a long time, and know that I could never think otherwise." Sara took her son on a cruise in 1904, hoping that a separation would squelch the romance, but Franklin returned to Eleanor with renewed ardor. The wedding date was fixed to accommodate President Roosevelt, who agreed to give the bride away. Her uncle's presence focused national attention on the wedding.

Roosevelt, age 20, married Franklin Roosevelt, age 23, her fifth-cousin once removed, on March 17, 1905 (St. Patrick's Day), at the adjoining townhouses of Mrs. Elizabeth Livingston Ludlow and her daughter, Susan "Cousin Susie" Parish in New York City. The Reverend Dr. Endicott Peabody
Endicott Peabody (educator)
The Reverend Endicott Peabody was the American Episcopal priest who founded the Groton School for Boys , in Groton, Massachusetts in 1884. Peabody served as headmaster at the school from 1884 until 1940, and also served as a trustee at Lawrence Academy at Groton...

, the groom's headmaster at Groton School
Groton School
Groton School is a private, Episcopal, college preparatory boarding school located in Groton, Massachusetts, U.S. It enrolls approximately 375 boys and girls, from the eighth through twelfth grades...

, performed the services. The couple spent a preliminary honeymoon of one week at Hyde Park, then set up housekeeping in an apartment in New York. That summer they went on their formal honeymoon
Honeymoon
-History:One early reference to a honeymoon is in Deuteronomy 24:5 “When a man is newly wed, he need not go out on a military expedition, nor shall any public duty be imposed on him...

, a three-month tour of Europe.

Returning to the U.S., the newlyweds settled in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, in a house provided by Franklin's mother, as well as at the family's estate overlooking the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

 in Hyde Park, New York
Hyde Park, New York
Hyde Park is a town located in the northwest part of Dutchess County, New York, United States, just north of the city of Poughkeepsie. The town is most famous for being the hometown of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt....

. Roosevelt deferred to her mother-in-law in virtually all household matters. She did not gain a measure of independence until her husband was elected to the state senate and the couple moved to Albany, New York
Albany, New York
Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. Roughly north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about south of its confluence with the Mohawk River...

. Eleanor Roosevelt was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star
Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star is a fraternal organization that both men and women can join. It was established in 1850 by Rob Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts, who had been an official with the Freemasons. It is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all...

.

The Roosevelts had six children, five of whom survived infancy
Infant mortality
Infant mortality is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1000 live births. Traditionally, the most common cause worldwide was dehydration from diarrhea. However, the spreading information about Oral Re-hydration Solution to mothers around the world has decreased the rate of children dying...

:
  • Anna Eleanor, Jr. (3 May 1906 – 1 December 1975) – journalist, public relations official.
  • James
    James Roosevelt
    James Roosevelt was the oldest son of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a United States Congressman, an officer in the United States Marine Corps, an aide to his father, the official Secretary to the President, a Democratic Party activist, and a businessman.-Early life:Roosevelt was...

     (23 December 1907 – 13 August 1991) – businessman, congressman, author.
  • Franklin Delano, Jr. (18 March 1909 – 1 November 1909), died aged seven months.
  • Elliott
    Elliott Roosevelt
    Elliott Roosevelt was a United States Army Air Forces officer and an author. Roosevelt was a son of U.S. President Franklin D...

     (23 September 1910 – 27 October 1990) – businessman, mayor, author.
  • Franklin Delano, Jr.
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. was an American politician. He was the fifth child of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sr. and his wife Eleanor.-Personal life:...

     (17 August 1914 – 17 August 1988) – businessman, congressman, farmer.
  • John Aspinwall
    John Aspinwall Roosevelt
    John Aspinwall Roosevelt was the sixth and last child of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the only Roosevelt son who never sought political office....

     (13 March 1916 – 27 April 1981) – merchant, stockbroker.


The family began spending summers at Campobello Island
Campobello Island, New Brunswick
Campobello Island is a Canadian island located at the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay, adjacent to the entrance to Cobscook Bay, and within the Bay of Fundy...

, New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, on the Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 border, where Franklin was stricken with a paralytic illness in August 1921, which resulted in permanent paralysis of his legs. Although the disease was widely believed during his lifetime to be poliomyelitis
Poliomyelitis
Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route...

, newer research indicates Roosevelt's illness
Franklin D. Roosevelt's paralytic illness
Franklin D. Roosevelt's paralytic illness began in 1921 at age 39, when Roosevelt got a fever after exercising heavily at a vacation in Canada. While his bout with illness was well known during his terms as President of the United States, the extent of his paralysis was kept from public view. After...

 was more likely Guillain-Barré Syndrome
Guillain-Barré syndrome
Guillain–Barré syndrome , sometimes called Landry's paralysis, is an acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy , a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. Ascending paralysis, weakness beginning in the feet and hands and migrating towards the trunk, is the most typical symptom...

, which was scarcely known at the time. Franklin's attending physician, Dr. William Keen, believed it was polio and commended Eleanor's devotion to the stricken Franklin during that time of travail, "You have been a rare wife and have borne your heavy burden most bravely," proclaiming her "one of my heroines". A play and movie depicting that time, Sunrise at Campobello
Sunrise at Campobello (play)
Sunrise at Campobello is a 1958 play by American producer and writer Dore Schary based on U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's struggle with polio. The film version was released in 1960.-Background:...

, were produced almost 40 years later.

It was Eleanor who prodded Franklin to return to active life. To compensate for his lack of mobility, she overcame her shyness to make public appearances on his behalf and thereafter served him as a listening post and barometer of popular sentiment.

Relationship with mother-in-law

Roosevelt had a contentious relationship with her domineering mother-in-law, Sara Delano Roosevelt
Sara Roosevelt
Sara Ann Delano Roosevelt was the 2nd wife of James Roosevelt, Sr. , and the mother of President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her only child.-Childhood:...

. Long before Eleanor fell in love with her future husband and distant cousin, she already had a relationship with Sara as a distant but highly engaging cousin, with whom she corresponded. Although they had a difficult relationship, Sara sincerely wanted to be a mother to Eleanor and did her best before and during the marriage to fill this role. Sara had her own reasons for attempting to prevent their marriage and historians continue to discuss them. Historians also have had widely diverging opinions on the pluses and minuses of this relationship.

From Sara's perspective, Eleanor was relatively young and inexperienced and lacked maternal support. Sara felt she had much to teach her new daughter-in-law on what a young wife should know. Eleanor, while sometimes resenting Sara's domineering nature, nevertheless highly valued her opinion in the early years of her marriage until she developed the experience and confidence from the school of marital "hard knocks". Historians continue to study the reasons Eleanor allowed Sara to dominate their lives, especially in the first years of the marriage. Eleanor's income was more than half of that of her husband's when they married in 1905 and the couple could have lived still relatively luxuriously without Sara's financial support.

Sara was determined to ensure her son's success in all areas of life including his marriage. Sara had doted on her son to the point of spoiling him, and now intended to help him make a success of his marriage with a woman that she evidently viewed as being totally unprepared for her new role as chatelaine
Chatelaine
Châtelaine has the following meanings:*Châtelaine, a woman who owns or controls a large house ....

of a great family. Sara would continue to give huge presents to her new grandchildren, but sometimes Eleanor had problems with the influence that came with "mother's largesse."

Tensions with "Oyster Bay Roosevelts"

Although Roosevelt was always in the good graces of her uncle, Theodore Roosevelt, the pater familias
Pater familias
The pater familias, also written as paterfamilias was the head of a Roman family. The term is Latin for "father of the family" or the "owner of the family estate". The form is irregular and archaic in Latin, preserving the old genitive ending in -as...

of the Oyster Bay Roosevelts, as the Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 branch of the family was known, she often found herself at odds with his eldest daughter, Alice Roosevelt
Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth was the oldest child of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. She was the only child of Roosevelt and his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee....

. Theodore felt Eleanor's conduct to be far more responsible, socially acceptable and cooperative; in short, more "Rooseveltian" than that of the beautiful, highly photogenic, but rebellious and self-absorbed Alice, to whom he would ask, "Why can't you be more like 'cousin Eleanor'?" These early experiences laid the foundation for life-long strain between the two high-profile cousins. Though the youthful Alice's comradely relationship with Franklin during the World War I years in Washington is still the object of curiosity among Rooseveltian scholars, both Eleanor's and his relationship with Alice and other Oyster Bay Roosevelts would be aggravated by the widening political gulf between the Hyde Park and Oyster Bay families, as Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

's political career began to take off. In 1924, Eleanor campaigned against her cousin, New York gubernatorial candidate Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
Theodore D. Roosevelt, Jr. , was an American political and business leader, a Medal of Honor recipient who fought in both of the 20th century's world wars. He was the eldest son of President Theodore Roosevelt from his second wife Edith Roosevelt...

, and contributed to his loss and further strained relations between the two Roosevelt branches.

Alice often hosted dinner parties at her Washington, D. C. home, where she promoted the affair between Franklin and Lucy Mercer
Lucy Page Mercer Rutherfurd
Lucy Page Mercer Rutherfurd was a mistress and long time friend of United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was with Roosevelt on the day he died in 1945.-Background:...

. Alice would invite both Franklin and Lucy to dine—especially when Eleanor was out of town. Alice must have savored this underhanded revenge. "He deserved a good time," Alice once said of FDR; after all, "he was married to Eleanor."

That said, Alice was not particularly enamored with FDR either; she described Franklin as "two-thirds mush and one-third Eleanor". When Franklin was inaugurated president in 1933, Alice
Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth was the oldest child of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. She was the only child of Roosevelt and his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee....

 was invited to attend along with her brothers, Kermit
Kermit Roosevelt
Kermit Roosevelt I MC was a son of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. He was an explorer on two continents with his father, a graduate of Harvard University, a soldier serving in two world wars, with both the British and U.S. Armies, a businessman, and a writer...

 and Archie
Archibald Roosevelt
Archibald Bulloch "Archie" Roosevelt , the fifth child of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, was a distinguished U.S. Army officer and commander of U.S. forces in both World War I and II. In both conflicts he was wounded. He earned the Croix de guerre and Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster,...

. When Eleanor Roosevelt died in 1962, her cousin Ethel Derby
Ethel Roosevelt Derby
Ethel Carow Roosevelt Derby was the youngest daughter and fourth child of the President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt...

 wrote that she would not attend Mrs. Roosevelt's funeral because she did not love her.

FDR's affair and Eleanor's relationships

Despite its happy start and Roosevelt's intense desire to be a loving and loved wife, their marriage almost disintegrated over Franklin's affair with his wife's social secretary Lucy Mercer (later Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd). When Eleanor learned of the affair from Mercer's letters, which she discovered in Franklin's suitcases in September 1918, she was brought to despair and self-reproach. She told Franklin she would insist on a divorce if he did not immediately end the affair. He knew that a divorce would not reflect well on his family, so he ended the relationship.
So implacable was Sara's opposition to divorce that she warned her son she would disinherit him. Corinne Robinson
Corinne Roosevelt Robinson
Corinne Roosevelt Robinson was the younger sister of former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt and an aunt of former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt.-Early years:...

, and Louis McHenry Howe
Louis McHenry Howe
Louis McHenry Howe was an intimate friend and close political advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Margurite "Missy" LeHand, was one of the few close associates who supported FDR throughout the most difficult stages of his personal and political...

, Franklin's political advisors, were also influential in persuading Eleanor and Franklin to save the marriage for the sake of the children and Franklin's political career. The idea has been put forth that, because Mercer was a Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

, she would never have married a divorced Protestant. Her relatives maintain that she was perfectly willing to marry Franklin. Her father's family was Episcopal
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

 and her mother had been divorced. While Franklin agreed never to see Mercer again, she began visiting him in the 1930s and was with Franklin at Warm Springs
Warm Springs, Georgia
Warm Springs is a city in Meriwether County, Georgia, United States. The population was 478 at the 2010 census.-History:Warm Springs first came to prominence in the 19th century as a spa town, due to its mineral springs which flow constantly at nearly 32 °C...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 when he died on April 12, 1945.

Although the marriage survived, Roosevelt emerged a different woman, coming to the realization that she could achieve fulfillment only through her own influence. Ironically, her husband's paralysis
Paralysis
Paralysis is loss of muscle function for one or more muscles. Paralysis can be accompanied by a loss of feeling in the affected area if there is sensory damage as well as motor. A study conducted by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, suggests that about 1 in 50 people have been diagnosed...

 would soon place his political future partially in her hands, requiring her to play an active role in New York State Democratic politics. It was a move she had been gradually making, having long held considerable, if repressed, interest in politics and social issues. During the 1920s, as Franklin dealt with his illness, with the coaching of his trusted political adviser Louis McHenry Howe
Louis McHenry Howe
Louis McHenry Howe was an intimate friend and close political advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Margurite "Missy" LeHand, was one of the few close associates who supported FDR throughout the most difficult stages of his personal and political...

, she became a prominent face among Democratic women and a force in New York state politics.

Although she and her husband were often separated by their activities during these years, their relationship, though at times strained, was close, despite Eleanor's insistence on severing their physical relationship after discovering Franklin's affair. He was to often pay tribute to her care for him during the worst days of his illness, her help to him in his work, encouraging his staff and others to view them as a team, and to her ability to connect with various groups of people. He respected her intelligence and honest and sincere desire to improve the world, even if he sometimes found her too insistent and lacking in political suppleness. "Your back has no bend," he once told her.

In 1926, Franklin took great pleasure in presenting Eleanor with a cottage on the Hyde Park estate, called "The Stone Cottage", where she and her closest friends at the time, Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman, could escape from the main house. In 1928, she was urged by New York Governor Al Smith
Al Smith
Alfred Emanuel Smith. , known in private and public life as Al Smith, was an American statesman who was elected the 42nd Governor of New York three times, and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928...

, who was the Democratic candidate for president
United States presidential election, 1928
The United States presidential election of 1928 pitted Republican Herbert Hoover against Democrat Al Smith. The Republicans were identified with the booming economy of the 1920s, whereas Smith, a Roman Catholic, suffered politically from Anti-Catholic prejudice, his anti-prohibitionist stance, and...

, to press her husband to run for New York Governor in his place. After repeated urgings, she finally placed a call to Franklin, who gleefully told her he'd been successfully dodging all of Smith's frantic calls. She handed the phone to Smith and the rest is history.

Though pleased for Franklin, Eleanor was increasingly despondent as he resumed his career, fearing she would be forced to take on an increasingly ceremonial role. During the 1932 campaign, Louis Howe was horrified to read a note about her feelings of uselessness she had sent to a friend. Howe tore it up, warning the friend to say nothing. An offer by Eleanor to Franklin after the election to take on some of his mail was rebuffed, because it might have offended his secretary, Marguerite "Missy" LeHand.

However, Franklin and Howe had larger plans for Eleanor. The skills she had developed as a political trooper for the women's branch of the New York State Democratic party as well as during her time as New York state's First Lady were to stand her in good stead. Howe made immediate use of her in dealing with the problem of the Bonus Army
Bonus Army
The Bonus Army was the popular name of an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C., in the spring and summer of 1932 to demand immediate cash-payment redemption of their service certificates...

, unemployed veterans of World War I who had marched and encamped in Washington, D.C., demanding payment of the bonuses promised to them for their wartime service. President Herbert Hoover had viewed them as a dangerous, Communist-inspired group and sent the Army under Commander-in-Chief Douglas MacArthur to drive the group out with tear gas. Roosevelt and Howe took a radically different approach sending food, friendly greetings, and Eleanor. "Hoover sent the Army, Roosevelt sent his wife" became one of the classic lines of the New Deal era.

In 1933, Roosevelt had a very close relationship with Lorena Hickok
Lorena Hickok
Lorena Alice Hickok was an American journalist and confidante of Eleanor Roosevelt. Her relationship with Roosevelt has been the subject of research.-Early life:...

, who she referred to as "Hick darling", a reporter who had covered her during the campaign and early days of the Roosevelt administration and sensed her discontent, which spanned her early years in the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. On the day of Eleanor's husband's inauguration, she was wearing a sapphire
Sapphire
Sapphire is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide , when it is a color other than red or dark pink; in which case the gem would instead be called a ruby, considered to be a different gemstone. Trace amounts of other elements such as iron, titanium, or chromium can give...

 ring that Hickok had given her.

Later, when their correspondence was made public, it became clear that Roosevelt would write such endearments as, "I want to put my arms around you & kiss you at the corner of your mouth," and “I can’t kiss you, so I kiss your picture good night and good morning!” It is unknown if her husband was aware of the relationship, which scholars (including Lillian Faderman
Lillian Faderman
Lillian Faderman is a scholar whose books on lesbian relationships and romantic friendship in history have earned critical praise and awards. Faderman is a professor of English at California State University in Fresno, California.-Early life:...

, Hazel Rowley
Hazel Rowley
Hazel Joan Rowley was a British-born Australian author and biographer.Born in London, Rowley emigrated with her parents to Adelaide at the age of eight. She studied at the University of Adelaide, graduating with Honours in French and German. Later she acquired a PhD in French...

 and Maurine Beasley) have asserted to be lesbian. Some authors consider "That the Hickok relationship was indeed erotic now seems beyond dispute", while others disagree .

Roosevelt also had a close relationship with a New York State Police sergeant, Earl Miller, whom her husband had assigned as her bodyguard. Prior to that, Miller had been Al Smith
Al Smith
Alfred Emanuel Smith. , known in private and public life as Al Smith, was an American statesman who was elected the 42nd Governor of New York three times, and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928...

's personal bodyguard and was acquainted with Franklin from World War I. Miller was an athlete and had been the Navy's middleweight boxing champion as well as a member of the U.S. Olympic squad at the Antwerp games in 1920.

Roosevelt was 44 years old when she met Miller, 32, in 1929. According to several of Franklin's biographers, Miller became her friend as well as official escort. He taught her different sports, such as diving and riding, and coached her tennis game. There is some speculation that the relationship was a romance rather than a friendship. Blanche Wiesen Cook
Blanche Wiesen Cook
Blanche Wiesen Cook , Distinguished Professor of history at John Jay College in the City University of New York, is the author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume One 1884-1933, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize winning biography of Eleanor Roosevelt...

 writes that Miller was Eleanor's "first romantic involvement" in her middle years. James Roosevelt
James Roosevelt
James Roosevelt was the oldest son of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a United States Congressman, an officer in the United States Marine Corps, an aide to his father, the official Secretary to the President, a Democratic Party activist, and a businessman.-Early life:Roosevelt was...

 wrote, "I personally believe they were more than friends." Miller denied a romantic relationship.

Roosevelt's friendship with Miller happened during the same years as her husband's relationship with his secretary, Missy LeHand. Smith writes, "[r]emarkably, both ER and Franklin recognized, accepted, and encouraged the arrangement… Eleanor and Franklin were strong-willed people who cared greatly for each other's happiness but realized their own inability to provide for it." Their relationship is said to have continued until her death in 1962. They are thought to have corresponded daily, but all letters have been lost. According to rumors (Elliott and Franklin, Jr. are believed to have actually seen the letters) the letters were anonymously purchased and destroyed or locked away when she died. In later years, Roosevelt was said to have developed a romantic attachment to her physician, David Gurewitsch, though it was likely limited to a deep friendship.

Public life before the White House

Following Franklin's paralytic illness attack in 1921, Eleanor began serving as a stand-in for her incapacitated husband, making public appearances on his behalf, often carefully coached by Louis Howe, with increasingly successful results. She also started working with the Women's Trade Union League
Women's Trade Union League
The Women's Trade Union League was a U.S. organization of both working class and more well-off women formed in 1903 to support the efforts of women to organize labor unions and to eliminate sweatshop conditions...

 (WTUL), raising funds in support of the union's goals: a 48-hour work week, minimum wage
Minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

, and the abolition of child labor
Child labor
Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries...

. Throughout the 1920s, Eleanor became increasingly influential as a leader in the New York State Democratic Party while Franklin used her contacts among Democratic women to strengthen his standing with them, winning their committed support for the future. In 1924, she actively campaigned for Alfred E. Smith
Al Smith
Alfred Emanuel Smith. , known in private and public life as Al Smith, was an American statesman who was elected the 42nd Governor of New York three times, and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928...

 in his successful re-election bid as governor of New York State. By 1928, Eleanor was actively promoting Smith's candidacy for president and Franklin's nomination as the Democratic Party's candidate for governor of New York, succeeding Smith. Although Smith lost, Franklin won handily and the Roosevelts moved into the governor's mansion in Albany
Albany, New York
Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. Roughly north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about south of its confluence with the Mohawk River...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

.

In the 1920s, Roosevelt taught literature and American history at the Todhunter School for Girls, now the Dalton School, in New York City.

First Lady of the United States (1933–1945)

Following the Presidential inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt ("FDR") on March 4, 1933, Eleanor became First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...

. Having seen the strictly circumscribed role and traditional protocol of her aunt, Edith Roosevelt
Edith Roosevelt
Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt was the second wife of Theodore Roosevelt and served as First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1901 to 1909.-Early life:...

, during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt
Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States. He had been the 25th Vice President before becoming President upon the assassination of President William McKinley...

 (1901–1909), Roosevelt set out on a different course. With her husband's strong support, despite criticism of them both, she continued with the active business and speaking agenda she had begun before becoming First Lady, in an era when few women had careers. She was the first to hold weekly press conferences and started writing a widely syndicated newspaper column, "My Day
My Day
My Day was a newspaper column that was written by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt six days a week from 1935 to 1962. In her column, she discussed issues such as race, women, and key events . This column allowed Mrs. Roosevelt to spread her ideas and thoughts to millions of Americans and give them a...

" at the urging of her literary agent, George T. Bye
George T. Bye
George Thurman Bye was the Literary agent of Frank Buck and Eleanor Roosevelt. A prominent figure in the literary world before World War II, Bye rose to fame as the agent of people in the news and amateur authors with something timely or sensational to say, so called “stunt books”.-Early life and...

.In Her travels (1933-1934)she went to visit Narrasketuck Yacht Club grand opening.

Roosevelt maintained a heavy travel schedule over her 12 years in the White House, frequently making personal appearances at labor meetings to assure Depression-era workers that the White House was mindful of their plight. In one widely-circulated cartoon of the time from The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

magazine (June 3, 1933) lampooning the peripatetic First Lady, an astonished coal miner, peering down a dark tunnel, says to a co-worker "For gosh sakes, here comes Mrs. Roosevelt!"
Eleanor became an important connection for Franklin's administration to the African-American population during the segregation era. During Franklin's terms as President, despite Franklin's need to placate southern sentiment, Eleanor was vocal in her support of the African-American civil rights movement. She was outspoken in her support of Marian Anderson
Marian Anderson
Marian Anderson was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century...

 in 1939 when the black singer was denied the use of Washington's Constitution Hall and was instrumental in the subsequent concert held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

. The first lady played a role in racial affairs when she appointed Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary Jane McLeod Bethune was an American educator and civil rights leader best known for starting a school for African American students in Daytona Beach, Florida, that eventually became Bethune-Cookman University and for being an advisor to President Franklin D...

 as head of the Division of Negro Affairs.

One social highlight of the Roosevelt years was the 1939 visit of King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

 and Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

, the first British monarchs to set foot on U.S. soil. The Roosevelts were criticized in some quarters for serving hot dogs to the royal couple during a picnic at Hyde Park.

Roosevelt and the media

Eleanor Roosevelt used her high social position to gain access to and presence in the media. Her efforts were seen beyond the political realm and often dealt with a woman’s self-awareness.

At the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency, the same time that Eleanor served as First Lady, most women found themselves within the walls of their homes. Only 25% of women worked outside the home. The vast majority of women were unpaid homemakers. Mrs. Roosevelt used her weight in the media as a way to connect with women who found themselves in domestic isolation. With this in mind, Eleanor used three mediums to keep in touch with her female followers. She used the press conference, a daily newspaper column, and magazine articles. These three means opened up the communication into a two-way channel.

Although the First Lady initially wanted to be the voice of the White House to female journalists, Mrs. Roosevelt’s news was often about humanitarian concerns. Her reports stayed true to those issues of the American woman, such as unemployment, poverty, education, rural life, and the role of women in society.

Eleanor held 348 press conferences over the span of her husband’s 12-year presidency. Men were not welcome into these meetings because female journalists were so heavily discriminated against. Roosevelt felt that her information should only be available to those who were not seen as fit to hear information from a man. These conferences encouraged women to think in a broader spectrum, one that was outside of their overwhelming domestic lifestyle.

Roosevelt’s newspaper column “My Day,” ran from 1936 to 1962. The column was seen as a diary of her daily activities. In archiving her life happenings, Eleanor’s column often brought up the same issues as those of her press conferences. Those concerns based upon the public welfare often intrigued readers but were criticized by political experts who said it lacked intellectualism. “My Day” also kept a record of the First Lady’s hectic schedule. The column became somewhat of a newsletter for women in politics.

In the spring of 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt signed with Woman's Home Companion
Woman's Home Companion
Woman's Home Companion was an American monthly publication, published from 1873 to 1957. It was highly successful, climbing to a circulation peak of more than four million during the 1930s and 1940s....

, a leading women’s magazine, to do a monthly column. Roosevelt used the column to answer mail she had received from readers. The allotted space allowed her to discuss more social concerns such as prenatal care, better working conditions, American holidays, and New Deal programs to insure home mortgages. Readers petitioned for help of all kinds to which she responded graciously. During her time in the White House, Eleanor published over sixty articles in magazines with national circulations.

Eleanor Roosevelt recognized a need for American women to take part in media communications. As a public figure she harnessed the power of the media and used it to interact with the women of America. By use of this medium, Roosevelt attempted to break the barriers of the domestic household and broaden the spectrum of women. She also set a precedent for following first ladies to remain in touch with the nation by means of the media.

World War II

In 1941, Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie
Wendell Willkie
Wendell Lewis Willkie was a corporate lawyer in the United States and a dark horse who became the Republican Party nominee for the president in 1940. A member of the liberal wing of the GOP, he crusaded against those domestic policies of the New Deal that he thought were inefficient and...

, and other Americans concerned about threats to democracy established Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

—Roosevelt and Willkie served as the honorary chairpersons of Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

 in its early years. Once the United States entered World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, she was active on the homefront
United States home front during World War II
This page, United States home front during World War II, covers the developments within the United States, 1940–1945, to support its efforts during World War II.-Economics:...

, co-chairing a national committee on civil defense with New York Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia and frequently visiting civilian and military centers to boost war morale. She strongly argued against her husband signing Executive Order 9066
Executive Order 9066
United States Executive Order 9066 was a United States presidential executive order signed and issued during World War II by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 authorizing the Secretary of War to prescribe certain areas as military zones...

 that interned thousands of Americans of Japanese ancestry who posed a security risk as possible Japanese sympathizers or spies.

In 1943, Roosevelt was sent on a trip to the South Pacific, scene of a sea-saw battle against the Japanese. The trip became legendary. Her fortitude in enduring the rugged, primitive, malaria infested jungle, and her strength and patience in visiting thousands of wounded servicemen caused the tough as nails Admiral Halsey
William Halsey, Jr.
Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey, Jr., United States Navy, , was a U.S. Naval officer. He commanded the South Pacific Area during the early stages of the Pacific War against Japan...

, who had initially opposed her visit, to offer her praise. To the small amount of civilian criticism directed to Mrs. Roosevelt, a Republican serviceman insisted to a colleague that he and the other soldiers who'd encountered her warmth would gladly personally repay whatever gasoline and rubber her visit cost.

Hoping to improve relations with other countries in the Western Hemisphere, March 1944 saw Roosevelt embark on a whirlwind tour of Latin American countries. For the trip, which would cover a number of nations and involve thousands of air miles, she was given a U.S. government-owned C-87A aircraft
C-87 Liberator Express
|-References:NotesBibliography* Andrade, John. U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Hinckley, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9....

, the Guess Where II, a VIP transport plane which had originally been built to carry her husband abroad. After reviewing the poor safety record of that aircraft type (many had either caught fire or crashed during the war), the Secret Service forbade the use of the plane for carrying the president, even on trips of short duration, but approved its use for the First Lady.
Roosevelt especially supported more opportunities for women and African-Americans, notably the Tuskegee Airmen
Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African American pilots who fought in World War II. Formally, they were the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps....

 in their successful effort to become the first black combat pilots. She visited the Tuskegee Air Corps Advanced Flying School in Alabama and, at her request, flew with a black student pilot for more than an hour, which had great symbolic value and brought visibility to Tuskegee's pilot training program. She also arranged a White House meeting in July 1941 for representatives of the Tuskegee flight school to plead their cause for more support from the military establishment in Washington.

Roosevelt was a strong proponent of the Morgenthau Plan
Morgenthau Plan
The Morgenthau Plan, proposed by United States Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., advocated that the Allied occupation of Germany following World War II include measures to eliminate Germany's ability to wage war.-Overview:...

 to de-industrialize Germany in the postwar period, and was in 1946 one of the few prominent individuals to remain a member of the campaign group lobbying for a harsh peace for Germany.

Years after the White House

After the President's death by stroke on April 12, 1945, at Warm Springs, Georgia, while she remained in Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt learned that Lucy Rutherfurd had been with FDR when he died. Her biographer, Joseph P. Lash
Joseph P. Lash
Joseph P. Lash was an American radical political activist, journalist, and author. A close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, Lash won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the National Book Award in 1972 for Eleanor and Franklin, the first of two volumes he wrote about the former First Lady.-Early...

, called it a "bitter discovery" and wrote that Roosevelt alluded to this in her memoir of the White House years, This I Remember:

United Nations

In 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 appointed Roosevelt as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

. In April 1946, Roosevelt became the first chairperson of the preliminary United Nations Commission on Human Rights
United Nations Commission on Human Rights
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was a functional commission within the overall framework of the United Nations from 1946 until it was replaced by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006...

. She remained chairperson when the Commission was established on a permanent basis in January 1947. She played an instrumental role, along with René Cassin
René Cassin
René Samuel Cassin was a French jurist, law professor and judge. A soldier in World War I, he later went on to form the Union Fédérale, a leftist, pacifist Veterans organisation...

, John Peters Humphrey
John Peters Humphrey
John Peters Humphrey, OC was a Canadian legal scholar, jurist, and human rights advocate. He is most famous as the author of the first draft of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights....

 and others, in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 (UDHR). On the night of September 28, 1948, Roosevelt spoke on behalf of the Declaration calling it "the international Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

 of all mankind". The Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948. The vote of the General Assembly was unanimous except for eight abstentions by 8 countries (Byelorussian SSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, as well as Yugoslavia, South Africa and Saudi Arabia) which took exception to the implications of the Declaration as to freedom of the individual. Roosevelt also served as the first United States Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and stayed on at that position until 1953, even after stepping down as chair of the Commission in 1951.

In 2008, a plaque commemorating Roosevelt's driving force in the creation and adoption of the UDHR, was inaugurated by Swiss Federal Councillor, Micheline Calmy-Rey in Geneva. This "Magna Carta of our time" was Roosevelt's greatest success – for she forged a common standard of achievement among delegates who had differing government systems, philosophies, religions, cultures and economic levels.

Politically, Roosevelt supported Adlai Stevenson for president in 1952 and 1956 and urged his renomination in 1960. She resigned from her UN post in 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 became President.

Although Roosevelt had reservations about John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 for his failure to condemn McCarthyism
McCarthyism
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by...

, she supported him for president against Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

. Kennedy in turn reappointed her to the United Nations, 1961–1962.

Relations with the Catholic Church

In July 1949, Roosevelt had a public disagreement with Francis Joseph Spellman, the Catholic Archbishop of New York, which was characterized as "a battle still remembered for its vehemence and hostility". In her columns, Roosevelt had attacked proposals for federal funding of certain nonreligious activities at parochial schools, such as bus transportation for students. Spellman cited the Supreme Court's decision which upheld such provisions, accusing her of anti-Catholicism. Most Democrats rallied behind Roosevelt, and Spellman eventually met with her at her Hyde Park home to quell the dispute. However, Roosevelt maintained her belief that Catholic schools should not receive federal aid, evidently heeding the writings of secularists such as Paul Blanshard
Paul Blanshard
Paul Beecher Blanshard was a controversial American author, assistant editor of The Nation magazine, lawyer, socialist, secular humanist, and from 1949 an outspoken critic of Catholicism....

. Privately, Roosevelt said that if the Catholic Church gained school aid, "Once that is done they control the schools, or at least a great part of them."

During the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, Roosevelt favored the republican Loyalists against General Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's Nationalists; after 1945, she opposed normalizing relations with Spain. She told Spellman bluntly that "I cannot however say that in European countries the control by the Roman Catholic Church of great areas of land has always led to happiness for the people of those countries." Her son Elliott Roosevelt
Elliott Roosevelt
Elliott Roosevelt was a United States Army Air Forces officer and an author. Roosevelt was a son of U.S. President Franklin D...

 suggested that her "reservations about Catholicism" were rooted in her husband's sexual affairs with Lucy Mercer
Lucy Page Mercer Rutherfurd
Lucy Page Mercer Rutherfurd was a mistress and long time friend of United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was with Roosevelt on the day he died in 1945.-Background:...

 and Missy LeHand, who were both Catholics.

Roosevelt's defenders, such as biographer Joseph P. Lash, deny that she was anti-Catholic, citing her public support of Al Smith
Al Smith
Alfred Emanuel Smith. , known in private and public life as Al Smith, was an American statesman who was elected the 42nd Governor of New York three times, and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928...

, a Catholic, in the 1928 presidential campaign and her statement to a New York Times reporter that year quoting her uncle, President Theodore Roosevelt, in expressing "the hope to see the day when a Catholic or a Jew would become president".

Postwar politics

In the late 1940s, Roosevelt was courted for political office by Democrats in New York and throughout the country.
In the 1948 campaign, she was touted by some as the ideal running mate for President Truman. The North Dakota State Democratic Central Committee passed a resolution in 1947 calling for a Truman-Roosevelt ticket, and when Truman was asked if he would consider, he replied, "Why, of course, of course… What do you expect me to say to that?" Nevertheless, Roosevelt rejected the appeals and insisted she had no interest in elective politics. Her son James Roosevelt
James Roosevelt
James Roosevelt was the oldest son of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a United States Congressman, an officer in the United States Marine Corps, an aide to his father, the official Secretary to the President, a Democratic Party activist, and a businessman.-Early life:Roosevelt was...

 would later say she refused the opening "because she was afraid of it."

In 1954, Tammany Hall
Tammany Hall
Tammany Hall, also known as the Society of St. Tammany, the Sons of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, was a New York political organization founded in 1786 and incorporated on May 12, 1789 as the Tammany Society...

 boss Carmine DeSapio
Carmine DeSapio
Carmine Gerard DeSapio was an American politician from New York City. He was the last head of the Tammany Hall political machine to be able to dominate municipal politics.-Life:...

 defeated Roosevelt's son, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., during the New York Attorney General elections. Roosevelt grew increasingly disgusted with DeSapio's political conduct through the rest of the 1950s. Eventually, she would join with her old friends Herbert Lehman and Thomas Finletter to form the New York Committee for Democratic Voters, a group dedicated to enhancing the democratic process by opposing DeSapio's reincarnated Tammany. Their efforts were eventually successful, and DeSapio was removed from power in 1961.

When President Truman backed New York Governor W. Averell Harriman
W. Averell Harriman
William Averell Harriman was an American Democratic Party politician, businessman, and diplomat. He was the son of railroad baron E. H. Harriman. He served as Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman and later as the 48th Governor of New York...

, who was a close associate of DeSapio, for the Democratic presidential nomination, Roosevelt was disappointed but continued to support Stevenson, who ultimately won the nomination. She backed Stevenson once again in 1960 primarily to block John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, who eventually received the presidential nomination. Nevertheless, she worked hard to promote the Kennedy-Johnson ticket in 1960 and was appointed to policy-making positions by the young president, including the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps
Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...

.
By the 1950s, Roosevelt's international role as spokesperson for women led her to stop publicly attacking the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time...

, though she never supported it. In 1961, President Kennedy’s undersecretary of labor, Esther Peterson
Esther Peterson
Esther Eggertsen Peterson was a lifelong consumer and women's advocate.-Background:The daughter of Danish immigrants, Esther Eggertsen grew up in a Mormon family in Provo, Utah. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1927 with a degree in physical education. She moved to New York City...

 proposed a new Presidential Commission on the Status of Women
Presidential Commission on the Status of Women
The Presidential Commission on the Status of Women was established to advise the President of the United States on issues concerning the status of women. It was created by John F. Kennedy's executive order 10980 signed December 14, 1961.-Background:...

. Kennedy appointed Roosevelt to chair the commission, with Peterson as director. Roosevelt died just before the commission issued its final report. It concluded that female equality was best achieved by recognition of gender differences and needs, and not by an Equal Rights Amendment.

Throughout the 1950s, Roosevelt also embarked on countless national and international speaking engagements, continued to pen her newspaper column, and made appearances on television and radio broadcasts. She averaged one hundred and fifty lectures a year throughout the fifties; many of which were devoted to her activism on behalf of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. On May 6, 1959, she addressed a crowd of 1,500 students, faculty, and community members at Ball State Teachers College
Eleanor Roosevelt Speech Collection
The Eleanor Roosevelt Speech Collection is a collection of Ball State University's Digital Media Repository.Throughout the 1950s former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt embarked on a countless number of national and international speaking engagements, continued to pen her newspaper column, and made...

 (now Ball State University
Ball State University
Ball State University is a state-run research university located in Muncie, Indiana. It is also known as Ball State or simply BSU.Located on the northwest side of the city, Ball State's campus spans and includes 106 buildings...

) in which Roosevelt stressed the urgency of understanding other peoples of the world. Roosevelt stated, “This is what it means to face world leadership. The government cannot do it for us. Many of us do not even know the whole of our own little communities. It would help us all over the world to understand people.”

Roosevelt was responsible for the eventual establishment, in 1964, of the 2,800 acre
Acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

 (11 km2) Roosevelt Campobello International Park
Roosevelt Campobello International Park
Roosevelt Campobello International Park preserves the house and surrounding landscape of the Roosevelt summer retreat where, in August 1921, future president Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with poliomyelitis at the age of 39. The park occupies most of the southern end of Campobello Island, New...

 on Campobello Island, New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, Canada. This followed a gift of the Roosevelt summer estate to the Canadian and American governments.

Honors and awards

Roosevelt received 48 honorary degree
Honorary degree
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

s during her life. Her first, a Doctor of Humane Letters
Doctor of Humane Letters
The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters is always conferred as an honorary degree, usually to those who have distinguished themselves in areas other than science, government, literature or religion, which are awarded degrees of Doctor of Science, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Letters, or Doctor of...

 or D.H.L. on June 13, 1929, was also the first honorary degree awarded by Russell Sage College
Russell Sage College
Russell Sage College is a women's college located in Troy, New York, approximately north of New York City in the Capital District. It is one of the three colleges that make up The Sage Colleges...

 in Troy
Troy, New York
Troy is a city in the US State of New York and the seat of Rensselaer County. Troy is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County and on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Troy has close ties to the nearby cities of Albany and Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. Her last was a Doctor of Laws, LL.D. degree granted by what is now Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University is a private, historically black university in Atlanta, Georgia. It was formed in 1988 with the consolidation of Clark College and Atlanta University...

 in June 1962.

In 1958, Folkways Records
Folkways Records
Folkways Records was a record label founded by Moses Asch that documented folk, world, and children's music. It was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987, and is now part of Smithsonian Folkways.-History:...

 released an album by Roosevelt of her documentary on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. A decade later, she was awarded one of the United Nations Human Rights Prize
United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights
The United Nations Prizes in the Field of Human Rights were instituted by United Nations General Assembly in 1966.They are intended to "honour and commend people and organizations which have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights embodied in the...

s. There was an unsuccessful campaign to award her a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

; however, a posthumous nomination has never been considered for the award.

In 1960, Greer Garson
Greer Garson
Greer Garson, CBE was a British-born actress who was very popular during World War II, being listed by the Motion Picture Herald as one of America's top ten box office draws in 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, and 1946. As one of MGM's major stars of the 1940s, Garson received seven Academy Award...

 played Roosevelt in the movie Sunrise at Campobello
Sunrise at Campobello
Sunrise at Campobello is a 1960 American biographical film made by Dore Schary Productions and Warner Bros. It tells the story of the initial struggle by future President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family when he was stricken with paralysis at the age of 39 in August...

, which portrayed Eleanor's instrumental role during Franklin's bout with polio and his protracted struggle to reenter politics in its aftermath.

Westmoreland Homesteads, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 369,993 people, 149,813 households, and 104,569 families residing in the county. The population density was 361 people per square mile . There were 161,058 housing units at an average density of 157 per square mile...

, was created on April 13, 1934, as one of a series of “subsistence homesteads” under the National Industrial Recovery Act
National Industrial Recovery Act
The National Industrial Recovery Act , officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 (Ch. 90, 48 Stat. 195, formerly...

. In 1937, the community changed its name to Norvelt (EleaNOR RooseVELT), following a visit by the first lady. The Norvelt fireman's hall is called Roosevelt Hall.

Roosevelt was the first First Lady to receive honorary membership into Alpha Kappa Alpha
Alpha Kappa Alpha
Alpha Kappa Alpha is the first Greek-lettered sorority established and incorporated by African American college women. The sorority was founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by a group of nine students, led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle...

 sorority.

Later private life

Following Franklin's death in 1945, Eleanor moved from the White House to Val-Kill Cottage
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site consists of approximately two miles east of Springwood, the Hyde Park Roosevelt family home.-History:...

 in Hyde Park, New York
Hyde Park, New York
Hyde Park is a town located in the northwest part of Dutchess County, New York, United States, just north of the city of Poughkeepsie. The town is most famous for being the hometown of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt....

, where she lived the rest of her life.

Roosevelt was a member of the Brandeis University
Brandeis University
Brandeis University is an American private research university with a liberal arts focus. It is located in the southwestern corner of Waltham, Massachusetts, nine miles west of Boston. The University has an enrollment of approximately 3,200 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students. In 2011, it...

 Board of Trustees, delivering the University's first commencement speech, and joined the Brandeis faculty as a visiting lecturer in international relations in 1959 at the age of 75. On November 15, 1960, she met for the last time with former U.S. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Harry S Truman and his wife, Bess Truman
Bess Truman
Bess Truman , was the wife of Harry S. Truman and First Lady of the United States from 1945 to 1953.-Early life:...

, at the Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri
Independence, Missouri
Independence is the fourth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri, and is contained within the counties of Jackson and Clay. It is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area...

. Roosevelt had raised considerable funds for the construction and dedication of the building. The Trumans would later attend Roosevelt's memorial service in Hyde Park in November 1962.

In 1961, all volumes of Roosevelt's autobiography
Autobiography
An autobiography is a book about the life of a person, written by that person.-Origin of the term:...

, which she had begun writing in 1937, were compiled into The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt, which is still in print (Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press, is an American publishing company with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1964 as a publisher of music books, as a division of Plenum Publishers. it had additional offices in offices in New York City, Philadelphia and Emeryville, California...

, ISBN 0-306-80476-X).

Death

Roosevelt was injured in April 1960 when she was struck by a car in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Afterwards, her health began a rapid decline. Subsequently diagnosed with aplastic anemia
Aplastic anemia
Aplastic anemia is a condition where bone marrow does not produce sufficient new cells to replenish blood cells. The condition, per its name, involves both aplasia and anemia...

, she developed bone marrow
Bone marrow
Bone marrow is the flexible tissue found in the interior of bones. In humans, bone marrow in large bones produces new blood cells. On average, bone marrow constitutes 4% of the total body mass of humans; in adults weighing 65 kg , bone marrow accounts for approximately 2.6 kg...

 tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 subsequent to having been treated with cortisone which reactivated the dormant tuberculosis that she had contracted years earlier. Roosevelt died at her Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 home on November 7, 1962 at 6:15 p.m., at the age of 78. President Kennedy ordered the lowering of flags to half-staff
Half-staff
Half-staff is the American term for to describe a flag flying a flag below the summit of the flagpole . The rest of the English-speaking world uses the term half-mast. Technically the flag should be flown one breadth lower to allow for the invisible flag of death...

 in her memory. UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson said, "The United States, the United Nations, the world, has lost one of its great citizens. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt is dead, and a cherished friend of all mankind is gone."

Her funeral at Hyde Park was attended by President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and former Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. At her memorial service, Adlai Stevenson asked, "What other single human being has touched and transformed the existence of so many?" Stevenson also said that Roosevelt was someone "who would rather light a candle than curse the darkness." She was laid to rest next to Franklin at the family compound in Hyde Park, New York
Hyde Park, New York
Hyde Park is a town located in the northwest part of Dutchess County, New York, United States, just north of the city of Poughkeepsie. The town is most famous for being the hometown of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt....

 on November 10, 1962.

Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial

A memorial to Roosevelt, dedicated in 1996, was built at the southern end of New York's Riverside Park, at the corner of 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. A bronze statue of Roosevelt at the center of a circular plant bed is the memorial's principal feature. The surrounding granite pavement is inscribed with a summary of her achievements, and a quote from her 1958 speech at the United Nations advocating universal human rights. The sculptor was Penelope Jencks; the landscape architects Bruce Kelly and David Varnell; the architect Michael Middleton Dwyer
Michael Middleton Dwyer
Michael Middleton Dwyer is an architect practicing in New York City known for renovating historic structures and designing new ones in traditional vocabularies. He is also a writer of architectural history who was the editor of Great Houses of the Hudson River and author of Carolands...

.

See also

  • Arthurdale, West Virginia
    Arthurdale, West Virginia
    Arthurdale is an unincorporated community in Preston County, West Virginia, United States. Arthurdale was named for Richard Arthur, former owner of the land on which it was built, who had sold the land to the federal government under a tax default....

    , a planned community she helped to develop in West Virginia
  • Campobello Island
  • Eleanor
    Eleanor (book)
    Eleanor is a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt's childhood, describing her as a shy girl who goes on to do great things. A children's book written by Barbara Cooney....

    , by Barbara Cooney
    Barbara Cooney
    Barbara Cooney was an American children's author and illustrator of more than 200 books and double Caldecott Medalist. She has written books for six decades...

  • Eleanor Roosevelt College
    Eleanor Roosevelt College
    Eleanor Roosevelt College is one of the six colleges located on the campus at the University of California, San Diego...

    , one of the six undergraduate colleges within University of California, San Diego
    University of California, San Diego
    The University of California, San Diego, commonly known as UCSD or UC San Diego, is a public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, United States...

    , which was named in her honor in 1993
  • Eleanor Roosevelt High School
    Eleanor Roosevelt High School
    Eleanor Roosevelt High School can refer to:* Eleanor Roosevelt High School * Eleanor Roosevelt High School * Eleanor Roosevelt High School...

    , several high schools named in her honor
  • Eleanor Seagraves
    Eleanor Roosevelt Seagraves
    Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Seagraves , librarian, educator, historian, editor is a granddaughter of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her parents are Anna Roosevelt Dall and her first husband Curtis Bean Dall...

    , granddaughter and namesake
  • Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
    Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
    The Roosevelt Institute is a progressive non-profit organization devoted to carrying forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by developing progressive ideas and bold leadership in the service of restoring America's health and security...

  • List of coupled cousins
  • Marie Mattingly Meloney
    Marie Mattingly Meloney
    Marie Mattingly Meloney , who used Mrs. William B. Meloney as her professional and social name, was "one of the leading woman journalists of the United States," a magazine editor and a socialite who in the 1920s organized a fund drive to buy radium for Marie Curie and began a movement for better...

    , friend and confidante
  • Roosevelt family
    Roosevelt family
    In heraldry, canting arms are a visual or pictorial play on a surname, and were and still are a popular practice. It would be common to find roses, then, in arms of many Roosevelt families, even unrelated ones...

  • Roosevelt Institution
    Roosevelt Institution
    The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, formerly the Roosevelt Institution, is the first student-run policy organization in the United States...


Primary sources

  • Roosevelt, David B. Grandmère: A Personal History of Eleanor Roosevelt, Warner Books, 2002, 256 pages, ISBN 0-446-52734-3
  • Roosevelt, Eleanor, The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt, Da Capo Press ed., 1992, paperback, 439 pages, ISBN 0-306-80476-X, dacapopress.com
  • Streitmatter, Roger. Empty Without You: The Intimate Letters of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, Free Press, 1998, 336 pages, ISBN 0-684-84928-3


For young readers
  • Cooney, Barbara. Eleanor. Viking, 1996, 40 pages, ISBN 978-0-670-86159-0.
  • Fleming, Candace. Our Eleanor: a Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life. Atheneum/Anne Schwartz, 2005, 192 pages, ISBN 978-0-689-86544-2
  • Weidt, Maryann N. Stateswoman to the World: a Story about Eleanor Roosevelt. illus. by Lydia M. Anderson. Lerner Publications, 1991. ISBN 0-87614-663-9


External links


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