Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park NY. Franklin lived a comfortable childhood, being born to the Roosevelt Family. The Roosevelts were a family who got their wealth from real estate. Franklin's mother wanted him to be a gentleman, and not take things for granted. He was very close to his mother, and was barely around people his age.
Franklin was tutored at home until he was fourteen, then he went to Groton School, a boarding school. Young Franklin was not at all used to being around people his age, and people thought of him as an outsider. He was very relieved when he finally graduated. After Groton, he decided to go to Harvard.At Harvard, he became very interested in politics, and joined the Republican Club to support his distant cousin, Theodore Roosevelt. He decided that he wanted to become a class marshal, which became his first ever elected position.
When Franklin was fourteen, he met one of his family members, Elanor Roosevelt. He said that she had "a very good mind". Later, they grew to like each other, and they decided to get married. Since Elanor worked to care for people where less fortunate, she opened opened Franklin's eyes to "the real world".
Political First Steps
Franklin first joined politics when he was convinced to run for a seat in the Mew York State Senate. He worked very hard, and he won by 1,140 votes. In the Senate, he was set on making his own decisions, not following the party bosses. Franklin was a very strong political force, and he proved to be just that when he convinced the senate to vote for who they think is right an incoming senator, not who the party bosses wanted to win. He remained loyal to they party when the election came along, choosing to side with the democrats over his cousin, who was running third party. He supported Woodrow Wilson, and his loyalty payed off.
Woodrow Wilson rewarded Franklin's loyalty by appointing him the aide of the Secretary of the Navy. Franklin worked on preparing the Navy's budgets, and maintaining relationships with the civilian corps. He worked very hard at his job, but almost never got to see his family. Franklin did not always like what Woodrow Wilson. Wilson wanted America to stay out of World War One. After the Lusitania was sunken by a German Submarine, Woodrow Wilson still did not want to join world war one, and Franklin was seething. When the USA finally joined 2 years after the Lusitania sank, Franklin was still very annoyed at Wilson, and wanted to resign. Wilson didn't want him to leave, and rejected his resignation. All of the political pressure helped to strengthen Roosevelt, turning him into a real political force.
FDR was only 38 when he was nominated by James M. Cox to be his running mate. The campaign failed miserably, with a margin of about 7 million. After the crushing loss, Franklin went back to his home in Hyde Park, where he got a job as the VP of Fidelity's New York office. On the summer of 1921, FDR went on a vacation in Campobello. There, he contracted polio, and was paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life. Franklin thought that eventually his legs would heal, and he would resume his political career soon after. When he realized he would never walk without assistance again, he decided to start fresh, and with a lot of convincing from one of his friends, Alfred Smith, decided to run for New York governor.
Before FDR had fully made up his mind, he was already nominated as the democratic candidate for governor. He knew that he should reach out to different ethnic groups, and displayed the fact that he hated discrimination. He won by a little over 25,000 votes, and because the democrats did not win the presidential election, FDR was the most important democrat in the US, but that was not enough. He wanted to become president of the United States.
FDR's nomination was hard fought, but in the end, he won the election, and he proposed a "new deal", which was a set of programs that set millions of people back to work, and during the great depression, the jobs were greatly appreciated. He spent almost the entirety of his first term setting his new deal into action, and when election day rolled along four years later, he had another problem on his hands. The German Third Reich was growing, and it was up to the next president to stop them. FDR decided to run for a second term, and was successful. He put a lot of time and effort into doing whatever he could do under the neutrality act, and succeeded in doing so.
A Third (and fourth) Term
FDR realized that the country needed him to stay in office, and made a bold move, he ran for a third term. The people realized that they needed a strong leader like FDR, and voted for him. On December 7th, 1941, the Japanese surprise attacked Pearl Harbor. The very next day, FDR declared war on Japan, and Germany. He led the American people through another 4 grueling years of the war, and again, was needed to lead the people for however long it took. Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn't run tree terms, he served four.
Death and Legacy
FDR will forever be known was one of the greatest American presidents, as he pulled the USA out of the great depression, and led them through WWII. He died at one of his favorite places, Warm Springs, Georgia. On April 12, 1945, he suffered a massive headache, and passed out. He never woke up. Some say it was a good thing he died before the war ended, because he wouldn't have to drop the nuclear bomb on Japan.
Strong, Determined, Brave
Cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th US president
Who thought America could achieve more
Who loved his country, its people, and their safety
Who feared that the Depression would go on, that his paralysis would make him appear weak, that the second world war would never end.
Who pulled the US out of the Great depression, led them through World War 2, and established a near immortal legacy.
Who wanted to see the world come to peace, for America's economic stability, to wanted to ensure security to all.
Who lived in Hyde Park, and loved Warm Springs
Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A National Hero. New York: Sterling Pub., 2007. Print.