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Franklin D. Roosevelt with his father James Roosevelt, 1895

Franklin Delano Roosevelt with father James Roosevelt in 1895
Future 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (left), with his father, James Roosevelt, 1895.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, also known as FDR was the 32nd President, beginning his term in 1933 until his death in 1945. FDR won a record of four presidential elections, consecutively, leading the Democratic Party, he is attributed with defining modern liberalism in the United States with the New Deal and New Deal Coalition that led the US through the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in US history. Alongside this, FRD led the US through the Second World War during his third and fourth terms.

Born in Hyde Park, New York on January 30, 1882, FDR’s parents both came from wealthy old New York Families,  the Roosevelts, the Aspinwalls, and Delanos. FDR’s father James Roosevelt graduated from Harvard Law School, however, chose not to practice after receiving an inheritance from his grandfather. FDR was once taken to meet President Grover Cleveland, who expressed that he hoped FRD would never have to become president. In his youth, FDR was an avid athlete doing such things as riding, shooting, polo, lawn tennis, golf, and sailing, receiving a sailboat from his father at age 16. 

Franklin Roosevelt frequently made trips to Europe with his family, attending a German school at age 9. These trips allowed FDR to be conversant in both French and German, however, he was homeschooled until the age of fourteen where he then attended Groton School where he also boarded. The headmaster of the school Endicott Peabody went on to officiate FDR’s wedding, often visiting him as president. Roosevelt went on to study at Harvard however was a relatively average student and athlete at the school. Despite this, he became editor-in-chief of The Harvard Crimson showing his ability to manage people. 

FDR’s father died in 1900, and his fifth cousin, Theodore Roosevelt became President a year later. Theodore Roosevelt became both FDR’s role model and hero. After working as a lawyer, Franklin Roosevelt moved through a series of different political positions before the presidency: New York Senator, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Vice President, and Governor of New York. FDR went on to become president in 1933 despite falling in with a paralytic illness in August 1921. He retained ties with the Democratic Party and would go on to become one of the most highly rated presidents of all time, alongside Geroge Washington and Abraham Lincoln. 


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