- related to: Eleanor Roosevelt
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (/ ˈ ɛ l ɪ n ɔːr ˈ r oʊ z ə v ɛ l t /; October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. She served as the First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933, to April 12, 1945, during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, making her the longest-serving First Lady of the United States.
- Early career
- Later life
- Later years
- Later career
First lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), the U.S. president from 1933 to 1945, was a leader in her own right and involved in numerous humanitarian causes throughout her life. The niece of President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), Eleanor was born into a wealthy New York family. She married Franklin Roosevelt, her fifth cousin once removed, in 1905. By the 1920s, Roosevelt, who raised five children, was involved in Democratic Party politics and numerous social reform organizations. In the White House, she was one of the most active first ladies in history and worked for political, racial and social justice. After President Roosevelts death, Eleanor was a delegate to the United Nations and continued to serve as an advocate for a wide range of human rights issues. She remained active in Democratic causes and was a prolific writer until her death at age 78.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884, in New York City. Her father, Elliott Roosevelt (1860-1894) was the younger brother of Theodore Roosevelt, and her mother, Anna Hall (1863-1892), was from a wealthy New York family. Roosevelts father was an alcoholic and her parents marriage was troubled. After her mother died of diphtheria in 1892 (her father died less than two years later), Roosevelt and her two younger brothers, Elliott Roosevelt Jr. (1889-1893) and Gracie Hall Roosevelt (1891-1941), lived with their grandmother, Mary Ludlow Hall (1843-1919), in Manhattan and Tivoli, New York.
On March 17, 1905, 20-year-old Eleanor married Franklin Roosevelt, a 22-year-old Harvard University student and her fifth cousin once removed. The two had met as children and became reacquainted after Eleanor returned from school in England. Their wedding took place at the home of one of Eleanors relatives on Manhattans Upper East Side, and the bride was escorted down the aisle by then-President Theodore Roosevelt. Franklin and Eleanor had six children, five of whom survived to adulthood: Anna (1906-1975), James (1907-1991), Elliott (1910-1990), Franklin Jr. (1914-1988) and John (1916-1981).
In 1910, Franklin Roosevelt began his political career when he was elected to the New York State Senate. Three years later, he was appointed assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy, a position he held until 1920, when he made an unsuccessful run for the U.S. vice presidency on a ticket headed by James Cox (1870-1957), an Ohio governor. In addition to raising her family during these years, Eleanor Roosevelt volunteered with the American Red Cross and in Navy hospitals during World War I (1914-1918). In the 1920s, she became active in Democratic Party politics and was also involved with such activist organizations as the Womens Union Trade League and the League of Women Voters. Additionally, she cofounded Val-Kill Industries, a nonprofit furniture factory in Hyde Park, New York (where the Roosevelt family estate, Springwood, was located), and taught American history and literature at the Todhunter School, a private Manhattan girls school.
Eleanor Roosevelt was initially reluctant to step into the role of first lady, fearful about losing her hard-won autonomy and knowing she would have to give up her Todhunter teaching job and other activities and organizations she cared about. However, after Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in as president in March 1933, Eleanor began to transform the conventional role of first lady from social hostess to that of a more visible, active participant in her husbands administration.
The Roosevelts entered the White House in the midst of the Great Depression (which began in 1929 and lasted approximately a decade), and the president and Congress soon implemented a series of economic recovery initiatives known as the New Deal. As first lady, Eleanor traveled across the United States, acting as her husbands eyes and ears and reporting back to him after she visited government institutions and programs and numerous other facilities. She was an early champion of civil rights for African Americans, as well as an advocate for women, American workers, the poor and young people. She also supported government-funded programs for artists and writers. Roosevelt encouraged her husband to appoint more women to federal positions, and she held hundreds of press conferences for female reporters only at a time when women were typically barred from White House press conferences. Additionally, Roosevelt wrote a syndicated newspaper column entitled My Day from December 1935 until shortly before her death in 1962. She used the column to share information about her activities and communicate her positions on a wide range of social and political issues.
After the presidents death, Eleanor Roosevelt returned to New York, splitting her time between her Val-Kill cottage (the former furniture factory was turned into a home) in Hyde Park and an apartment in New York City. There was speculation she would run for public office; instead, she chose to remain highly active as a private citizen.
From 1946 to 1953, Roosevelt served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations, where she oversaw the drafting and passage of the Universal Human Declaration of Rights. Roosevelt considered the document, which continues to serve as a model for how people and nations should treat each other, one of her most significant achievements. From 1961 until her death the following year, Roosevelt headed the first Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, at the request of President John Kennedy (1917-1963). She also served on the board of numerous organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Advisory Council for the Peace Corps.
Eleanor Roosevelt died at age 78 on November 7, 1962, in New York City, from aplastic anemia, tuberculosis and heart failure. Her funeral was attended by President Kennedy and former presidents Harry Truman (1884-1972) and Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969). She was buried next to her husband on the grounds of the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park.
- 2 min
Eleanor Roosevelt was the niece of one U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt, and married a man who would become another, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Redefining the role of the first lady, she advocated...
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Eleanor Roosevelt, in full Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, (born October 11, 1884, New York, New York, U.S.—died November 7, 1962, New York City, New York), American first lady (1933–45), the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States, and a United Nations diplomat and humanitarian.
- The Early Years
- The First Lady
- The "First Lady of The World"
- Eleanor Roosevelt Fast Facts
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 11, 1884. Her father was Elliott Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt's younger brother and her mother was Anna Hall, a member of the distinguished Livingston family. Both her parents died when she was a child, her mother in 1892, and her father in 1894. After her mother's death, Eleanor went to live with her grandmother, Mrs. Valentine G. Hall, in Tivoli, New York. She was educated by private tutors until the age of 15, when she was sent to Allenswood, a school for girls in England. The headmistress, Mademoiselle Marie Souvestre, took a special interest in young Eleanor and had a great influence on her education and thinking. At age 18, Eleanor returned to New York with a fresh sense of confidence in herself and her abilities. She became involved in social service work, joined the Junior League and taught at the Rivington Street Settlement House. On March 17, 1905, she married her fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt...
Upon moving to the White House in 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt informed the nation that they should not expect their new first lady to be a symbol of elegance, but rather "plain, ordinary Mrs. Roosevelt." Despite this disclaimer, she showed herself to be an extraordinary First Lady. In 1933, Mrs. Roosevelt became the first, First Lady to hold her own press conference. In an attempt to afford equal time to women--who were traditionally barred from presidential press conferences--she allowed only female reporters to attend. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow Marion Anderson, an African American singer, to perform in their auditorium. In protest, Mrs. Roosevelt resigned her membership in the DAR. Throughout Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency, Eleanor traveled extensively around the nation, visiting relief projects, surveying working and living conditions, and then reporting her observations to the President. She was called "the President's eyes, ears an...
After President Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945, Mrs. Roosevelt continued in her public life. President Truman appointed her to the United Nations General Assembly. She served as chair of the Human Rights Commission and worked tirelessly to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948. In 1953, Mrs. Roosevelt dutifully resigned from the United States Delegation to the United Nations, so that incoming Republican President Dwight Eisenhower could fill the position with an appointee of his own choosing. She then volunteered her services to the American Association for the U. N., and was an American representative to the World Federation of the U. N. Associations. She later became the chair of the Associations' Board of Directors. She was reappointed to the United States Delegation to the U. N. by President Kennedy in 1961. Later he appointed her to the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps and chair of the P...
BORN: October 11, 1884 in New York City PARENTS: Anna Hall and, Elliott Roosevelt Her mother died when Eleanor was eight. Her father, younger brother of Theodore Roosevelt, died when she was ten. BROTHERS: Elliott Roosevelt, Jr. (1889-1893) [Gracie] Hall Roosevelt (1891-1941) EDUCATION: Tutored at home until 1899 Allenswood School, near London, England, 1899-1902 MARRIED: Franklin D. Roosevelt (fifth cousin once removed), March 17, 1905 in New York City. CHILDREN: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (May 3, 1906 - December 1, 1975); James Roosevelt (December 23, 1907 - August 13, 1990); Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. (March 18, 1909 - November8, 1909); Elliott Roosevelt (September 23, 1910 - October 27, 1990); Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. (August 17, 1914 - August 17, 1988) ACTIVITIES: Teacher at Todhunter School for Girls in New York City Co-founder of Val-Kill Industries Lecturer, writer (including "My Day" syndicated King Features newspaper column for newspaper from December 1935 until October 1962...
- Early life and family
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A shy, insecure child, Eleanor Roosevelt would grow up to become one of the most important and beloved First Ladies, authors, reformers, and female leaders of the 20th century.
Born on October 11, 1884 in New York City, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the first of Elliot and Anna Hall Roosevelts three children. Her family was affluent and politically prominent, and while her childhood was in many ways blessed, it was also marked by hardship: her fathers alcoholism, as well as the deaths of both parents and one of her brothers before she was ten years old. She was raised by her harsh and critical maternal grandmother, who damaged Eleanors self-esteem. Timid and awkward, she believed that she compared badly with other girls.
In 1899, Roosevelt began her three years of study at Londons Allenswood Academy, where she became more independent and confident. Her teacher, Mademoiselle Marie Souvestre, with her passionate embrace of social issues, opened Roosevelt up to the world of ideas and was an early force in Roosevelts social and political development.
Roosevelt returned to New York for her social debut in 1902. She became involved with the settlement house movement, teaching immigrant children and families on Rivington Street. In 1905, after a long courtship, she married her distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a charming, Harvard graduate in his first year of law school at Columbia University. Her uncle and close relative, President Theodore Roosevelt, walked her down the aisle.
All that changed in 1911, when Franklin was elected to the New York State Senate, and the couple moved to Albany, away from Sara. Two years later, the Roosevelts moved to Washington, DC, when Franklin joined Woodrow Wilsons administration as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. While she was initially uncomfortable with the DC political scene, Roosevelt was growing in her political consciousness. When World War I broke out, she volunteered with various relief agencies, further increasing her visibility and political clout. Hurt when she discovered in 1918 that her husband had had an affair with another woman, she remained married, though her feelings changed. She began to live a more independent life and often escaped to Val-Kill, her upstate New York home, where she was also part of a women-owned furniture cooperative. Nonetheless, she remained his political ally and advisor, among those who urged him to remain in public life despite the polio he contracted in 1921.
Although initially wary of womens suffrage, after its passage in 1920, Roosevelt promoted womens political engagement, playing a leadership role in several organizations, including the League of Women Voters and the Womens Trade Union League. She surrounded herself with politically astute women such as Molly Dewson and Rose Schneiderman. She was head of the Womens Division of the Democratic National Committee, recruited in 1928 to help Al Smiths presidential bid. Her activities were widely covered in the media in the 1920s, making her more publically recognizable than her husband when he decided to run for governor in 1928. Though unhappy about his bid for the governorship and his equally successful run for the presidency in 1932, Roosevelt became the most politically active and influential First Lady in history, using the position to advance many of her progressive and egalitarian goals.
In the White House from 1933 to 1945, First Lady Roosevelt kept a dizzying schedule. She wrote nearly 3,000 articles in newspapers and magazines, including a monthly column in Womens Home Companion, where she asked the public to share their stories, hardships, and questions. In a few short months, she received several hundred thousand responses and donated what she earned from the column to charity. She also authored six books and traveled nationwide delivering countless speeches. She held weekly press conferences with women reporters who she hoped would get her message to the American people.
Roosevelt had immense influence on her husbands decisions as president and in shaping both his cabinet and the New Deal. Working with Molly Dewson, head of the Womens Division of the DNC, she lobbied her husband to appoint more women, successfully securing Frances Perkins as the first woman to head the Department of Labor, among many others. She also ensured that groups left out of the New Deal were included by seeking revisions to programs and legislation, including greater participation for women in the heavily male-dominated Civilian Conservation Corps. She also championed racial justice, working to help black miners in West Virginia, advocating for the NAACP and National Urban League, and resigning, with much media fanfare, from the Daughters of the American Revolution when they refused to allow African American singer Marion Anderson to perform in their auditorium. Roosevelts political activism did not end with her husbands death in 1945. Appointed in 1946, she served for more than a decade as a delegate to the United Nations, the institution established by her husband, and embraced the cause of world peace. She not only chaired the United Nations Human Rights Commission, she also helped write the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. She spoke out against McCarthyism in the 1950s. In 1960, at the request of President John F. Kennedy, she chaired the Presidents Commission on the Status of Women, which released a ground-breaking study about gender discrimination a year after her death in 1963. She also worked on the Equal Pay Act that was passed that same year. Roosevelts commitment to racial justice was evident in her civil rights work and efforts to push Washington to take swifter action in housing desegregation and protections for Freedom Riders and other activists. Kennedy nominated Roosevelt for the Nobel Peace Prize and though she did not win, she remained at the top of national polls ranking the most respected women in America decades after her death.
Jan 23, 2020 · Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884–November 7, 1962) was one of the most respected and beloved women of the 20th century. When her husband became president of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt transformed the role of first lady by taking an active role in the work of her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt.
- “Do one thing every day that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt.
- “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt.
- “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror.
Jun 20, 2016 · Eleanor Roosevelt isn't the only putatively straight historical figure to become a gay icon. Abraham Lincoln, Malcolm X, Katharine Hepburn and Anne Frank have all been posthumously embraced in some corners as unsung members of the larger gay family.
- Marc Peyser
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