Franklin D. Roosevelt Biography
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) uttered the words “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” to reassure Americans in the midst of the Great Depression. Born into a wealthy New York family in 1882, Roosevelt entered politics early in his life, becoming a senator by age 28, then governor of New York, and finally president in 1932. A victim of polio and confined to a wheelchair, a fact many Americans never knew, Roosevelt became president at the depth of the Great Depression and strove to rescue the country from economic disaster. Working tirelessly, FDR revived the economy with his “New Deal” and simultaneously prepared the country for World War II. FDR died in office as the only man to be elected to four terms as president.
Facts and Trivia
- Roosevelt’s cousin Theodore had also served as president. He inspired FDR to enter public service.
- FDR’s “New Deal” program dramatically enlarged the federal government’s power and responsibility, creating our modern welfare and social security programs.
- Roosevelt is considered by many to be the “father” of the modern Democratic Party. The Democrats had been the conservative party prior to FDR, but his sweeping liberal reforms made the Democratic Party into the champion of the underprivileged in America.
- FDR married Eleanor Roosevelt in March of 1905. She was his fifth cousin, once removed, and they had known each other on and off since childhood.
- Prior to U.S. involvement in World War II, FDR created the “Lend Lease” program in order to provide England with equipment to fight the Germans. Though America sought to stay out of a European war, Roosevelt’s planning helped the United States prepare for a war he knew the country could not long avoid.
- Biography (History of the World: The 20th Century)
- Biography (Comprehensive Guide to Military History)
(The entire section is 3537 words.)