Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States.
Roosevelt led the United States through the Great Depression and World War II
Born on January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park, New York.
Roosevelt died in Georgia in 1945.
His family was wealthy. The family lived at Springwood, their estate in the Hudson River Valley in New York State. While growing up, Franklin Roosevelt was surrounded by privilege and a sense of self-importance.
Franklin Roosevelt entered Harvard University, determined to make something of himself.
During his last year at Harvard, he became engaged to Eleanor Roosevelt, his fifth cousin. They married on March 17, 1905.
In 1910, at age 28, Roosevelt was invited to run for the New York state senate. Breaking from family tradition, he ran as a Democrat in a district that had voted Republican for the past 32 years.
Franklin Roosevelt was energetic and an efficient administrator. He specialized in business operations, working with Congress to get budgets approved and systems modernized, and he founded the U.S. Naval Reserve.
In 1914, Franklin Roosevelt, decided to run for the U.S. Senate seat for New York. Roosevelt was soundly defeated in the primary election and learned a valuable lesson that national stature could not defeat a well-organized local political organization.
With his political career thriving, Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the nomination for vice president—as James M. Cox’s running mate—at the 1920 Democratic Convention.
While vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, he was diagnosed as having contracted polio. For a time, Franklin Roosevelt was resigned to being a victim of polio, believing his political career to be over. But Eleanor Roosevelt and political confidante Louis Howe encouraged him to continue on.
Al Smith urged Franklin Roosevelt to run for governor of New York, in 1928. Roosevelt was narrowly elected, and the victory gave him confidence that his political star was rising.
By 1930, Republicans were being blamed for the Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt sensed opportunity. He began his run for the presidency, calling for government intervention in the economy to provide relief, recovery and reform. His upbeat, positive approach and personal charm helped him defeat Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover in November 1932.
By 1936, the economy showed signs of improvement.
However, as military conflicts emerged in Asia and Europe, Roosevelt sought ways to assist China in its war with Japan and declared France and Great Britain were America’s “first line of defense” against Nazi Germany.
Early in 1940, Roosevelt had not publically announced that he would run for an unprecedented third term as president. But privately, with Germany’s victories in Europe and Japan’s growing dominance in Asia, he felt that only he had the experience and skills to lead America in such trying times.
During World War II, Franklin Roosevelt was a commander in chief who worked with and sometimes around his military advisors. He helped develop a strategy for defeating Germany in Europe through a series of invasions, first in North Africa in November 1942, then Sicily and Italy in 1943, followed by the D-Day invasion of Europe in 1944.
The stress of war, however, began to take its toll on Franklin Roosevelt. In March 1944, hospital tests indicated he had atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.
In February 1945, Franklin Roosevelt attended the Yalta Conference with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin to discuss post-war reorganization.
On the afternoon of April, 12, 1945, Roosevelt suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died.
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