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Franklin D. Roosevelt

On January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born.

James Roosevelt,

Franklin's father, was a prosperous railroad official and landowner(Lawson 25). His

predecessors, when they came from

the Netherlands, were succes Roosevelt learned from private tutors, not going to school

until the age of fourteen. He had

already studied German, Latin and French by the time he had started school(Freidel 6).

Sailing, bird hunting and stamp

collecting were among his hobbies. On his In 1896, at the age of fourteen his parents

sent him away to Groton,

Massachusetts, to a private, boys only, boarding school. He was not very popular

among the students, but was

respected by his peers and was never the object of pranks pulled by the ol From there,

Roosevelt went on to enter

Harvard in 1900. There too Roosevelt remained an average student, making it through

with a C average most of the

time(Hacker 19). At Harvard, his social activities took preference over his academic

pursuit and the In 1903 Roosevelt

graduated from Harvard and entered the Columbia Law School. He dropped out in his

third year after passing the New

York bar examination(Hacker 24). Soon after, Roosevelt started practicing law with a

New York law firm.

While still in law school, Roosevelt met Anna Eleanor Roosevelt a distant cousin, only a

few years younger than

him(Alsop 28). They were married on St. Patrick's day, March 17th, 1905(Freidel 13).

He was twenty-three and she

was twenty-one. Her fathe A few years later in 1910, Roosevelt accepted the

Democratic nomination for the New York

State Senate(Freidel 17). He won the elections, and in the following January he entered

the Senate at the young age of

twenty-eight(Freidel 18). Later in 1912 he ra In July of 1921, while vacationing at

Campobello Island, he went sailing

with his children. One day, they saw, what appeared to be a forest fire, on a nearby

island they quickly sailed to shore to

help put out the fire. It took a couple of hours and w was able to walk in the pool

unaided. His disease, poliomyelitis, had

affected him on land but in the water he was as quick as anyone. In 1926 he bought

Warm Springs for $200,000(Hacker

40). In 1927 he contributed two-thirds of his wealth(Freidel 47) a His physical

disabilities didn't hinder his climb of the

political ladder. In 1928 Roosevelt ran for governor of New York and won the election

with a large margin. One of his

main goals was that the state should own the electric companies and other util In October

of 1929, when Roosevelt was

still Governor, the stock market suddenly collapsed. This caused nation-wide panic.

Grain and cotton prices dropped

tremendously due to an overabundant supply, and many farmers were out of jobs.

Rapidly, people w Roosevelt did not

run for the presidency in 1928 because that year, most of the country was in favor of a

Republican candidate for

president. Four years later in 1932, a week before his fiftieth birthday, Roosevelt

announced his candidacy for president

Through his campaign speeches he preached of a 'New Deal' for the American people,

one that would lift them out of the

depression. Now he was going to fulfill his promise. Roosevelt did not sit back and

watch the country take itself out of a

depression. uests would be permitted to reopen and those that couldn't, wouldn't. Banks

that couldn't meet withdrawals

requests would, together with federal aid, meet the withdrawal demands(Lawson 48). Of

the nineteen thousand banks,

only about twenty-four hundred Like he said in campaign speeches, "If I were elected

President, my first step would be

to mobilize the country for war on unemployment"(Woolf). This is exactly what he

started to do. Another main bill passed

in the hundred days was the Civilian Conserv He also signed into law one of the most

important laws that today helps

back up our bank system. Until that time there was no insurance to cover for banks that

went bankrupt or collapsed. The

Banking Act of 1933 changed all of this. The government put a He also accomplished

many things which greatly boosted

the economy. He reduced the 1934 federal budget by 13%. Although he often spoke

that the American Navy and

Marines should be the best in the world, he was not hesitant in cutting the 1934 defense

bud On August 14, 1935 he

signed into law the Social Security Act. This act offered protection to the needy and old

through pensions and public aid,

and promoted unemployment insurance.

He ran again for a second term in 1936 against Alfred M. Landon of Kansas and beat

him by well over eleven million of

the popular vote, and won 523 out of the total 531 electoral votes, the biggest landslide

since James Monroe defeated

John Quincy Adams Again he ran for a third term in 1940 against Henry A. Wallace. He

beat his opponent 449 to 82 in

the electoral voting. He ran for last time in 1944, and won again with an easy margin.

On March 30, 1945, Roosevelt returned to Warm Springs to take a rest from the

presidency. On April 12 the only

president in American history to serve more than two terms had died. He served his

people more than twelve years and

had now taken his final re


Alsop, Joseph, FDR, A Centenary Rememberance, The Viking Press, New York,


Hacker, Jeffrey H., Franklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin Watts, New York, 1983.

Freidel, Frank, A Rendezvous With Destiny, Little, Brown and Company, Boston,


Lawson, Don, FDR's New Deal, Thomas Y. Crowell, New York, 1974.

Woolf, S.J., Thomas Depicts the Socialist Utopia, New York Times Magazine, July 24,


The New York Times Company.

Word Count: 958

Source: Essay UK -

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