Profile of Eleanor Roosevelt
Name at birth: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady of the United States from 1933-45, during the four presidential terms of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt was both her birth name and her married name; she was the niece of former president Teddy Roosevelt, and was a distant cousin to her husband Franklin, whom she married in 1905. Eleanor was active in social work and Democratic politics even before her husband became president, and after his election she helped to shape the social programs known as the New Deal. She was a new kind of First Lady: she traveled the country independently of FDR, visited coal miners and factory workers, wrote newspaper columns and opinion pieces, visited soldiers overseas during World War II, and advocated for the poor. After FDR's death, she continued to lecture and write about racial equality, women's rights and world peace. She was also an American delegate in the early days of the United Nations, a post she held from 1945-52.
Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt were married on 17 March 1905 in New York City… They had five children who lived to adulthood: Anna (b. 1906), James (b. 1907), Elliott (b. 1910), Franklin Jr. (b. 1914), and John (b. 1916); another child, also named Franklin, was born in 1909 but died in infancy… Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939 after the DAR refused to let African-American Marian Anderson sing at Independence Hall; the incident became a famous moment in the civil rights movement… Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong supporter of Adlai Stevenson in his losing 1952 and 1956 campaigns against Dwight Eisenhower… She wrote a syndicated newspaper column, My Day, from 1936 until her death in 1962.
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