Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States of America. Roosevelt was able to lead America during both the Great Depression and World War II, and instituted numerous public programs which still exist today.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born in 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. Roosevelt attended Harvard University and then graduated from Columbia Law School. In 1905, Roosevelt married Eleanor Roosevelt and began his career of public service. Politics was nothing new for his family as his distant fifth cousin Theodore Roosevelt was a former president of the United States.
In 1910, Franklin Roosevelt was elected to the Senate and was then appointed as Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson. FDR’s prospering life hit a major obstacle in 1921 when he was diagnosed with Polio. This disease ravaged his body and eventually took away his mobility and ability to walk independently. Although stricken with this disease, FDR persevered and became governor of New York in 1928. America’s economic status was at its lowest in history during this time as it was in the midst of the Great Depression. In an attempt to revitalize this struggling economy, Roosevelt ran for president in 1932 and defeated Herbert Hoover.
President Roosevelt immediately took action as President; his “First 100 Days” resulted in the diagnosis of struggling banks and businesses and reopened the ones that were deemed successful. Roosevelt began to revitalize the American economy and national morale through his series of federal programs known as the “New Deal”. One of the major programs that Roosevelt created was Social Security, which provides financial assistance to retired and disabled Americans. Roosevelt was able to take advantage of the growing communication technology and began his famous radio-broadcasted “fireside chats”. These broadcasts were revolutionary as Roosevelt casually spoke to the American people and restored hope and faith in the American government.
On December 7, 1941, the United States was attacked by the Empire of Japan at Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt labeled the day as a “date that will live in infamy” and Congress declared war on Japan. This declaration of war officially made America involved in World War II. Throughout World War II, Roosevelt aimed to not only secure military victory, but also establish peace following the war. Roosevelt and other world leaders helped to establish the United Nations which focused on securing peace in a post-war world. Roosevelt’s health began to quickly deteriorate towards the end of the war and on April 12, 1945, he passed away. At the time of his death, Roosevelt had served as president for 12 years, which remains the longest tenure in presidential history.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is seen by many as one of the greatest presidents in American History. Roosevelt helped Americans recover and greatly rebound from the Great Depression, restored faith in the American Economy, and led during the bloodiest conflict in world history.