13 NOV 13
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Born in Hyde Park, New York on January 30th, 1882 as the distant cousin of Theodore Roosevelt; was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was born into a wealthy family and was well-educated by home tutors until the age of fourteen, where he began attending Groton School. Roosevelt was a successful student at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools before being admitted to the New York bar in 1907. (Spartacus Educational)
In 1905, he married his cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt. Like Franklin, she was a Democrat and took a strong interest in politics. Five years later, he was elected into the New York senate. Roosevelt upset ...view middle of the document...
In the summer of 1921, Roosevelt became seriously ill. He was eventually diagnosed as suffering from poliomyelitis. He was almost totally paralyzed and he was never again to recover full use of his legs. Frances Perkins believed that this illness changed Roosevelt's personality and in doing so, made him into a better man, saying, "Roosevelt underwent a spiritual transformation during the years of his illness. I noticed when he came back that the years of pain and suffering had purged the slightly arrogant attitude he had displayed on occasion before he was stricken. The man emerged completely warmhearted, with humility of spirit and with a deeper philosophy. Having been to the depths of trouble, he understood the problems of people in trouble."
Although confined to a wheelchair, Roosevelt returned to politics in 1928 to help his friend, Alfred Smith, in his unsuccessful attempt to beat Herbert Hoover in the presidential election. The following year Roosevelt was elected as governor of New York. While in this post he met people such as Rose Schneiderman, Harold Ickes, Frances Perkins and Harry Hopkins, who held radical views on how America could solve its economic problems. Their influence turned Roosevelt into one of America's most progressive politicians.
The Wall Street Crash in October 1929, created the worst depression in American history. Hoover vetoed a bill that would have created a federal unemployment agency and also opposed a plan to create a public works program. As governor of New York, Roosevelt made strenuous attempts to help those without work. He set up the New York State Emergency Relief Commission and appointed the respected Harry Hopkins to run the agency. Another popular figure with a good record for helping the disadvantaged, Frances Perkins, was recruited to the team as state industrial commissioner. With the help of Hopkins and Perkins, Roosevelt introduced help for the unemployed and those too old to work.
Roosevelt was seen as great success as governor of New York and he was the obvious choice as the Democratic...