Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30th ,1882,to an old, prominent Dutch family from Dutchess County, New York. He attended the elite educational institutions of Groton School and Harvard College. At age 23, in 1905, he married Eleanor Roosevelt, with whom he had six children. Roosevelt was an American statesman and political leader who served as the President of the United States He entered politics in 1910, serving in the New York State Senate, and then as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson. In 1920, Roosevelt ran for vice president with presidential candidate James M. Cox, but the Cox/Roosevelt ticket lost to the Republican ticket of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Roosevelt was stricken with debilitating polio in 1921, which cost him the use of his legs and put his future political career in jeopardy, but he attempted to recover from the illness, and founded the treatment center for people with polio in Warm Springs, Georgia. After returning to political life by placing Alfred E. Smith‘s name into nomination at the 1924 Democratic National Convention, Roosevelt, at Smith’s behest, successfully ran for Governor of New York in 1928. In office from 1929 to 1933, he served as a reform governor promoting the enactment of programs to combat the Great Depression besetting the United States at the time.
In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, Roosevelt successfully defeated incumbent Republican president Herbert Hoover to win the presidency of the United States. Having been energized by his personal victory over his polio, FDR relied on his persistent optimism and activism to renew the national spirit. In his first hundred days in office, from 1933 to 1945. Roosevelt who was a Democrat won a highest on four presidential elections and was a central figure of his party leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and total war.
Roosevelt created a program call New Deal that help in recovery, reform and relief unable the federal government the opportunity to be at the service of the people more.
As a dominant leader of the Democratic Party, he built the New Deal Coalition that brought together and united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans, and rural white Southerners in support of the party. The Coalition significantly realigned American politics after 1932, creating the Fifth Party System and defining American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century which began March 4, 1933, Roosevelt spearheaded unprecedented major legislation and issued a profusion of executive orders that instituted the New Deal—a variety of programs designed to produce relief (government jobs for the unemployed), recovery (economic growth), and reform (through regulation of Wall Street, banks and transportation). He created numerous programs to support the unemployed and farmers, and to encourage labor union growth while more closely regulating business and high finance.
The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 added to his popularity, helping him win re-election by a landslide in 1936. The economy improved rapidly from 1933 to 1937, but then relapsed into a deep recession in 1937–38. The bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented his packing the Supreme Court, and blocked almost all proposals for major liberal legislation (except the minimum wage, which did pass). When the war began and unemployment ended, conservatives in Congress repealed the two major relief programs, the WPA and CCC. However, they kept most of the regulations on business. Along with several smaller programs, major surviving programs include the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wagner Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Social Security.
As World War II loomed after 1938, with the Japanese invasion of China and the aggression of Nazi Germany, Roosevelt gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China and the United Kingdom, while remaining officially neutral. His goal was to make America the “Arsenal of Democracy”, which would supply munitions to the Allies. In March 1941, Roosevelt, with Congressional approval, provided Lend-Lease aid to Britain and China. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which he called “a date which will live in infamy”, Roosevelt sought and obtained the quick approval, on December 8, of the United States Congress to declare war on Japan and, a few days later, on Germany. (Hitler had already declared war on the US in support of Japan). Assisted by his top aide Harry Hopkins, and with very strong national support, he worked closely with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in leading the Allies against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan in World War II. He supervised the mobilization of the U.S. economy to support the war effort, and also ordered the internment of 100,000 Japanese American civilians. As an active military leader, Roosevelt implemented a war strategy on two fronts that ended in the defeat of the Axis Powers and the development of the world’s first nuclear bomb. His work also influenced the later creation of the United Nations and Bretton Woods. During the war, unemployment dropped to 2%, relief programs largely ended, and the industrial economy grew rapidly to new heights as millions of people moved to wartime factory jobs or entered military service. Roosevelt’s health seriously declined during the war years, and he died three months into his fourth term. He is often rated by scholars as one of the top three U.S. Presidents, along with Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. On the afternoon of April 12, Roosevelt said, “I have a terrific pain in the back of my head.” He then slumped forward in his chair, unconscious, and was carried into his bedroom. The president’s attending cardiologist, Dr. Howard Bruenn, diagnosed a massive cerebral hemorrhage (stroke). At 3:35 p.m. that day, Roosevelt died. As Allen Drury later said, “so ended an era, and so began another.” After Roosevelt’s death, an editorial by The New York Times declared, “Men will thank God on their knees a hundred years from now that Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House”.
At the time he collapsed, Roosevelt had been sitting for a portrait painting by the artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, known as the famous Unfinished Portrait of FDR.