God Bless America
32nd President Of The United States
Born: Jan. 30, 1882, Hyde Park, N.Y.
Education: Harvard College (graduated 1903);
Columbia Law School.
Profession: Public Official, Lawyer.
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian.
Marriage: Mar. 17, 1905, to Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962).
Children: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1906-75);
James Roosevelt (1907-91);
Elliott Roosevelt (1910-90);
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (1914-88);
John Aspinwall Roosevelt (1916-81).
Political Affiliation: Democrat.
Writings: The Happy Warrior, Alfred E. Smith (1928);
F.D.R.: His Personal Letters (4 vols., 1947-50), ed. by Elliott Roosevelt.
Died: Apr. 12, 1945, Warm Springs, Ga.
Buried: Hyde Park, N.Y.
The future president was born on Jan. 30, 1882,
at the family estate in Hyde Park, N.Y.
His father, James (1828-1900), was descended from Nicholas Roosevelt,
whose father had emigrated from Holland to New Amsterdam in the 1640's.
One of Nicholas' two sons, Johannes, fathered the line
that ultimately produced President Theodore Roosevelt.
The other son, Jacobus, was James' great-great-grandfather.
James graduated from Union College (1847)
and Harvard Law School, married, had a son,
and took over his family's extensive holdings in coal and transportation.
Despite substantial losses in speculative ventures,
he remained wealthy enough to journey by private railroad car,
to live graciously on his Hudson River estate at Hyde Park,
and to travel extensively.
Four years after his first wife died in 1876,
James met and married Sara Delano, a sixth cousin.
She, too, was a member of the Hudson River aristocracy.
Her father, one of James' business associates,
had made and lost fortunes in the China trade
before settling with his wife and 11 children
on the west bank of the Hudson.
Sara had sailed to China as a girl,
attended school abroad, and moved in high social circles in London and Paris.
Though only half her husband's age of 52
at the time of her marriage in 1880,
she settled in happily at Hyde Park.
Their marriage was serene until broken by James' death in 1900.
Young Franklin had a secure and idyllic childhood.
His half-brother was an adult when Franklin was born,
and Franklin faced no rivals for the love of his parents,
who kept him in dresses and long curls until he was five,
Summers he went with his parents to Europe,
to the seaside in New England, or to Campobello Island
off the coast of New Brunswick,
where he developed a love for sailing.
Until he was 14 he received his schooling from governesses and private tutors.
Franklin's most lasting educational experience was at Groton School
in Massachusetts, which he attended between 1896 and 1900.
Groton's headmaster, the Rev. Endicott Peabody,
was an autocratic yet inspiring leader who instilled
Christian ethics and the virtues of public service into his students,
most of whom were of the privileged classes.
Franklin's academic record at Groton was undistinguished,
and he did not excel at sports.
Some of his classmates, finding him priggish and superficial,
called him the "feather-duster."
But for a boy who had been so resolutely sheltered by his parents,
he was popular enough.
At Groton, Franklin revealed that he could
adapt himself readily to different circumstances.
The Groton years also left him with a belief, more manifest later,
that children of the upper classes had a duty to society.
His record at Harvard, which he attended between 1900 and 1904,
was only slightly more impressive.
Thanks to his excellent preparation at Groton,
he was able to complete his course of study
for his B.A. in 1903, in only three years.
During his fourth year he served as editor of the Crimson,
the college newspaper.
However, he was not accepted for Porcellian,
Harvard's most prestigious social club,
and he did not receive much stimulation in the classroom.
As at Groton, his grades were mediocre,
and he showed no excitement about his studies.