Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), referred to by his initials FDR, was an American lawyer and statesman who served as the 32nd President of the United States. Roosevelt dominated the American political scene throughout his presidency, and his policies and ideas continued to have a major impacts for decades after his death. He orchestrated the realignment of voters, which saw the emergence of the Fifth Party System. A majority of polls rank Roosevelt as the second or third greatest president, consistent with other surveys Roosevelt is the sixth most admired person from the 20th century by U.S. citizens, according to Gallup polls. He was described by his biographer, Jean Edward Smith, as the man who lifted himself up from a wheelchair to lift the nation from its knees.
Here are ten awesome facts about Franklin Delano Roosevelt that you probably didn’t know:
10. He Served Four Terms:
Throughout U.S. History there have been many well-liked Presidents, but it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was first and only President to exceed two terms. He served as President from 1933-1945 (3 terms) and just began his 4th term when he passed away of a stroke. Many people attribute the two term limit to George Washington, who famously declined a third at the end of his second. Ulysses S. Grant was the only president to seek re-election for his third term, but lost his party’s nomination. Harry S. Truman proposed an act which limited the President’s term to two.
9. He was related to his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt:
He and Einstein have one thing in common: they both married their cousins. At least FDR wasn’t as crazy to marry his first/second cousin; he married his distant cousin. Eleanor was Teddy Roosevelt niece through his brother. Teddy Roosevelt walked Eleanor down the aisle.
8. He was related to 11 other Presidents:
It’s not everyday you see a President who was related to 11 presidents. George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln were seventh cousins four times removed. Jimmy Carter and George Washington were ninth cousins six times removed. Never have I seen 11 Presidents; that’s a record. Who are they? They are John Adams, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, William Taft, and last but not least Theodore Roosevelt.
7. He was a stamp collector:
Roosevelt’s passion for stamps began when he was a child and continued throughout his life, resulting in a collection of 1.2 million pieces. Wherever he traveled, his albums traveled along with him too. While Roosevelt himself admitted that his collection was large, but not necessarily selective or valuable, he did have several unique pieces created expressly for him by foreign leaders.
6. He was friends with Amelia Earhart:
The Rosevelts met Amelia Earhart at a state dinner in April 1933, and she and the first lady quickly became friends. Near the end of the night, Amelia offered to take Eleanor on a private flight. Eleanor agreed, and the two women snuck away from the White House (still in evening clothes), commandeered an aircraft and flew from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore. After their night time flight, Eleanor got her students’ permit, and Earhart started giving her lessons..
5. He guided America through the tough times.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, will be remembered as the US president that guided America through some of the toughest crisis, including the great depression, the second world war and he made New Deal policies that brought about the start of a national recovery. He feverishly imposed socialist program after socialist program upon Americans during the Great Depression. He imposed programs that were called FDR’s “alphabet soup” as well as the “New Deal.”
4. He was paralyzed from the waist down.
In 1921, he contracted polio, while vacationing in Canada, and was paralyzed from the waist down. He tried to hide his disability from the public and was hardly shown in his wheelchair when he spoke.
3. He wore a dress until he was 5.
He was the only president whose mother forced him to wear a dress until he was five years old. His mother also did not approve of his marriage to Eleanor. She was a domineering mother-in-law who liked to pry into her son’s personal life.
2. He was home schooled.
FDR reportedly had a hard time with school life. He was home schooled at the family estate until the age of 14. Later, Franklin was sent to prepschool at Groton. He went on to study at Harvard for his post grad education.
1. He was a cheater.
Hired as a secretary by Eleanor, Lucy Mercer ended up having an affair with FDR. Eleanor discovered love letters between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mercer in 1918, when presidency was just a fantasy. Fearing for his political life, Franklin convinced Eleanor to stay married, promising he would shun Mercer and that the two would sleep in separate beds. He lied because he kept corresponding with Mercer through his daughter. He most likely started the affair because of his prying mother who never approved of Eleanor.