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The most “peoples'” president. Franklin Roosevelt

Author: 30.01.2015 | history, personality
With emphasis purely on statesman’s deeds, biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt is told by history teachers all over the world. All diligent pupils remember him as the head of the USA elected for four terms instead of permitted two and establisher of the "New Deal". But today in the honor of the famous president's birthday on January, 30, 1882, we'll tell you about his life outside politics.

James Roosevelt and Sara Delano, who belonged to American elite, bent every effort to raise their only son Franklin as a true little aristocrat. His daily routine was literally scheduled minutely. Enhanced education in all subjects including a couple of foreign languages, horse riding and other constituents of gently born children were escorting future US president till the age of 14 when home schooling gave way to private school.

After having "flown parental nest" young man, who used to consistently gladden relatives with good grades, sent them a letter out of the blue where he told that he finally got his first "F" and that he was ineffably happy. Son explained to his surprised parents that his exceptionally high grades contradicted with the school's ethics of the corporate spirit, and this was unacceptable for the educational institution. In order to maintain sound relations with his peers and not to land in the headmaster's office, Roosevelt started getting "F"s in portions.

History and geography were Franklin's favorite subjects. Being fond of stories about famous marine explorers and their great discoveries, he kept telling his mother and father that in future he saw himself only as a sailor and that after getting a certificate was going to Navy Academy. Respecting son's interests yet taking into account juniors' maximalism the parents decided to subtly direct his energy to a different, in their opinion, more prestigious channel - to legal studies. Having analyzed the situation, Franklin followed their advice and entered Harvard and then Columbia University where during studies he managed to try himself in journalism by obtaining a position of student's newspaper editor. On graduation he began working by specialty - in a law firm. Eventually Roosevelt who hated repeatability, got pretty bored by all that and the only sphere he was interested in became politics.

Despite the fact that once president Grover Cleveland put his hand on the head of 5-year-old Franklin and said: "I have one wish for you, little man, that you will never be President of the United States", Roosevelt turned on its ears later on. A plan of accession to the presidential chair was composed by the age of 25, calculated for as long as quarter century and implemented almost to a year. The word is that his "colleagues" from Masonic Lodge (he was initiated as the member in 1911) aided the young politician on his way up to professional eminence. Since then he became fully absorbed with his job that took away nearly all his time. However, Franklin always managed to dedicate some time to his hobby that he acquired when a child. His mail stamps collection in a special case traveled together with its owner wherever he went. Before going to bed he performed a special ritual, looking through and counting his "assemblage". According to Roosevelt's own assertions, it was philately that helped him bring back inspiration and love of life when in 1921 after overcooling doctors diagnosed him with "poliomyelitis" that laid him up and deprived of hope to walk by himself.

In the face of disability, Franklin's mother insisted on her son's abandoning the career but his wife Eleanor, one of the most popular first ladies in the history of the States, strung along his strive to professional growth. Eleanor, who never remained in the shadows of her husband and always took active part in the country's political life, for which the leader of the state was often reproached, used to say: "My husband's sickness made me stand up on my own feet once and for all. By supporting him I acquired my own power". She travelled a lot, visiting foster homes, schools and even prisons. To a certain degree it was thank to his wife that Franklin held the field against his sickness and continued ascending career ladder without letting wider public perceive himself as an invalid.

Talking to his fellow citizens in plain and comprehensible language as an ordinaman, 32nd president of the USA earned a title of the most "peoples'" politician of America. During crisis Roosevelt was no different from any other dweller. In compliance with the declared across-the-board economy, Eleanor used to cook him due breakfast - at a cost of 19 cents. And despite being one big gastronomist, he was patiently eating it.

Proximity to population and skills in both regulating state affairs and controlling his subordinates lead to politician's being elected for the main state position time after time. Rexford Tugwell, when in the position of economic advisor, said: "There was no other president with keener understanding of the comprehensive mechanism of human relationships. He watched his subordinates playing games of their own; he stopped them when it was necessary; he effectively punished with lack of his attention; he rewarded by sharing most intimate ideas".

Franklin Delano Roosevelt died at the age of 63 of cerebral haemorrhage when serving his fourth presidential term. Eleanor Roosevelt was the first family member to find out about the death, she commented on the sad occasion with the stiff upper lip: "I feel for our country and the world more than for myself…"

Photo from open sources

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