Eleanor Roosevelt – Longest-Serving US First Lady
COUNTRY OF BIRTHUnited States
TOP ACHIEVEMENTSAnna Eleanor Roosevelt was a politician, activist, and diplomat. Roosevelt was known as the longest-serving First Lady of the US. She was also called the ‘First Lady of the World’ by President Truman in later years in recognition of her achievements for human rights.
EARLY LIFERoosevelt was born in Manhattan in the United States to socialite parents Elliot Roosevelt and Anna Hall. Despite being born into immense privilege and wealth, Roosevelt had a childhood fraught with tragedy. Her mother succumbed to diphtheria when she was only eight years old. Two years later her father, who was an alcoholic and institutionalized, jumped out of a window during a fit of alcohol withdrawal and passed away soon after. Eleanor Roosevelt herself struggled with depression throughout her life.
A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
POLITICAL ACHIEVEMENTSEleanor Roosevelt’s political career began when she accompanied her husband on campaign tours with presidential candidate James Cox. In 1921 she started standing in for Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was incapacitated by polio. She worked with the Women’s Trade Union League and helped raise funds to support goals like abolishing child labor, creating a 48-hour work week and establishing a minimum wage. As First Lady she changed the traditional role of hostess and domestic facilitator, and instead started hosting press conferences, speaking at events and writing newspaper columns. Roosevelt earned a substantial salary from her activities and donated most of it to charity. She was also a human rights activist, she visited labor meetings and mines and attended a veteran protest to defuse tension.
ADDITIONAL FACTS• President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s mother was opposed to their union and tried to separate them
• Eleanor Roosevelt had a close relationship with legendary aviator Amelia Earhart
• A hybrid tea rose was named after her