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Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt as president in 1933Franklin D. Roosevelt as president in 1933Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) was the 32nd president of the United States, and the only US president to be elected to office four times. Roosevelt—often known by his initials FDR—led the United States through the crisis of the Great Depression with his reforms and programmes (called programs in the US) known as the New Deal. He took the United States into World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and was an active and skilful military commander. He also played an important role in setting up the United Nations. A central figure in world events of the 20th century, Roosevelt is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest US presidents. 

Roosevelt in 1900, aged 18Roosevelt in 1900, aged 18

Early life

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on 30th January 1882 into a wealthy New York family. Both at home and at school he was taught the Christian duty of looking after those less fortunate than himself. Roosevelt went to Harvard University in 1900. In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt, a distant relative, became US President. In 1902, Franklin met Theodore’s niece, Eleanor Roosevelt. The two became engaged, and were married in March 1905. Eleanor and Franklin had six children, one of whom died in infancy.

Roosevelt was the first US president to be elected to serve more than two terms. He was also the last, because in 1947, Congress passed the Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution, which fixed a two-term limit.

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