Biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, popularly known as FDR, was born on January 30, 1882 at the family estate in Hyde Park, New York. His father, James, graduated from Harvard Law School, married, had a son, and took over his family?s rights in coal and transportation. Despite the fact that he lost a good deal of money in financial gambles, he remained wealthy enough to travel by private railroad car, to live comfortably on his Hudson River estate at Hyde Park, and to travel at length. After his first wife died, James waited four years to remarry to Sara Delano, a sixth cousin. She was also a member of the Hudson River aristocracy, and although she was only half of James? 52 years, she settled into their Hyde Park estate quite comfortably. The marriage worked well until it was broken by James? death in 1900.
Young Franklin Roosevelt had a secure and pleasant childhood. His half-brother was already an adult when Franklin was born, and so he had no rival for the attention of his parents. During the summer months he would travel 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 the ocean and sailing. Until the age of 14 FDR received his education from private tutors.
FDR?s most lasting educational experience was at Groton School in Massachusetts, which he attended from 1896 to 1900. Groton?s headmaster, Reverend Endicott Peabody, instilled the virtue of public service in Franklin, and this would be something that he would carry with him throughout his life. At Groton FDR was not academically outstanding, nor did he gain vast popularity,? Franklin struggled to fit in?but he was only a spindly five feet three inches tall, too slight for football, baseball, or crew, the only sports that really mattered at Groton. Tennis and golf, at which he excelled, were not considered important? (Miller 27). However he was liked enough for someone home-schooled his whole life, and FDR displayed his ability to adapt to situations. In addition, one of the most important virtues that FDR would ever attain came from his years at Groton: his belief that the children of the upper class had a duty to give back to the lesser fortunate.
FDR then went on to Harvard University, from 1900 to 1904, where he performed only slightly better than he had at Groton. Thanks to his tremendous preparation at Groton, however, FDR was able to complete his course study for his B.A. in 1903, only three years. During his fourth year he was editor of the Crimson, the college newspaper, but he was not admitted to the most prestigious social club. He did not receive much inspiration in the classroom, and he displayed no excitement about his studies.
While he was at Harvard FDR fell in love with Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, his fifth cousin once removed. Eleanor came from a troubled past, but grew up in the same aristocracy that FDR himself had. On March 17,...