F. D. Roosevelt
1882 - 1945
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the US.
Roosevelt has been ranked as one of the greatest U.S. presidents in historical rankings. A 1999 survey by C-SPAN found that by a wide margin academic historians consider Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Roosevelt the three greatest presidents, consistent with other surveys.
He was born in Hyde Park, N.Y. Admitted to the New York bar in 1907, he served as a progressive state senator and assistant navy secretary. After a crippling attack of polio in 1921, he resumed his political career, becoming governor of New York.
With the entire country in a deep depression, he easily defeated Herbert Hoover in the Presidential election of 1932. Roosevelt came to office in the hope that he would have a solution to the economic calamity of the nation. His answer was the 'New Deal', a recovery program to provide immediate relief and reforms.
While the nation's economy did not fully revive until wartime, his actions earned Roosevelt the gratitude of working people that outweighed the hatred of conservatives. Re-elected by a landslide in 1936, he won unprecedented third and fourth terms in 1940 and 1944.
Although, at first, Roosevelt kept the U.S.A. out of the second World War, he supported Great Britain through the 'lend-lease' act with much needed war material. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour he allied the U.S.A. with Great Britain and the USSR to defeat Germany and Japan in World War II.
Having seen the nation through the war, Franklin Roosevelt died less than four weeks before the German surrender.
The object of constant attacks during his presidency - he was regarded sometimes as 'a traitor to his class' - he would suffer somewhat from posthumous revelations by charges that he conceded too much in negotiations with Stalin. What the critics overlooked was that the military situation in 1944 - when the Red Army already had advanced into most of Eastern Europe - gave Roosevelt little leverage to oppose Stalin's ambitions.
Most historians continue to regard FDR as one of the three greatest American presidents.
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