The 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) was born on this day on his family's Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York. Rich and handsome, he collected birds and loved the outdoors.
Wed to Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1905), he was elected Senator (1910) then Governor (1928) of New York City before entering the White House.
He once said, "Remember you are just an extra in everyone else's play."
FDR was the only president to be elected to four terms of office (1933-1945). The Democrat served at the depth of the Great Depression and became a champion of the working class with the creation of landmark New Deal programs.
"Above all," he said, "try something."
Committed to the fight for freedom, he built and commanded America's Army to the brink of World War II victory. "More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars," he said.
He was known for his heroic battle with polio and uniting America with inspirational speeches and fireside chats which included this promise: "You who know me will accept my solemn assurance that in a world in which democracy is under attack, I seek to make American democracy succeed. You and I will do our part."
Called "the greatest figure of our time" by Republican Robert Taft, FDR's legacy of political reform, freedom, and domestic security transformed the United States and the world.
"Failure," Roosevelt said, "is not an American habit."
More FDR Quotations
Every fear creates a solution.