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Roosevelt, Eleanor (1884–1962)

ALTHOUGH ELEANOR Roosevelt earned her initial fame and influence through her marriage to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when she died in 1962 she was remembered as not just a former first lady, but as a speaker, writer, and activist. A symbol of American liberalism in the mid-20th century, Roosevelt was an important actor in the shaping of the modern Democratic Party and the American welfare state.

Roosevelt's commitment to liberal ideals stood in stark contrast to her conservative and privileged Victorian upbringing. Born in New York on October 11, 1884, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the daughter of Anna and Elliott Roosevelt, brother to the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, who was also Eleanor's godfather. Despite her auspicious beginnings, Roosevelt's childhood was marked by ...

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