Original color transparency of FDR taken at 1944 Official Campaign Portrait session by Leon A. Perskie, Hyde Park, New York, August 21, 1944. Source :

Franklin Roosevelt was an American politician, leader, and statesman who served as the 32rd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.

Franklin Roosevelt was a member of the Democrat Party for most of his political career and it was under the Party that he contested and won four consecutive presidential election between 1933 to 1945.

In the United States, Franklin Roosevelt as a President was regarded as one of the greatest American Presidents ever. He earned most of his greatness due to his quality of leadership.

In the global scene, Franklin Roosevelt became on of the greatest leaders of his time espeacially due to the role he played during the Second World War. During the War, he played his role along with other leaders that included Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin that were collectively known as the “Big Three” during wartime.

Early Life of Franklin Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on 30th January, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York, to a parents James Roosevelt and Sarah Delano.


Franklin Roosevelt earned his elementary education at Groton School, and later attended Harvard College for his secondary education from 1900 to 1903. From 1904 to 1907, he attended Columbia Law School where he studied law.

After his study at Law School, Franklin as you a young man of 26, began practicing law with Wall Street Firm in New York City in 1908.

Political Career of Franklin Roosevelt

Since he was young, Franklin Roosevelt developed interest in politics. He was specifically inspired and influenced by his uncle, the then American President Theodore Roosevelt whom Franklin described as his role model.

Franklin Roosevelt entered into active politics in 1910 when he ran and won a seat of a senator in the New York State Assembly. During his days in the New York Assembly, Franklin was known as an active member who participated well. Due that, he was re-elected in 1912.

In 1913, Franklin Roosevelt was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by the administration of the then newly elected government of President Woodrow Wilson whom Roosevelt contributed in his election as president. As an Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he have contributed very well. For example, during the Second World War he collaborated with his British and French counterparts in the process of naval installations against the German navy effort.

In 1919, Franklin Roosevelt left his position to seek for a nomination of Vice President candidate of the Democrat Party in 1920 election. His aspiration was fulfilled when the elected presidential candidate of the Democrat James Cox chose him as his running mate. In November 1920, the election was contested and unfortunately the Cox-Roosevelt of the Democrat lost the election to the Republican Warren G. Harding.

In 1921, Franklin Roosevelt fell sick that eventually caused him to be paralyzed from his waist downwards. The illness reduced his political participation espeacially in the federal level till 1928 when he recovered to some extent. In the same year 1928, some Democrat Party leaders requested and convinced him to run as their candidate in the New York governorship election. He ran for the election and successfully won.


Franklin Roosevelt entered into the office of the New York Governor in 1929 when the country at large was sinking into an economic hardship called the ‘Great Depression‘. But, with his political and administrative capacity, Roosevelt reduced the sharpness of the hardship by introducing economic and social programs. Under such programs, Governor Roosevelt established Temporary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA) which helped greatly in employing the unemployed in the state.

In 1930, Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected as the Governor of New York State.


As 1932 Presidential election was approaching, Franklin Roosevelt while still a Governor, eyed for the Democrat presidential ticket. His dream came true, when he was nominated as the Democrat candidate in the Party’s National Convention held in Chicago in July 1932. After his nomination as the Democrat presidential candidate, Roosevelt campaigned actively and rigorously with a slogan ‘new deal‘ under which he promised to address the Great Depression which was bedevilling the American economy at the time.

On 8 November, 1932, the Presidential election was contested between Franklin Roosevelt of the Democrat and the incumbent President Herbert Hoover of the Republican Party. After the votes of the election was counted, the result showed Franklin Roosevelt of the Democrat as the elected President of the United States.

Presidential Term and the Second World War

Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated as the United States President on 4 March, 1933, at the United States Capitol, Washington D.C. During the inaugural address, Franklin Roosevelt motivated the Americans with his famous statement as I quote :

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself

He assumed office on the day of the inauguration.


During his first tenure from 1933 to 1936, President Roosevelt fulfilled his promise of coming up with new economic reforms in order to combat the economic problem in the country. Also, in order to restore the public confidence on the government, he humbly started an interaction with American people such as addressing the public in live radio broadcasting.

After that, Franklin Roosevelt embarked directly into the New Deal. He started by implementing different economic and social intervention policies such as :

  • Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) which was aimed at restoring agricultural production proseperity
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was designed for a disclosure of financial information to especially customers who purchased stocks.
  • Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) was designed to provide relief to about 5 million families every year

The above programs and many others have helped in combating the Great Depression in the United States. By the end of the Roosevelt’s firt tenure, the American economy began showing some signs of recovery.

In 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt won re-election in the 1936 Presidential election, and since then, he continued to be the United States President winning 2 other elections till 1945.


Until the World War II, the United States maintained its isolationism foreign policy. But, after Japan attacked its naval base at Pearl Harbor in the Pacific on 8 December, 1941, the Congress approved the United States entrance into the War against the Germany.

Franklin Roosevelt as the wartime leader of the United States played his role along with other wartime leaders that included British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin collectively known as the ‘Big Three’. Together with these leaders, Roosevelt organized and participated in different conferences in which war strategies and plans were discussed in order to combat the effort of Germany and its allies.


A few months to the end of the Second World War, President Franklin Roosevelt started to show some signs of health deficiency. But, despite that, he continued attending and participating in the conferences.

His last meeting with his counterparts the wartime leaders was the Yalta Conference held in February 1945. Upon his return from the Conference, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt fell so weak and therefore retreated to his personal house at Warm Springs, Georgia on 29 March, 1945.

Sadly, after about two weeks at Warm Springs, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died on 13 April, 1945, at the age of 63. His body was laid at Springwood Estate, New York.

Ahmad Abdullahi, BA History

My name is Ahmad Abdullahi, I was born on 10th March, 1994 in Garun-Danga Town, Gabasawa L.G., Kano State. I attended FCE Demonstration Primary School from 2002 to 2007, FCE Staff Secondary School from 2007 to 2013, and Northwest University, Kano from 2013 to 2017, where I obtained bachelor degree in History.

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