Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the most iconic statesmen of his age and remains one of the most influential US Presidents of all time. Known for his efforts to boost employment during World War II, FDR was a hard-working politician who – as all politicians do – drew fans and enemies all around. So, it is only right that we all get to know a bit more about this man! Here are some fun facts about Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1. FDR was born into wealth.
2. As a Harvard graduate, he went to law school but switched career paths.
Franklin D. Roosevelt famously attended Harvard University and Columbia Law School. However, he did not finish law school. Instead, he entered into politics.
3. FDR was disabled for much of his life thanks to devastating polio – but it didn’t stop him leading.
In 1921, at the age of only 39, FDR contracted polio. It left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down. He later underwent years of therapy, including most famously hydrotherapy at Warm Springs in Georgia.
However, he remained paralyzed from the waist down and used a wheelchair and leg braces for mobility. He generally took great pains to conceal his paralysis, especially from the public eye.
4. FDR was a politician long before becoming President.
5. FDR’s “New Deal” was arguably his biggest legacy.
Roosevelt’s Presidency took place from 1933 to 1945, which meant his time in office was marked by both World War II and the Great Depression. He implemented the New Deal, a series of programs and reforms aimed at economic recovery and social welfare.
6. FDR served a record four terms as US President!
Roosevelt is the only US president to have been elected to four consecutive terms! He officially served the Presidency from 1933 until his death in 1945, during World War II. It’s possible he might have won a fifth had he lived on – but rules have since changed so that US Presidents can now serve a maximum of two terms consecutively.
7. He communicated with his people using “fireside chats.”
Roosevelt popularly used radio broadcasts known as “fireside chats” to communicate directly with the American people. He used them to discuss various issues, policies, and updates – this helped to endear him to the public (and it worked – he was re-elected three times, you know!).
8. He passed the important Social Security Act.
FDR would sign the Social Security Act into law in 1935. The Act established a retirement benefits system and unemployment insurance for American workers.
9. FDR was all about building alliances.
Roosevelt led the United States through most of World War II. He was instrumental in forming alliances with other Allied powers and played a crucial role in the war effort.
10. Controversially, he had a hand in the Manhattan Project.
FDR controversially authorized the secret Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. However, he did not live to see its deployment in 1945.
FAQs about Franklin D. Roosevelt
Why is FDR criticized?
There are multiple reasons why some criticize FDR. Many questioned some of his policies and mainly for running for a third term when most presidents only run for two. In the end, he ran for four terms in total. He also played a major role in bringing about the Atomic Bomb.
What did FDR do in 1933?
On March 9th, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt sent the Emergency Banking Act to Congress. The act provided for a system of reopening sound banks under Treasury supervision, with federal loans available if and when needed.
Was Franklin D. Roosevelt a popular president?
Having served four terms as president, one could say that FDR was mostly a well-liked president. Many credit him for getting the American people through the Great Depression and the War. However, he, of course, had his critics, too, and many also did not value his Presidency.
Do you know any interesting facts about Franklin D. Roosevelt? Share them in the comments below!