Elliott Roosevelt had a rich and varied life. He grew up in a wealthy, highly visible and influential family which came with many privileges not available to many. His parents were President Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. He also came from a large family with many siblings and there also of course is sibling rivalry.
Because of his influential parents, he and some of his brothers tended to become entangled in questionable activities after they became independent. Some of these activities and accusations are probably not valid, but any association about involvement in any questionable activity creates a bad impression to the general public.
As a young man he received a good education at the Groton School, a prep school which had educated most of the Roosevelt clan. He of course was expected to go on to higher education and was accepted in Harvard. But much to the dismay of his parents he chose not to attend. The time was around 1928, and business was booming. He wanted to participate in it.
He became involved in a series of jobs such as advertising and selling in the broadcast industry as well as a management position at the Hearst Corporation. He also became interested in flight and briefly served as general manager of Gilpin Airlines of Glendale, California. During that time he also became involved in the broadcast industry. None of his jobs appeared to have been of a permanent nature.
With the start of the Second World War imminent, Roosevelt received a captain’s commission in the United States Army Air Corps in September 1940. He briefly served at Wright Airfield, Ohio, took an intelligence course and served with the 21st Reconnaissance Squadron in the new U. S. Air Facility at Gander, Newfoundland.
His first substantial assignment, in the summer of 1941, was the identification of airfield locations in Labrador, Baffin Island and Greenland. These locations were important for the development of air travel between the United States and Great Britain along the North Atlantic route.
During the war years Roosevelt also became involved in coordination activities of his father, President Roosevelt, Churchill and General Arnold, the senior military man to whom he reported. During the remainder of the war he worked on procurement, navigation, reconnaissance and intelligence. He rose to the rank of brigadier general in January 1945. Although he had poor eyesight, he was able to become a pilot and flew many missions for the U. S. Army Air Forces. He was deactivated at the end of the war in August 1945.
During the war Roosevelt was also able to attend the various international conferences in which his father participated. He was at the Argentia Summit with Churchill. Later he accompanied his father to the Casa Blanca, the Cairo and the Tehran conferences.
During the war Roosevelt commanded the 3d Reconnaissance Group of the U. S. Army Air forces from July 1942 to March 1943 at the rank of major and later as colonel. In 1943 he also commanded the Northwest African Photographic Reconnaissance Wing. From November 1943 until January 1944 he commanded the 90th Reconnaissance Wing. And from August 1944 to January 1945 he commanded the 325th Reconnaissance Wing, first at the rank of colonel and later at the rank of brigadier general.
Following the war Roosevelt participated in a variety of miscellaneous activities. He took up ranching, lived in England and Portugal for a while, but ended up back in California, where he lived until his death. The time period during his lifespan he enjoyed was clearly the war, and the excitement of it. He was fortunate to not have to participate in active combat, but was able to concentrate on intelligence and reconnaissance. To be sure these activities are not all safe, but a lot less risky than combat missions.
In his private life Roosevelt was also quite active. He was married a total of five times. There were eight children, but some were adopted. His first marriage, in 1932 was to Elizabeth Browning Donner. They had one son William Donner Roosevelt. The marriage ended in 1933.
His second marriage took place in 1933 to Ruth Josephine Googins. They had three children: Ruth Chandler Roosevelt, Elliott Roosevelt Jr. and David Boynton Roosevelt. The couple divorced in 1944.
The third marriage was in 1944 to Faye Emerson. There were no children. The couple divorced in 1950.
He married for the fourth time to Minnewa Bell in 1951. There were no children. The couple divorced in 1960.
The fifth and last marriage to Patricia Peabody Whitehead took place in 1960. She already had four children who all took on the name Roosevelt. They were James M. Roosevelt, Ford Roosevelt, Gretchen Roosevelt and David M. Roosevelt. The couple also had a son together but he died in 1962 as an infant. The marriage apparently lasted for the remainder of his life.
For his numerous war time services he received a number of awards. They consisted of the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with eleven oak leaf clusters, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, Commander of the Order of the British Empire [UK], Legion of Honor [France], and Croix de Guerre [France].
Elliott Roosevelt was born on September 3, 1910 and passed away on October 27, 1990. He only enjoyed life following his eightieth birthday for a little over one month.
For more details on his Roosevelt family relationships see the appendix at the end of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s personal bio profile.
Various web sites including Wikipedia.com, goodreads.com, nps.gov and New York Times
E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON; GOOGLE: Kindle Store Pegels
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS, CURRENT AND HISTORIC
EIGHT PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE ROOSEVELTS, VANDERBILTS AND OTHERS, 2015
FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS IN U.S. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, 2015
DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS
ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017
FRENCH REVOLUTION, NAPOLEON AND RUSSIAN WAR OF 1812, 2015