Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. was the fifth child of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. He was born on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada on August 17, 1914, and technically had the option to declare himself a Canadian citizen. He never did.
Roosevelt had a good education. He graduated from Groton School, a prep school in 1933, from Harvard University in 1937 and from University of Virginia School of Law in 1940. Based on the above dates, he was clearly an industrious student who did not waste time during his education years.
The Second World War started a year after his Law School graduation. So it is not surprising that Roosevelt became active in the military and joined the navy. As a junior naval officer in World War II he was decorated for bravery in the battle of Casablanca. He rose through the ranks and served as an executive officer on a destroyer. Later as a lieutenant commander he was in charge of his own destroyer escort in the Mediterranean during the Sicilian invasion in 1943. He also served in the Pacific theater of the Second World War. For his performance during the war he was awarded among others the Silver Star, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart.
During his naval service, at his father’s request, he was able to attend the Argentia [Atlantic charter] summit with Prime Minister Winston Churchill in August 1941 and the Casablanca Conference in January 1943.
Proof of active service is usually the collection of awards received by a military officer. Roosevelt received his share. The awards consisted of the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Navy Commendation Ribbon, the American Defense Service Medal with battle star, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four battle stars, the Asia-Pacific Campaign Medal with eight battle stars, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal.
Following the war Roosevelt began practicing law. He worked in several New York City law offices, and became a senior partner in the New York law firm Roosevelt and Freiden. During that time he also became active in New York State politics.
Roosevelt ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in a special election in 1949. He ran on the Liberal Party ticket and won. He was re-elected in 1950, and won re-election in 1952 and 1954. During his last term in the U. S. Congress, in 1954, he put his name up as a candidate for governor of New York. He was opposed by Tammany Hall and withdrew his request.
Six year later in 1960, John F. Kennedy convinced Roosevelt to support him for the presidential nomination. He was active in the campaign and was later rewarded with the post of Undersecretary of Commerce in the Kennedy Administration. Following Kennedy’s assassination he fell from power.
In 1966, Roosevelt again tried to become governor of New York. He won the nomination and ran on the Liberal Party ticket but was defeated by the incumbent Nelson A. Rockefeller.
Roosevelt’s personal life was rather hectic. He was married five times, from 1937 to 1949 to Ethel du Pont, from 1949 to 1970 to Suzanne Perrin, from 1970 to 1976 to Felicia Schiff Warburg Sarnoff, from 1977 to 1981 to Patricia Luisa Oakes, and from 1984 until his death to Linda McKay Stevenson Weicker.
Roosevelt fathered five children consisting of Franklin Delano Roosevelt III, Christoffer du Pont Roosevelt, John A. Roosevelt, Nancy Roosevelt Ireland and Laura Roosevelt.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. passed away on his 74th birthday, August 17, 1988. He had been suffering from lung cancer.
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.org, gwu.edu, FDR Library-Marist.edu, bioguide.congress.gov and NYT.com
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