Sara Roosevelt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sara Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt with his mother Sara, 1887.jpg
Sara Ann Delano Roosevelt with son Franklin, 1887
Born Sara Ann Delano
(1854-09-21)September 21, 1854
Newburgh, New York
Died September 7, 1941(1941-09-07) (aged 86)
Hyde Park, New York
Spouse(s) James Roosevelt I
(m. 1880–1900; his death)
Children Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Parents Warren Delano, Jr.
Catherine Robbins Lyman
Sara Delano Roosevelt and her son, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1933 at the family estate in Hyde Park, New York
Delano Roosevelt and her brother, Phillipe in 1864 after returning from Hong Kong

Sara Ann Delano Roosevelt (September 21, 1854 — September 7, 1941) was the second wife of James Roosevelt I (from 1880), and the mother of President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her only child.


She was born at the Delano Estate in the Town of Newburgh, New York, to Warren Delano, Jr. and Catherine Robbins Lyman. Sara had ten siblings, two of whom died as small children. Three more died in their twenties.

In 1862, Sara, her mother Catherine, and six brothers and sisters traveled to Hong Kong on the clipper ship Surprise, where they joined Warren Delano who had resumed his business of trading in opium, then still legal.[1] On board ship, Sara enjoyed spending time in the sailmaker's loft listening to the sailmaker tell sea stories. Her brother Fred discovered Catherine's journal of the voyage many years later, in 1928.[2]

Sara Delano was described as a slender 5'10" (178 cm), and an intelligent debutante beauty in her youth.

FDR's election and presidency[edit]

She lived to see her only child elected President of the United States three times, becoming the first Presidential mother to vote for her son. Sara continued to support her son's career, even standing in as First Lady on several occasions. She was always prepared to say something positive about her son, and remained highly protective of him and his family, though was constantly critical of her son's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, and sought to live with her son's family, often trying to wrest control of their children from Eleanor.


Sara Delano Roosevelt, with the President at her side, died on September 7, 1941, 230 days after her son's third inauguration as President, exactly three months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, two weeks before her 87th birthday, and a little less than four years before her son Franklin D. Roosevelt .[3] "Minutes after her death, the largest oak tree at Hyde Park toppled to the ground. It was a clear windless day." (Quoted from The American Experience: FDR (Part IV; "The Juggler" 1940-1945) (1994), Written & Directed by David Grubin).

The funeral was held at her home in Springwood, which is located in Hyde Park, New York. The President can be seen wearing a black mourning band on his arm in photographs of him later signing the declaration of war against Japan. His mother's memory is commemorated with the Sara Delano Roosevelt Park in New York City's Lower East Side, which was dedicated during her lifetime, in 1934.


  1. ^ Brands, H.W. (2008). Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. New York, NY: Doubleday. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-385-51958-8. 
  2. ^ Butow, By R.J.C. (Fall 1999). [url= "A Notable Passage to China, Myth and Memory in FDR's Family History"]. Prologue Magazine (Washington, DC: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) 31 (3). Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  3. ^ "National Affairs: Death of a Lady", Time, 15 September 1941, retrieved 17 December 1009 

External links[edit]