Eleanor Butler Alexander-Roosevelt

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Eleanor Butler Roosevelt
Eleanor Alexander-Roosevelt cph.3c35061 (cropped).jpg
Born Eleanor Butler Alexander
(1888-12-26)December 26, 1888
New York, New York
Died May 29, 1960(1960-05-29) (aged 71)
Oyster Bay, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (1910–1944)
Children Grace

Eleanor Butler Alexander Roosevelt (1888–1960) was a philanthropist and a daughter-in-law of US President Theodore Roosevelt.

Early life[edit]

Eleanor Butler Alexander was born on December 26, 1888, the only daughter of Henry Addison Alexander, a prominent New York lawyer, and Grace Green. She was a great-granddaughter of the late Theron Butler.[1]


Throughout her life Eleanor not only supported her husband's career but also proved a highly organized, socially conscious person in her own right. From July 1917 to December 1918, she was heavily involved in YMCA canteen work in France[2] and was described by her fellow canteen worker Marian Baldwin as "working like a horse."[3] She helped improve the conditions of Puerto Rican women while her husband was governor of the island (1929–31); she organized the first American women's committee for China Relief (1937); and she directed the American Red Cross Club in England (1942). Eleanor received citations and commendations from, among others, the French government, Gen. John J. Pershing, and the U.S. War Department. She also wrote an account of her life in her memoirs, Day Before Yesterday.[4]


Eleanor was also a keen photographer. In 1986, her daughter Grace presented 25 of her albums to the Library of Congress together with some 5,000 of her own photographs, including images of presidents and international dignitaries. In later life, Eleanor and Grace studied with photographer J. Ghislain Lootens. She used a Voigtländer Superb from 1935, developing her own film and making her own prints. Her travel photographs of Europe, Mexico and Asia are of a particularly high quality.[5]

Personal life[edit]

On June 29, 1910, she married politician and general Theodore "Ted "Roosevelt III, the eldest son of President Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr. and Edith Kermit Carow, in New York City at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church on 55th Street and Fifth Avenue (Manhattan). Ted was the only general officer to land in the first wave on D-Day and was awarded the Medal of Honor. Ted and Eleanor had four children:

She died on May 29, 1960, at Oyster Bay, Nassau Co., Long Island, NY, sixteen years after her husband, who had died of a heart attack shortly after the Invasion of Normandy (1944).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A0CE2DF1230E233A25752C2A9609C946196D6CF NYTimes, 21 June 1910
  2. ^ "With the Women of Today". Grand Forks Herald: 6. 1 Jan 1919. 
  3. ^ Baldwin, Marian (1920). Canteening Overseas, 1917-1919. New York: Macmillan. p. 72. 
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20091026165440/http://geocities.com/Paris/Parc/9893/theodore.html
  5. ^ Beverly W. Brannan, "Eleanor Butler Roosevelt (1889-1960): Biographical Essay", The Library of Congress. Retrieved 18 March 2013.

External links[edit]