Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.
|Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th district
May 17, 1949 – January 3, 1955
|Preceded by||Sol Bloom|
|Succeeded by||Irwin D. Davidson|
August 17, 1914|
Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada
|Died||August 17, 1988
Poughkeepsie, New York, U.S.
|Political party||Liberal Party
|Relations||See Roosevelt family|
|Parents||Franklin D. Roosevelt
|Alma mater||Harvard College
University of Virginia School of Law
|Profession||lawyer, politician, businessman|
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (August 17, 1914 – August 17, 1988) was an American lawyer, politician, and businessman. He was a son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. During World War II, Roosevelt also served as an officer in the United States Navy.
Roosevelt was born at his parents' summer home at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada—now a historic site. This made Roosevelt entitled to Canadian citizenship, in addition to being an American citizen, although it is unknown if he ever exercised any of the prerogatives of Canadian citizenship. A brother of the same name had died in infancy in November 1909, having lived only several months.
As a young man in 1936, he contracted a streptococcal throat infection and developed life-threatening complications. His successful treatment with Prontosil, the first commercially available sulfonamide drug, avoided a risky surgical procedure which the White House medical staff had considered, and the subsequent headlines in The New York Times and other prominent newspapers heralded the start of the era of antibacterial chemotherapy in the United States.
While not nearly as scandal-prone as his elder brothers James and Elliott, Franklin Jr. was in frequent and highly publicized legal trouble, mostly for traffic violations, and once in 1934 the president had to pay a $4,500 judgment for him after an injury-accident.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt III (born July 19, 1938)
- Christopher du Pont Roosevelt (born December 21, 1941)
The couple separated and formally divorced in 1949. Ethel du Pont later committed suicide at the age of 49, on May 25, 1965.
On August 31, 1949, he married Suzanne Perrin (born May 2, 1921), he had two daughters before they divorced in 1970:
- Nancy Suzanne Roosevelt (born January 11, 1952)
- Laura Delano Roosevelt (born October 26, 1959)
He married Felicia Schiff Warburg Sarnoff on July 1, 1970. The marriage was childless and ended in divorce in 1976.
He married Patricia Luisa Oakes on May 6, 1977. They had one son before divorcing in 1981:
- John Alexander Roosevelt (born October 18, 1977)
On March 3, 1984, he married his fifth and final wife Linda McKay Stevenson Weicker. They remained married until his death. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. died in Poughkeepsie, New York after a battle with lung cancer, on his 74th birthday, August 17, 1988.
The family thought that FDR Jr. was the one most like his father in appearance and behavior. James said, "Franklin is the one who came closest to being another FDR. He had father's looks, his speaking voice, his smile, his charm, his charisma."
World War II
At the request of his father, along with brother Elliott Roosevelt, he attended both the Argentia (Atlantic Charter) summit with Prime Minister Winston Churchill in August 1941, and the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. Franklin also met FDR in Africa prior to the Teheran Conference. Returning from Argentia, he sailed with Churchill and stood with him at parades in newly American-occupied Reykjavik, Iceland, to symbolize American solidarity with England, Scotland, and Wales.
Brother James Roosevelt summarized "Brud's" naval service: "Franklin served on a destroyer that dodged torpedoes from Iceland to Minsk [sic!]. He became executive officer of the destroyer USS Mayrant (DD-402), which was bombed at Palermo in the Sicilian invasion. The famed war correspondent Quentin Reynolds went out of his way to write mother how bravely Franklin performed in that bloody ordeal, in which he was awarded the Silver Star Medal for exposing himself under fire to carry a critically wounded sailor to safety." 
Later, as a lieutenant commander, to which he was promoted to on March 1, 1944, Franklin became the commanding officer of his own destroyer escort, USS Ulvert M. Moore (DE-442) on July 18, 1944. The Moore served in the Pacific and shot down two Japanese aircraft and sank a Japanese submarine. The ship was in Tokyo Bay when Japan formally surrendered on September 2, 1945. James Roosevelt remembered that his brother was known as "Big Moose" to the men who served under him, he did "a tremendous job".
Roosevelt served in several New York law offices after the war. He was senior partner in the New York law firm of Roosevelt and Freiden before and after his service in the Congress. He triggered controversy for representing Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo in the U.S., and dropped the account before Trujillo's assassination in 1961.
Roosevelt was also involved in political affairs. He served on the President's Committee on Civil Rights in 1946 for President Harry Truman. Along with his brothers, he declared for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1948, alienating much of the Democratic party. Unlike Elliott, however, he took an anti-communist stance, and, according to columnist Stewart Alsop, leaked damaging information on Elliott to the press during the row over the latter's pro-Soviet activities.
Roosevelt Jr. was elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives in a special election in 1949, in which he ran as a candidate of the Liberal Party of New York. He was re-elected in 1950 and 1952 as a Democrat. He represented the 20th District of New York from May 17, 1949 until January 3, 1955.
Despite his name and connections, he became unpopular with the Democratic leadership. When brother James Roosevelt was elected to the House, Speaker Sam Rayburn told him to "not waste our time like your brother did." James wrote that Franklin "had a dreadful record in Congress. He was smart, but not smart enough. He had good ideas and the power of persuasion, but he did not put them to good use. He coasted instead of working at his job, considering it beneath him, while he aimed for higher positions. He may have had the worst attendance record of any member of those days, and it cost him those higher positions."
Roosevelt sought the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1954, but, after persuasion by powerful Tammany Hall boss Carmine DeSapio, abandoned his bid for Governor and was nominated by the Democratic State Convention to run for New York State Attorney General. Roosevelt was defeated in the general election by Republican Jacob K. Javits, although all other Democratic nominees were elected. Following his loss, Eleanor Roosevelt began building a campaign against the Tammany Hall leader that eventually forced DeSapio to step down from power in 1961.
At the instigation of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., he campaigned for John F. Kennedy in the crucial 1960 West Virginia primary, falsely accusing Kennedy's opponent, Hubert Humphrey of having dodged the draft in World War II.
Kennedy later named him Under-Secretary of Commerce and chairman of the President's Appalachian Regional Commission. This post (Under-Secretary of Commerce) was given to him when Defense Secretary Robert McNamara vetoed his appointment as Secretary of the Navy. "JFK and Franklin were friends and their families were close. Socially, Franklin spent a lot of time in the White House during JFK's reign. But when Kennedy was killed, Franklin fell from power."
He served as chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from May 26, 1965 to May 11, 1966.
When brother Elliott published his tell-all book An Untold Story about his parents in 1973, Franklin Jr. led the family's denunciation of him.
Roosevelt's military decorations and awards include:
- Silver Star Medal
- Bronze Star Medal
- Purple Heart
- Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
- American Defense Service Medal with 3⁄16" bronze star
- American Campaign Medal
- European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four campaign stars
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with eight campaign stars
- World War II Victory Medal
- Navy Occupation Medal
- Philippine Liberation Medal
Source - Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application
- Medicine: Prontosil, TIME Magazine, December 28, 1936
- Hansen, 106
- (FDR Presidential Library)
- "Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, Jr., (1914–1988)". Biographical Directory of Congress. Office of Art and Archives, Office of the Historian, United States House of Representatives. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- Roosevelt, 313
- Hansen, 211–12, 262
- Roosevelt, 269.
- Hansen, 525
- Roosevelt, 314
- Kandell, Jonathan (July 28, 2004). "Carmine De Sapio, Political Kingmaker and Last Tammany Hall Boss, Dies at 95". The New York Times.
- Caro, Robert (2012), The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, pp. 85–86
- Roosevelt, 315
- Hansen, 654
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved on 2009-5-19
- Roosevelt, James: My Parents: A Differing View, Playboy Press, 1976 (with Bill Libby)
- Hansen, Chris: Enfant Terrible: The Times and Schemes of General Elliott Roosevelt, Able Baker Press, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr..|
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Rep. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. (October 27, 1952)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th congressional district
Irwin D. Davidson
|New title||Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Stephen N. Shulman
|Party political offices|
|Democratic Nominee for New York State Attorney General
|Liberal Nominee for Governor of New York