Foundations of a Public Life
Franklin Roosevelt was 50 years old when he was elected President. His life story to that point was marked by both great privilege and great hardship.
Born into a wealthy and prominent family, he enjoyed an idyllic childhood and was educated at the finest schools. He made remarkable early advances in politics. In 1920, at age 38, he was the Democratic nominee for Vice President.
But early success was followed by a devastating personal setback. In 1921, FDR contracted polio, which left him paralyzed below the waist. His political career seemed over. Yet Roosevelt would wage a courageous battle to come to terms with his disability - and make a triumphant return to politics.