Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and MuseumVirtual Tour
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Foundations of a Public Life

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.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum Home Page   National Archives and Records Administration
Lobby Foundations of a Public Life A New Deal FDR's "Act of Faith" The Promise of Change America, 1932: A Nation in Fear Temporary Exhibit Gallery War!  Lower level FDR's Death and Legacy First Lady Behind the scenes Legacy