Rising Political Star
Franklin Roosevelt entered politics at age 28. Within ten years, he was the Democratic Party's candidate for Vice President of the United States.
Handsome, engaging, and blessed with a celebrated, vote-getting last name, FDR began his rapid rise by winning a seat in New York's state senate in 1910 and championing the kind of progressive reforms his distant cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, had called for. In 1912, he backed his own party's progressive candidate for president, Woodrow Wilson, and was rewarded with his distant cousin's old job as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. After Theodore Roosevelt's death in 1919, the Democrats turned to Franklin as their 1920 vice presidential nominee, in hopes of attracting some of TR's old followers to their cause. It didn't work. FDR and Presidential nominee James M. Cox lost badly. But politicians and voters alike were impressed by young Roosevelt's energy and charm. His political future seemed limitless.