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FDR's Death:  Remembering FDR

Remembering FDR

"..people told their complete stories and cited the plans and policies undertaken by my husband that had brought about improvement in their lives. In many cases he had saved them from complete despair."

     - Eleanor Roosevelt, This I Remember, 1949

In the weeks after the President's death, Eleanor Roosevelt received tens of thousands of condolence letters. The messages came from Americans of all ages, races, regions, and classes. Many people described how FDR had touched their lives. Mrs. Roosevelt found the outpouring overwhelming. "It was quite impossible for me to answer them all personally as I should have liked to do," she later wrote, "but I have always felt that in them future historians would find the explanation of why one man was four times elected to the office of President of the United States."

FDR and Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd

Among the people with FDR at Warm Springs during his final days was Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd. After her affair with FDR ended in 1918, Lucy had married wealthy widower Winthrop Rutherfurd and raised a family in New Jersey. But she and FDR continued to correspond, and during the 1940s they began seeing each other again. Lucy was with FDR when he was stricken on April 12, 1945, but she left Warm Springs before he died.

Eleanor learned of FDR's renewed contacts with Lucy after the President's death. Although Eleanor's sense of betrayal was revived, her daughter Anna - who assisted in arranging the meetings - believed Lucy's presence in FDR's life helped him through the lonely and stressful war years.
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