F.D.R. was born on January 30, 1882, in his parents' estate at Hyde Park, N.Y. If any child can be said to have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, it was this child. His father had land and, as president of the Louisville and Albany Railroad, a high standing in the community; his mother came from a wealthy business family. The growing boy himself was big and strong, of excellent health and pleasant disposition, endowed with good intelligence and numerous abilities. The name of Roosevelt made him welcome everywhere. Undoubtedly, he became used to respect, favors, and an easy life without worries. Educated by tutors at home, he enjoyed life as few youngsters are able or can afford to. It was essentially a life of games and sports and parties. Early in life he learned to skate and to play tennis; later he took up polo and sailing.
At fourteen years of age, Franklin was sent to Groton, where he managed the baseball team. From there he went to Harvard, where he cultivated social connections and excellence in rowing; though he was no better than average in studies, he was given an opportunity to edit the Crimson in his senior year. After graduation in 1904, he went to Columbia Law School and, though he failed to graduate, he was able to pass the bar examination in 1907. While still at school, he married Eleanor Roosevelt ( 1905), Theodore Roosevelt's niece and his own distant cousin.
After three years of legal practice in New York City, Roosevelt entered politics. His splendid connections as well as an attractive personality made it fairly easy for him to be elected into the N.Y. State Senate ( 1910-1913). He was a prominent supporter of Woodrow Wilson in his presidential campaign and, on his election, was offered a job in the government; he became Assistant Secretary of the Navy ( 1913-1920). In 1920 Roosevelt was nominated for the vice-presidency (with James M. Cox) on the democratic ticket, but was not elected.
The following summer Roosevelt was stricken with infantile paralysis, barely survived and had to fight on a long road to re-