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Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR): Biography

If you had met Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he was a boy, you would probably never have guessed that he would grow up to be the "peoples' president." FDR was born in the lap of luxury at Springwood, the Roosevelt family estate in Hyde Park, New York.

FDR's family was very, very wealthy. They divided their time between Hyde Park, a townhouse in New York City (traveling back and forth in their own private railroad car), and their summer home in Maine. In many ways, Franklin had a normal upper-class upbringing for his place and time: private tutors at home, riding lessons from an early age, jaunts with daddy in the woods to hunt, kill, and collect rare birds. Little Franklin, however, was also something of a mama's boy. While most wealthy mothers of the time gave their children to nurses and governesses to raise, Franklin's mother Sara took personal control of his life, clothing him in dresses and kilts until he was eight years old and even bathing him herself. According to one letter, Franklin didn't take his first bath alone until he was nine!1

Sara also made sure that, even though her son lived a luxurious life (and was sometimes dressed like a girl), he was not spoiled. She kept him on a strict schedule: breakfast at eight, lessons from nine until twelve, lunch at noon, more lessons until four, two hours of play, then dinner and in bed by eight.2 Under Sara's watchful eye, young Franklin learned French and German from an early age, and could write in German by the time was six.

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