Study Guide

Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Childhood

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For the first eight years of his life, FDR was educated by private tutors. At age nine, he attended his first school, not in Hyde Park but in Bad Neuheim, Germany, where his parents were living temporarily. That's right…the president who led the United States during World War II went to school in the country he would later conquer. Talk about irony. 

Once he began school, Franklin learned that he was a popular kid. From a young age he seems to have been quick, outgoing and gregarious, and he used these qualities to his advantage. One of his teachers later described him as a "bright young fellow" who quickly made lots of friends. In his first year at Columbia, Roosevelt got B's, C's and a D. There you go, kids - you can get a D and still be president. Who knew? After two years, he passed the bar, dropped out of law school, got a job as a lawyer and never looked back.

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