Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)
American political figure, diplomat and activist; longest-serving first lady
Quote: “Women are like teabags. You don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.”
- Born on October 11, 1884, Eleanor Roosevelt was the niece of U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt and married a man who would later become Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- When Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1993, Eleanor redefined the role of the first lady, advocating for human and women’s rights.
- Eleanor gave press conferences and spoke out for human rights, children’s causes and women’s issues, working on behalf of the League of Women Voters.
- After her husband’s passing in 1945, President Harry Truman appointed Eleanor as the delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. She became chair of the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission and helped to write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- President John F. Kennedy reappointed her to the United States delegation to the U.N. in 1961 and later named her to the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps and as Chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
- Eleanor wrote several books about her life and experiences, including This Is My Story (1937), This I Remember (1949), On My Own (1958) and Autobiography (1961)
- Eleanor Roosevelt is remembered as a humanitarian who dedicated much of her life to fighting for political and social change, and as one of the first public officials to publicize important issues through the mass media.
- Eleanor died on November 7, 1962, at the age of 78.