117 Facts About Anna Eleanor Roosevelt


Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political figure, diplomat, and activist.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt served as the first lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, during her husband President Franklin D Roosevelt's four terms in office, making her the longest-serving first lady of the United States.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt had an unhappy childhood, having suffered the deaths of both parents and one of her brothers at a young age.

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The Roosevelts' marriage was complicated from the beginning by Franklin's controlling mother, Sara, and after Eleanor discovered her husband's affair with Lucy Mercer in 1918, she resolved to seek fulfillment in leading a public life of her own.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded Franklin to stay in politics after he was stricken with a paralytic illness in 1921, which cost him the normal use of his legs, and began giving speeches and appearing at campaign events in his place.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column, write a monthly magazine column, host a weekly radio show, and speak at a national party convention.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt launched an experimental community at Arthurdale, West Virginia, for the families of unemployed miners, later widely regarded as a failure.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans, and the rights of World War II refugees.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt pressed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became its first delegate.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11,1884, in Manhattan, New York City, to socialites Anna Rebecca Hall and Elliott Roosevelt.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt's mother nicknamed her "Granny" because she acted in such a serious manner as a child.

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Anna emotionally rejected Eleanor and was somewhat ashamed of her daughter's alleged "plainness".

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt had a half-brother, Elliott Roosevelt Mann, through her father's affair with Katy Mann, a servant employed by the family.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born into a world of immense wealth and privilege, as her family was part of New York high society called the "swells".

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On May 19,1887, the two-year-old Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was on board the SS Britannic with her father, mother and aunt Tissie, when it collided with White Star Liner SS Celtic.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was lowered into a lifeboat and she and her parents were taken to the Celtic and returned to New York.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt's mother died from diphtheria on December 7,1892, and Elliott Jr.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt doted on Hall, and when he enrolled at Groton School in 1907, she accompanied him as a chaperone.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt took pleasure in Hall's brilliant performance at school, and was proud of his many academic accomplishments, which included a master's degree in engineering from Harvard.

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Souvestre took a special interest in Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, who learned to speak French fluently and gained self-confidence.

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At age 17 in 1902, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt completed her formal education and returned to the United States; she was presented at a debutante ball at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel on December 14.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was active with the New York Junior League shortly after its founding, teaching dancing and calisthenics in the East Side slums.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was a lifelong Episcopalian, regularly attended services, and was very familiar with the New Testament.

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The wedding date was set to accommodate President Theodore Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, who was scheduled to be in New York City for the St Patrick's Day parade, and who agreed to give the bride away.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt's cousin Corinne Douglas Robinson was a bridesmaid.

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Early on, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt had a breakdown in which she explained to Franklin that "I did not like to live in a house which was not in any way mine, one that I had done nothing about and which did not represent the way I wanted to live", but little changed.

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Sara sought to control the raising of her grandchildren, and Anna Eleanor Roosevelt reflected later that "Franklin's children were more my mother-in-law's children than they were mine".

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt once told her daughter Anna that it was an "ordeal to be borne".

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt considered herself ill-suited to motherhood, later writing, "It did not come naturally to me to understand little children or to enjoy them".

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In September 1918, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was unpacking one of Franklin's suitcases when she discovered a bundle of love letters to him from her social secretary, Lucy Mercer.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt had been contemplating leaving his wife for Mercer.

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Disillusioned, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt again became active in public life, and focused increasingly on her social work rather than her role as a wife.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt herself named the place Val-Kill, loosely translated as "waterfall-stream" from the Dutch language common to the original European settlers of the area.

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Roosevelt and her daughter Anna became estranged after she took over some of her mother's social duties at the White House.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt took care of her mother when she was terminally ill in 1962.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt had a close relationship with Associated Press reporter Lorena Hickok, who covered her during the last months of the presidential campaign and "fell madly in love with her".

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Doris Kearns Goodwin stated in her 1994 Pulitzer Prize–winning account of the Roosevelts that "whether Hick and Eleanor went beyond kisses and hugs" could not be determined with certainty.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was close friends with several lesbian couples, such as Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman, and Esther Lape and Elizabeth Fisher Read, suggesting that she understood lesbianism; Marie Souvestre, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt's childhood teacher and a great influence on her later thinking, was a lesbian.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt had a close relationship with New York State Police sergeant Earl Miller, who was assigned by the president to be her bodyguard.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt became her friend as well as her official escort, teaching her different sports, such as diving and riding, and coached her in tennis.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was a longtime friend of Carrie Chapman Catt and gave her the Chi Omega award at the White House in 1941.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt joined Franklin in touring the country, making her first campaign appearances.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt started working with the Women's Trade Union League, raising funds in support of the union's goals: a 48-hour workweek, minimum wage, and the abolition of child labor.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt dogged Theodore on the New York State campaign trail in a car fitted with a papier-mache bonnet shaped like a giant teapot that was made to emit simulated steam, and countered his speeches with those of her own, calling him immature.

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At the school, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt taught upper-level courses in American literature and history, emphasizing independent thought, current events, and social engagement.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt continued to teach three days a week while FDR served as governor, but was forced to leave teaching after his election as president.

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Cook's failing health and pressures from the Great Depression compelled the women to dissolve the partnership in 1938, at which time Anna Eleanor Roosevelt converted the shop buildings into a cottage at Val-Kill, that eventually became her permanent residence after Franklin died in 1945.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt became First Lady of the United States when Franklin was inaugurated on March 4,1933.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences and in 1940 became the first to speak at a national party convention.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt wrote a daily and widely syndicated newspaper column, "My Day", another first for a presidential spouse.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the first first lady to write a monthly magazine column and to host a weekly radio show.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt maintained a heavy travel schedule in her twelve years in the White House, frequently making personal appearances at labor meetings to assure Depression-era workers that the White House was mindful of their plight.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt has been ranked by participating historians as the best-regarded first lady in each of the five such surveys to be conducted.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was ranked the second-highest in the remaining category behind only Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was found the be the second-easiest first lady for historians to imagine serving as president herself.

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Deeply affected by the visit, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt proposed a resettlement community for the miners at Arthurdale, where they could make a living by subsistence farming, handicrafts, and a local manufacturing plant.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt hoped the project could become a model for "a new kind of community" in the US, in which workers would be better cared for.

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The experience motivated Anna Eleanor Roosevelt to become much more outspoken on the issue of racial discrimination.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt remained a vigorous fundraiser for the community for several years, as well as spending most of her own income on the project.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt herself was sharply discouraged by a 1940 visit in which she felt the town had become excessively dependent on outside assistance.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt became one of the only voices in her husband's administration insisting that benefits be equally extended to Americans of all races.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt broke with tradition by inviting hundreds of African-American guests to the White House.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt later presented Anderson to the King and Queen of the United Kingdom after Anderson performed at a White House dinner.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt arranged the appointment of African-American educator Mary McLeod Bethune, with whom she had struck up a friendship, as Director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was involved by being "the eyes and the ears" of the New Deal.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt looked to the future and was committed to social reform.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt brought unprecedented activism and ability to the role of the first lady.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt lobbied behind the scenes for the 1934 Costigan-Wagner Bill to make lynching a federal crime, including arranging a meeting between Franklin and NAACP president Walter Francis White.

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In 1942, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt worked with activist Pauli Murray to persuade Franklin to appeal on behalf of sharecropper Odell Waller, convicted of killing a white farmer during a fight; though Franklin sent a letter to Virginia Governor Colgate Darden urging him to commute the sentence to life imprisonment, Waller was executed as scheduled.

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Rumors spread of "Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Clubs" formed by servants to oppose their employers and "Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Tuesdays" on which African-American men would knock down white women on the street, though no evidence has ever been found of either practice.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was widely criticized for her defense of Japanese-American citizens, including a call by the Los Angeles Times that she be "forced to retire from public life" over her stand on the issue.

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On May 21,1937, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt visited Westmoreland Homesteads to mark the arrival of the community's final homesteader.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an unprecedentedly outspoken First Lady who made far more use of the media than her predecessors; she held 348 press conferences over the span of her husband's 12-year presidency.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt relaxed the rule only once, on her return from her 1943 Pacific trip.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was interviewed by many newspapers; the New Orleans journalist Iris Kelso described Roosevelt as her most interesting interviewee ever.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt agreed at first that she would avoid discussing her views on pending congressional measures.

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Just before Franklin assumed the presidency in February 1933, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt published an editorial in the Women's Daily News that conflicted so sharply with his intended public spending policies that he published a rejoinder in the following issue.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt continued her articles in other venues, publishing more than sixty articles in national magazines during her tenure as first lady.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt began a syndicated newspaper column, titled "My Day", which appeared six days a week from 1936 to her death in 1962.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was not the first first lady to broadcast—her predecessor, Lou Henry Hoover, had done that already.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt read a commercial from a mattress company, which sponsored the broadcast.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt said she would not accept any salary for being on the air, and that she would donate the amount to charity.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt continued to broadcast throughout the 1930s, sometimes on CBS and sometimes on NBC.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt briefly considered traveling to Europe to work with the Red Cross, but was dissuaded by presidential advisers who pointed out the consequences should the president's wife be captured as a prisoner of war.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt soon found other wartime causes to work on beginning with a popular movement to allow the immigration of European refugee children.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt lobbied her husband to allow greater immigration of groups persecuted by the Nazis, including Jews, but fears of fifth columnists caused Franklin to restrict immigration rather than expanding it.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt soon found herself in a power struggle with LaGuardia, who preferred to focus on narrower aspects of defense, while she saw solutions to broader social problems as equally important to the war effort.

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In October 1942, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt toured England, visiting with American troops and inspecting British forces.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt's visits drew enormous crowds and received almost unanimously favorable press in both England and America.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt supported increased roles for women and African-Americans in the war effort, and began to advocate for women to be given factory jobs a year before it became a widespread practice.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt notably supported the Tuskegee Airmen in their successful effort to become the first black combat pilots, visiting the Tuskegee Air Corps Advanced Flying School in Alabama.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt flew with African-American chief civilian instructor C Alfred "Chief" Anderson.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt did use her position as a trustee of the Julius Rosenwald Fund to arrange a loan of $175,000 to help finance the building of Moton Field.

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Roosevelt later learned that her husband's mistress Lucy Mercer had been with him when he died, a discovery made more bitter by learning that her daughter Anna had been aware of the ongoing relationship between the President and Rutherfurd.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt lived here until 1953 when she moved to 211 East 62nd Street.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt remained chairperson when the commission was established on a permanent basis in January 1947.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt attributed the abstention of the Soviet bloc nations to Article 13, which provided the right of citizens to leave their countries.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt served as the first United States Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and stayed on at that position until 1953, even after stepping down as chair of the commission in 1951.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt learned about the memorandum and arranged a meeting between McDougall and her husband, the president of the United States of America.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt supported reformers trying to overthrow the Irish machine Tammany Hall, and some Catholics called her anti-Catholic.

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In July 1949, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt had a bitter public disagreement with Cardinal Francis Spellman, the Archbishop of New York, over federal funding for parochial schools.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an early supporter of the Encampment for Citizenship, a non-profit organization that conducts residential summer programs with year-round follow-up for young people of widely diverse backgrounds and nations.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt routinely hosted encampment workshops at her Hyde Park estate, and when the program was attacked as "socialistic" by McCarthyite forces in the early 1950s, she vigorously defended it.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt grew increasingly disgusted with DeSapio's political conduct through the rest of the 1950s.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt supported Adlai Stevenson for president in 1952 and 1956, and urged his renomination in 1960.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from her UN post in 1953, when Dwight D Eisenhower became president.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt addressed the Democratic National Convention in 1952 and 1956.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt continued to pen her newspaper column and made appearances on television and radio broadcasts.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt averaged one hundred fifty lectures a year throughout the 1950s, many devoted to her activism on behalf of the United Nations.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt received the first annual Franklin Delano Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Brotherhood Award in 1946.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the most admired living woman, according to Gallup's most admired man and woman poll of Americans, every year between 1948 to 1961 except 1951.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1973.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was named Woman of the Year 1948 for her efforts on tackling issues surrounding human rights.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt will be honored on an American Women quarter in 2023.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt lived in a stone cottage at Val-Kill, which was two miles east of the Springwood Estate.

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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt is played by Gillian Anderson, and by Eliza Scanlen as young Eleanor.

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