“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Brainy Quotes). These are the words of the man who brought this great nation out of the worst economic downfall in its history, as well as became a great commander and chief during the Second World War. One of the greatest leaders this country has ever seen, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born at his family estate in Hyde Park, New York, on January 30, 1882. Roosevelt’s father, James Roosevelt had been a diplomat under Grover Cleveland and was a wealthy landowner and vice president of a railroad. His mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt was the James’ second wife. Roosevelt had an older half brother that was eighteen years older than him, however, Franklin was the only child of his father’s second marriage. He received a lot of attention but was not spoiled. He was taught standards of conduct and was expected to follow them regardless by his parents. Roosevelt tutored at home until he was fourteen and nearly every year the family spent a few months overseas in Europe. In the summer they would go to Campobello. He entered into Harvard in 1900. Most of his time on his extracurricular activities and strenuous social life, and his academic record was undistinguished. “FDR was an unimpressive ‘C’ student at Harvard.” (biography.com) He met his wife Eleanor Roosevelt, his fifth cousin’s niece, during his Harvard years. She was active in charitable work for the poor in New York City. They were to be married during his final years at Harvard, and were married on March 17, 1905. Roosevelt’s eyes were opened to the state of the poor in New York City’s slums. “Encouraged by his wife, Eleanor, FDR appointed more women to federal posts than any previous president; he also included black Americans in federal job programs (though they remained largely segregated).” (history.com) Franklin Roosevelt’s fifth cousin, President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, encouraged Franklin to enter public service, as he did all young men of privileged backgrounds. In 1910 Democratic party leaders of Dutchess County, New York, persuaded Roosevelt to take a futile attempt to get a seat in the state senate. He took his seat in Albany when he was not quite 29, and won statewide and some national attention very quickly by leading a small group of Democratic insurgents who refused to support the candidate for U.S. Senate, Billy Sheehan. Roosevelt learned the give and takes of politics during his time in the New York senate, and gradually abandoned his patrician airs and attitude of superiority. He became a supporter of progressive reform and by 1911 was supporting Woodrow Wilson for the democratic presidential nomination of 1912, who was the progressive governor of New Jersey. Despite the attack of Typhoid Fever which prevented him from making public appearances during his campaign, he was reelected to the state senate. Wilson, for what work Roosevelt did for him, appointed him assistant secretary of the Navy in March of 1913. Under his jurisdiction, he tried to bring reform to the Navy yards with mixed success, while also learning how to negotiate with the labor unions among the Navy’s civilian employees.Roosevelt became an advocate of military preparedness after war broke out in Europe in 1914. He built a reputation as an effective administrator following the United States’ entry into the war in 1917. He made an extended tour of the naval bases and battlefields overseas in the summer of 1918.When he returned from his tour his wife, Eleanor discovered that he had cheated on her with her social secretary Lucy Mercer. Franklin refused the divorce offered by Eleanor and promised he would never see Mercer again. The Roosevelts agreed to stay together, however, their relationship ceased to be intimate. In 1920, at the Democratic convention, Roosevelt won the nomination for Vice President on a ticket with James M. Cox where he campaigned vigorously on behalf of American entry into the League of Nations. The democrats, however, were beat by the republican ticket of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge.On vacation at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, on August 21, 1921, Roosevelt’s life was forever changed when he was stricken with polio. Urged by his mother to retire to the family estate, his wife believed it essential to remain active in politics. Roosevelt depended on his wife to keep his name alive in democratic circles, he was unable to pursue an active career as he recovered. Under Howe’s teaching, Eleanor became an effective public speaker and an adroit political analyst. Despite what seemed like a career ending affliction, Roosevelt never entirely faded from the public scene. Roosevelt made a dramatic appearance at the democratic convention, in 1924, to nominate Alfred E. Smith, who was the governor of New York, for president, and repeated his nomination in 1928. In turn, Smith urged Roosevelt to run for New York Governor in 1928, and even though the state went republican with the election with Herbert Hoover’s landslide victory over Smith, Roosevelt won by 25,000 votes.Roosevelt was boosted to the top of the ranks for contenders for the 1932 presidential election, because of his overwhelming electoral victory in 1930, and his aggressive approach to the economic problems of his state. A leading contender could still be stopped with relative ease, because winning the nomination required a two-thirds vote.Most of Roosevelt’s opposition came from urban and conservative Eastern Democrats, while his strongest support came from the south and west. When John Nance Garner of Texas, Speaker of the House of Representatives, won the California Democratic primary, his opposition became stronger. However, on the third ballot at the 32′ democratic convention, Garner released all of his delegates to Roosevelt, which got him the votes he needed on the fourth ballot. Roosevelt won the election with 472 electoral votes to 59. His first priority as president was to stabilize the economy, his first step was to order all banks to close until Congress could pass legislation allowing banks in sound condition to reopen. His goal was to end depositors’ runs which threatened to destroy the nations banking system. Roosevelt had congress pass the Second New Deal legislation in 1935, because he foresaw the possibility that he would face a significant third- party threat in the 1936 election. In the 1936 election, Roosevelt had firm support of farmers, laborers, and the poor, while the republican nominee, the Governor of Kansas, Alfred M. Landon, was a moderate and could do little to stem the Roosevelt tide. Roosevelt was reelected with more than 27 million votes and carrying every state except Vermont and Maine. In 1937, Roosevelt saw an opportunity to return to a balanced budget, because the economy had recovered exponentially. However, this resulted in a recession when the economy plummeted close to 1932 levels, so in 1937 he made another massive spending program. By the middle of 1938 the crisis had passed. In 1939 domestic policy was overshadowed by foreign policy with the war in Europe, which he vowed to stay out of. Roosevelt was nominated for a third term in 1940, this would break the two-term tradition set by the first president George Washington. He won 27 million to 22 million popular votes and began his third term.It wasn’t the Atlantic that brought war to the U.S. instead it was the pacific. On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked the pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They had joined the axis powers of Italy and Germany and Roosevelt began to restrict exports to Japan, which resulted in this attack. “By the end of November, Roosevelt knew that an attack was imminent (the United States had broken the Japanese code), but he was uncertain where it would take place.” (britannica.com)Roosevelt suffered from advanced arteriosclerosis more he ran for his fourth term. In the 1944 campaign his opponent Thomas E. Dewey tried to use his declining health to get people to vote for him. Roosevelt still, though, emerged victorious. However, he would not finish his fourth. He was so weak after the Yalta Conference, he spoke to congress for the first time sitting down. He decided to rest at his cottage in Warm Springs, Georgia, where on the afternoon of April 12, 1945 he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and passed away. Roosevelt served 12 years as president, the longest any president has ever served. He said “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort”-Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Brainy Quotes). If he lived by that then I would say he must have been a happy man. He brought the country out of the Great depression and got us through World War II. He was the greatest leader that this world had ever seen.