21 Mysterious Eleanor Roosevelt Facts that You Might Know

Welcome, little fact-enthusiasts, to take a look at the life and achievements of the First Lady of the World, Eleanor Roosevelt😲!

From being an accomplished businesswoman to a skillful diplomat and a passionate civil rights activist, this famous woman has several notable facts to offer!

This article will provide some fascinating facts about Eleanor Roosevelt that will amaze you😲!

Interesting Eleanor Roosevelt Facts

Eleanor Roosevelt: She was orphaned at a young age

I am quite sad to learn this tragic fact about this famous lady, Eleanor Roosevelt!

In the year 1892, when Anna Roosevelt 👩passed away due to diphtheria.

At that time, her husband, Elliott, who struggled with alcoholism, was exiled from the family. 

Following this, their 8-year-old daughter was left under the care of her maternal grandmother, Valentine Hall. 

Theodore Roosevelt’s younger brother Elliott attempted suicide in 1894 by jumping out of a window! 

Despite surviving this fall, Elliott suffered thereafter for some time and died on August 14, 1894. 

Roosevelt’s childhood losses left her quite prone to depression!

This famous person came into the world in 1884

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884, in New York City, New York, U.S. 

Her parents were Elliot Roosevelt and Anna Rebecca Hall. Eleanor was a member of the famous Livingston and Roosevelt families. 

Eleanor had two younger brothers, Elliot Jr. and Hall. 

She even had a half-brother through her father’s affair with Katy Mann, a servant of the family. 

Her half-brother’s name was Elliott Roosevelt Mann.

She attended Allenswood Boarding Academy in London, and her headmistress Marie Souvestre had quite a deep influence on Eleanor!

Eleanor: It was actually Eleanor Roosevelt’s middle name

Did you hear this amazing fact about Eleanor Roosevelt? No? Let me explain.

As a child, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt preferred her middle name and would mostly introduce herself by Eleanor as she grew older. 

She wasn’t wild about her childhood nickname, either. Eleanor’s mother, Anna Hall Roosevelt often found the girl comically old-fashioned 😄, and hence, often referred to her as “Granny.”

Eleanor’s maiden name: Eleanor was a Roosevelt by birth

Eleanor was not a part of the prominent Roosevelt family by marriage but was a Roosevelt by birth! 

She and her husband Franklin Delano Roosevelt, were fifth cousins once removed! Eleanor was Theodore Roosevelt’s cousin. 

In 1905, Theodore attended Eleanor’s wedding to walk her down the aisle, just thirteen days after starting his presidency! Quite amazing, isn’t it?

Theodore Roosevelt once wrote “I am fond of Eleanor as if she were my daughter.” 

While accompanying Eleanor on her wedding day, Theodore even joked to her new husband, saying, “Well Franklin, there’s nothing like keeping the name in the family.”

Eleanor was afraid of the sea and ships: She faced an accident in childhood

On May 19, 1887, the two-year-old Eleanor👧 was on board the SS Britannic with her parents and aunt Tissie.

At that time, the boat collided with White Star Liner SS Celtic. Eleanor was lowered into a lifeboat and her parents were taken to the Celtic. 

Later, they returned to New York. After this traumatic event, Roosevelt was sacred of the sea 🌊 and ships throughout her life.

Eleanor was an accomplished businesswoman

In 1927, Eleanor started two business ventures, that are purchasing the Todhunter School for Girls 🏛️and also establishing Val-Kill industries on the family estate of Roosevelt. 

In purchasing the school, Eleanor advanced the Progressive Education movement and started teaching three days per week. 

Also, through Val-Kill Industries, she, with her partners established a pewter, furniture, and cloth factory to offer supplemental income for local families.

In the year 1977, the site of Val-Kill Industries was designed by Congress as the “Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.”

Field Hockey: Eleanor was a big fan of this game

I am really amazed to explore this interesting fact about this famous figure of the United States! What about you?

Like me, you will be amazed to know that Eleanor considered the happiest day of her life the one, when she made the field hockey team of her private school! Impressive, isn’t it?

 Meet the first First Lady who hold a press conference

Over the span of 12 years that her husband Franklin was president, Eleanor held around 348 press conferences!!

She held her first press conference just two days after her husband’s inauguration. 

From that time, Eleanor’s conferences were only to females only, banning all male reporters so that newspaper 📰companies would be pressured to hire and retain more female journalists!

With this powerful platform, Eleanor defended her husbands New Deal Programs and even discussed issues that arose during the Second World War. 

Thus, later Eleanor win over many female voters on behalf of her husband.

Eleanor as a syndicated newspaper writer: She did this for 27 years

Have you heard this wonderful fact about Eleanor Roosevelt?

From 1935 to 1962, she composed six articles 📰per week mentioning her personal life and political views! 

Simply titled, “My Day,” her column included her musings on such hot topics, like Pearl Harbor, Prohibition, and even Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt. 

During those times, Eleanor missed only a single week’s worth of deadlines, following her husband, FDR’s death in 1945. Amazing, right??

FDR became the President of America: Eleanor is one of the main reasons behind this

In 1920, Eleanor Roosevelt made her first real public appearance when her husband Franklin campaigned for the Democratic vice presidency. 

Not long after losing the election, Franklin D. Roosevelt faced an illness. 

That illness left him paralyzed from the waist down, forcing him to think about retirement from public life!

However, Eleanor insisted that Franklin should remain in politics, and she herself supported his political career by making appearances on her husband’s behalf. 

During this time, the contacts Eleanor made cemented her role in the Democratic Party, along with wining support for her husband for his future presidential campaign.

A tense march on Washington: Eleanor defused it single-handedly

During Hoover’s presidency, in 1932, a group of World War I veterans called the “Bonus Army” launched a protest in D.C. 

They demanded early cash redemption of their service certificates!

However, the protest was met with violence, first from the police of D.C and later from the Army of the country, under Hoover’s orders. 

However, the Bonus Army marched again and Eleanor visited with the veterans. 

She discussed their concerns, bond over a song, and even shared a meal. 

Later, she offered them a promise of stable jobs with the Civilian Conservation Corps, appeasing most of the protestors!

Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart: Once they flew together

Did you know this wonderful secret about this amazing person Eleanor Roosevelt??

Eleanor was inspired to apply for her own pilot license by the groundbreaking aviator✈️, Amelia Earhart! 

She even took Amelia on a flight from D.C. to Baltimore in the year 1933.

 After Earhart vanished on her round-the-world attempt, Eleanor Roosevelt told reporters that “I am sure Amelia’s last words were ‘I have no regrets.”

A margarine commercial: Eleanor Roosevelt starred in it

Love to enjoy spreads?? Then you will definitely enjoy this interesting fact about Eleanor Roosevelt!!

She advertised a range of products, from hot dogs🌭 to mattresses! In 1959, Eleanor’s appearance in a TV spot above helped establish margarine as one of the favorite spreads of America! 

This interesting appearance got the former first lady $35,000. Eleanor used the money to buy 6000 care packages for impoverished families!

Eleanor was quite reluctant to become the First Lady

Eleanor became First Lade of America when Franklin was inaugurated in March, 1933. 

However, she was not-so-thrilled to take on this new role! Generally, First Ladies would let go of their reasons. If they had any, upon entering the White House, and usually lived a life of relative domesticity! 

For instance, only a few years earlier, wife to President Herbert Hoover, Lou Henry Hoover had abandoned her feminist activism after her husband was inaugurated in 1929!

In contrast, Eleanor defied the then role of the First Lady and continued to speak, write, and do business actively, to much criticism.

Eleanor earned 35 honorary degrees

Did you know this unique fact about the First Lady of the World?? No?? Let me explain.

Among the institutions that offered honorary degrees to Eleanor Roosevelt were the John Marshall College of Law, Russell Sage College, and Oxford University. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt only received 31 honorary degrees in his lifetime!! Quite impressive, isn’t it?

Even in the face of criticism: Roosevelt was an ardent civil rights activist

Though history often remembers Eleanor for her outspokenness, this was still criticized often by her contemporaries, especially when talking about civil rights! 

In 1938, Eleanor took part in a conference on human welfare in Alabama, where the audience had been segregated by race.

Eleanor sat down on the black side purposely, and when asked by the police to move, she placed her chair in the middle of the aisle, which was between the segregated sections! 

According to one witness, police were “afraid to arrest her.”

Bill Clinton established the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights: To honor this amazing person

On the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the President of America, Bill Clinton, honored Eleanor, who was the “driving force” behind the document, by making the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights🥇. 

Clinton offered the award to American activists and humanitarians throughout his administration, as did Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the time of the Obama administration.

Eleanor even publicly disagreed with her husband in some cases

After implementing a few of FDR’s New Deal programs, Eleanor was not afraid to show her objection!

She stated that the programs were quite discriminatory against African Americans, and hence, those need further reform.

Also, in 1941, when Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor🚢 rapidly increased the existing prejudice against Japanese-Americans!

At that time, FDR even issued Executive Order 9066, calling for the relocation of Japanese-Americans on the West Coast to the concentration camps. 

However, Eleanor disagreed with her husband quite strongly.

Eleanor supported the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women greatly

In 1961, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women was established by President John F. Kennedy. 

It was an issue that was dear to Roosevelt’s heart! 

On the agenda of the Commission regarding the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. 

It was a guarantee of equal rights for all citizens, along with an elimination of legal distinctions between men and women was stated. 

Eleanor opposed the idea on the basis that it would undermine protective legislation that had been continued for decades for women, especially in the workplace.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Eleanor helped in its draft

President Harry S. Truman appointed Eleanor as the representative of America to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 1946. 

In this role, Eleanor turned out to be a driving force behind the Declaration of Human Rights of the U.N., which over 50 member-states eventually worked together to create.

Death of Eleanor Roosevelt: It happened in 1962

Eleanor Roosevelt passed away ⚰️on November 7, 1962, due to cardiac failure.

Unfortunately, she didn’t live to see the President’s Commission on the Status of Women’s final report! Quite depressing!!

Summing up

Eleanor Roosevelt ….the charming and amazing First Lady😲!

Now you know so many intriguing facts about her….and we are sure you liked all of them!

Happy reading😲!!

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