Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the thirty-second President of the United States and was well respected for the way he lead America through the great depression and World War II. He also spent the later part of his life, including his terms as President, in a wheelchair.
Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, a small town in what is now part of Duchess County, New York. Hew was born on the 30th of January in 1882 and his parents were of Dutch and French heritage. He grew up in a privileged environment, frequently traveling to Europe where he learned to speak in German and French.
His fifth cousin Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1902 and Franklin Roosevelt looked up to him. At one of his cousins White House receptions, he met Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, who was his fifth cousin once removed. They married in 1905 and in 1910 he ran for and was elected to the New York State Senate. Over the course of the next 10 years he remained politically active and was appointed the Assistant Secretary of The Navy.
Roosevelt unsuccessfully ran as Vice President in 1920, but he and his running mate were defeated by the Republican Party. He chose to retire to practice law in New York after the defeat and in 1921, while on vacation, he contracted a disease that was believed at the time to be polio. The disease resulted in the loss of movement of the lower part of his body.
He did not let his disability stop him though, and was elected Governor of New York in 1928. When Roosevelt appeared in public he used a set of iron braces on his legs and was able to walk for short distances with the use of a cane. In private he used a wheelchair, but was rarely seen or photographed in the wheelchair. He tried many types of treatments to help restore his mobility, but was never able to walk without assistance again.
Despite loosing the ability to walk, Roosevelt went on to serve 4 terms as President, which is no longer possible due to changes to the law. His leadership of the country during the depression and the subsequent war was in great part responsible for making the US the superpower that it is today.
Roosevelt also helped to further research and treatment of diseases that cause paralysis. He helped to found the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which is today referred to as the March of Dimes and his leadership is part of the reason that his face is found on the dime.
His legacy of being the first President to rely on a wheelchair, was never fully embraced or known during his time here on Earth, but he should be an inspiration to all those who live with a disability.
Steve Wynler is a writer who has experience with medical and mobility related issues. If you are interested in learning about Electric Power Wheelchairs or other types of mobility related products or supplies, visit US Medical Supplies today.