Eleanor Roosevelt

by Katelynn from San Diego


A bright woman once said, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along'". Eleanor Roosevelt experienced many hardships that she had to work hard to overcome, forming her into one of the most admired women to this day. Eleanor Roosevelt, born on October 11, 1884 in New York, lived a troubled childhood, losing both parents at a young age. She attended Mademoiselle Sovestre's Finishing School at age 15 where she was taught to look beyond what she was given. When Eleanor married Franklin Roosevelt, future President of the United States, she lived a public life constantly promoting peace. Before Eleanor Roosevelt died on November 6, 1962 she was Chairman of Commission on Human Rights and Commission on the Status of Women. During a time where women were looked down upon, Eleanor Roosevelt proved that she is more than the First Lady to the 32nd President. She is a sincere hero because she took advantage of her power to help people in need, she fought for humanitarian rights, and her courageous actions changed people's perception on the economy.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt at a young age ( ())
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt at a young age (

The longest serving First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, used her hard earned power to raise awareness for people in need. As soon as she became public; "She held weekly press conferences, and wrote a column called 'My Day,' which was featured in national newspapers. While the column started out dealing with women's issues, it developed into a platform for political causes" (Williams). Eleanor had connections to many people that helped her assemble conferences discussing relevant social topics. She promoted issues that people regularly ignored and didn't realize the bigger problem. Women were moved by her articles to pursue a job outside of the house. Women did not have a voice in the early 1900's; therefore, Eleanor was intelligent to use her dominance to state her opinion. Eleanor's life changed, for better and for worse, when; "Her husband's paralysis, from polio, in the summer of 1921 and his subsequent seven-year withdrawal from active politics was the public explanation for her activism"(Ward). While her husband was sick, Eleanor took over the political handiwork. As she spoke publicly, she announced her ideas in such a logical way that made it seem like the President himself was speaking through her. Her manipulative techniques ended up changing the world for the better. Eleanor had the upper hand in the relationship with Franklin, which gave her the ability to convince Franklin to save people from third world countries struggling in the United States. Although Eleanor could not influence citizens about large issues without the consent of hierarchy, she was able to discuss the ideas with her husband, the President of the United States. Eleanor Roosevelt was intelligent, she discovered a method to spread her opinion about helping underprivileged citizens without causing chaos in other regions.


Eleanor took matters into her own hands in the fight for humanitarian rights during the women's suffrage. Eleanor was highly respected because; "She embodied the aggressive spirit of feminism that began challenging male domination of American business and politics in the 1920s" (Baker). Eleanor fought hard for anyone who was a victim of authority. She wanted to permit freedom to women, youth, and the poor. She symbolized a caring and kind person who believed in equal rights for both genders. She wanted a society that was decent for all people to strive in. Eleanor was a non-stop factory working machine, she cautiously; "Saw to it that women joined the government in unprecedented numbers and that they were included in the programs of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). She was also instrumental in creating the National Youth Administration (NYA) to aid young people and personally helped organize a planned community for jobless West Virginia miners" (Ward).    Eleanor seeked righteousness in everything. She spoke proudly in front of numerous political groups and she was a grand leader in parties that worked for justice. All of theses groups had one goal, to give women and minority the utmost respect they deserved. Eleanor invested all of her time and passion towards these organizations. She allowed women, youth, and the needy to prove their true potential by providing jobs and activities for them. Eleanor wasn't handed a life with peace; justice, and tranquility; she had to work hard to fulfill her goals.



Eleanor's courageous actions allowed people to reflect on their behaviors and make a change for the better. Eleanor spent much of her time and looked closely at the; "Issues relating to African-Americans which were of great concern to her and she worked with organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and National Council of African Women" (Pillai). Eleanor served her time as First Lady when discrimination was in the air. People of color were strongly disliked, but Eleanor stood up for them. She was a white, 'American' citizen that was not brainwashed to believe colored people are at fault. Eleanor gave hope and joy to colored people, shielding herself from all racial prejudice. The gloomy, beaten life they lived for decades brightened when she supported rights for all people. Eleanor felt betrayed by her fellow colleagues in the year 1939 therefore; "She resigned her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution when that body refused to allow the African-American soprano Marian Anderson to sing in Constitution Hall in Washington"(Ward). Eleanor lost her parents at a young age, therefore Marian Anderson among many other people, were the closest she had to home. Eleanor risked losing the power she received when she left her membership in a group that thrived, instead joining a group with only few supporters. Eleanor knew the cruel amount of hate she would receive for supporting colored people and opposing discrimination. However, she did not give up, she put her life at risk to save others. Not only did Eleanor sacrifice her time, but she also risked her life's success to stand up for African Americans and other racial minorities that were neglected.




In conclusion, Eleanor made her mark in history because of her determination for peace, her fearless encounters in controversies, and her ability to care for others without exceptions. Eleanor was born a special female to the world, displaying true potential as a leader in the fight for justice. Eleanor encountered obstacles throughout her life; however, instead of grieving over the judgements people made of her, she thrived off of them. She proved the power of a woman when gained enough confidence. Eleanor had a special connection with minority which made it her priority to protect them against federals. Her dream for people to live in harmony took a lot of patience but it became a reality. Eleanor is inspiring because she is an independent woman that didn't need support from her family to accomplish her goals. She wasn't even phased when resentful words and hate were thrown at her. Eleanor inspired women, children, and lower-class citizens to follow their dreams and use their voice. She motivated people to stay strong even through the toughest times. A famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt states that, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams". Eleanor Roosevelt's determination for peace and her fight for humanitarian rights classifies her as a true hero.


Works Cited

Baker, Russel. "The Charms of Eleanor." The New York Review of Books. N.p., 9 June 2011. Web. 03 Feb. 2016.

Pillai, Maya. "Accomplishments of Eleanor Roosevelt." Buzzle., 11 July 2008. Web. 03 Feb. 2016.

Ward, Geoffrey C. "Eleanor Roosevelt." American National Biography (2010): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.

Williams, Jasmin K. "A REAL FIRST LADY." New York Post A REAL FIRSTLADY Comments. NYP Holdings, 10 Oct. 2006. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.



Page created on 2/12/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 10/13/2017 4:47:05 PM

Related Links

Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill - The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill (ERVK) inspires and empowers individuals and organizations to use their time, talent and resources to build a just and sustainable world by providing programs and experiences epitomizing Eleanor Roosevelt’s passion and commitment to human rights, principled leadership and social justice for all.
Eleanor Roosevelt Biography
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
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