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Franklin and Eleanor’s Children

December 16, 2015

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt had five children who lived to maturity, one daughter and four sons. Anna was the oldest, and John was the youngest. The middle child, Elliot, became mayor of Miami Beach in the 1960s. He also wrote several murder mysteries during the 1980s.

During World War II Elliot was a brigadier general in the Army Air Corps. His older brother James was a Marine colonel. His younger brothers Franklin Jr. and John were officers in the Navy. Anna was her father’s private secretary from 1943 to 1945 and accompanied him to the Yalta Conference.

John Roosevelt chaired Citizens for Eisenhower in 1952 and supported Presidents Nixon and Reagan. Anna’s first husband, Curtis B. Dall, wrote a book about his former father-in-law entitled “FDR, My Exploited Father-In-Law.” Unfortunately for Mr. Dall’s thesis, he had not been FDR’s son-in-law since the second year of FDR’s first term. Not to be outdone, Elliot Roosevelt wrote an account of his parents that was denounced by his sister and brothers.

James and Franklin Jr. remained loyal Democrats, but they were less successful than FDR in electoral politics. Their father had been governor of New York, but FDR Jr. lost when he ran for that office in 1966. James ran for governor of California in 1950. He also lost. He did get elected to the U.S. House and served from 1955 to 1966.

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