The Documentary ' The Roosevelts ' Essay

The Documentary ' The Roosevelts ' Essay

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This week’s article is a break from the usual local philanthropy series in order to spotlight someone who is overwhelmingly inspirational- Eleanor Roosevelt. If you have not yet watched the Ken Burns documentary The Roosevelts; An Intimate History- you should.
Besides being historically informative, this documentary reminded me of a woman that was a serious force to be reckoned with. As the saying goes, “They sure don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
First Ladies have traditionally aligned themselves with very personal and important causes. Louisa Adams was among the first to advocate for women’s rights. Fast forward to when Nancy Reagan coined the phrase “Just Say No” as her endorsement of the D.A.R.E. program and the War on Drugs. Today, Michelle Obama has her own war against childhood obesity.
However, no other comes close to the dedication displayed by Mrs. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. Wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, she not only kept pace with her husband’s achievements, but, arguably, exceeded his impact.
The Early Years
The often shy and awkward niece of Theodore Roosevelt showed great bravery in the face of adversity. Eleanor was born to Teddy’s younger brother, Elliot Roosevelt, and the beautiful socialite Anna Hall on October 11th of 1884 in New York City, New York. Tragically, by the age of 10 Eleanor had lost her mother, her father, and her not-yet five-year-old brother leaving herself and a baby sister in the care of her Grandmother Hall.
At the age of 15, Eleanor was sent to the prestigious boarding school Allenswood Girl’s Academy in England; there Eleanor met Marie Souvestre. Her time spent with Souvestre filled her with the confidence that would resound throughout the years. Furthermore, Eleanor was exposed to Souvest...

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..., this article contains only a fraction of what Mrs. Roosevelt has done for our county and for humanity. She is truly one of the greatest humanitarians that has ever lived and an inspiration to all. One can only wonder what our country would be like if all the young girls (and boys) knew the life of Eleanor Roosevelt better than the latest Hollywood celebrity.
To find this information and more, visit the National First Ladies Library online at Or visit the official biography of Eleanor Roosevelt at

As always, if you know of a person or organization that has made an impact on the community, please nominate them for this series. Email me at with the subject line “Spotlight: Philanthropy” and a brief description of the person and their achievements.

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