Social

A Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt

When she was eighteen, Eleanor Roosevelt came back to New York where she lived with her cousins. From then on, she became actively involved with social service work involvement and at the same time, joined the Junior League where she rendered teaching services at the settlement house in Rivington street3. Cook states that even in her teenage years, Eleanor Roosevelt was drawn to friends who had a social conscience (Marist College, 2008). During those times, she became actively involved in ballroom dancing and calisthenics, teaching the students in the University Settlement on Rivington Street on the Lower East Side. This activity was pioneered by Mary Harriman and other debutantes from Eleanor Roosevelt’s circle of friends who also created the Junior League4. Although she was born into a privileged family and was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, his brother, her father Elliot, was an alcoholic who died at the age of 34. This alcoholic problem had a very great impact on the wife and children of Elliot Roosevelt thus leading to the death of her weary and bitter mother when Eleanor was still eight years old. Two years after, her father also died. From then on, the little girl spent the rest of her life trying to make things better for people in want, in need, in trouble – the people who are not different from either her mother or father5. She was married to her fifth cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 17, 1905. Her public activities during that time paved the way to the political career of her husband and family concerns. But, upon the involvement of the United States of America in World War I, she became active in the American Red Cross, thus doing volunteer work in the hospitals of the Navy6. After bearing six children in her 13 years of marriage, Eleanor started again the quest for her own identity.

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