Known for drastically changing the roles of a first lady from a social hostess to active public participation, Eleanor Roosevelt was the wife of the 32nd President of USA. She had an impeccable drive for human rights activism and a leader in her own right.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on 11th October 1884 in New York, USA as the first child and the only daughter of her parents. She was brought up by her maternal grandmother after her parents died before she turned 11. She was considered a unique and serious child. In all her life, Eleanor had other people’s interests at heart, ensuring their political, social and racial justice until her death on 7th November 1962.

Having been privately tutored until the age of 15, Eleanor was taken to Allenswood Academy, a private school in England. She was liked by everyone and particularly the headmistress who cultivated independent thinking in young ladies alongside social responsibilities. This influenced Eleanor’s humanitarian activities throughout her life. She stayed at the school for 3 years before returning to US to make a social debut as advised by her grandmother.
Her stay in US enabled her to volunteer as a teacher for the poor immigrant children among other social reform work. This continued even after she married Franklin Delano Roosevelt who would later become the President of USA. Unlike former first ladies, Eleanor became the eyes and ears of her husband who was by then paralyzed from the waist down.

She had six children out of which 5 survived; 4 boys: James, Elliott, Franklin and John, and one daughter, Anna Eleanor. Her mother-in-law controlled the raising of the children.

Even after her husband’s death, Eleanor continued to serve the nation in various ways which included becoming the UN General Assembly’s delegate. She wrote 27 books and over 8000 newspaper columns that included ‘My Day’, a column she wrote six days a week for over 26 years.


I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity. Eleanor Roosevelt


A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt


Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt


With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. Eleanor Roosevelt


You must do the things you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt


You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give. Eleanor Roosevelt


Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both. Eleanor Roosevelt


People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. Eleanor Roosevelt




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