Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States from 1932 to 1945, leading the nation through the Great Depression and World War Two.
Delano was born in 1882. In 1921, at the age of 39, he contracted polio, but did not let it become a matter of discussion during his presidential career.
Poliomyelitis, better known as “polio” is caused by the poliovirus. One out of four people who contract the poliovirus will only feel a mild flu (meaning three out of four people will be entirely asymptomatic). However, 1 in 25 people may experience meningitis, and 1 out of 200 people may experience paralysis. FDR happened to be the one out of 200, but he didn’t let his circumstances change his mindset.
FDR was elected governor of New York in 1928 before becoming the President in 1932. During his presidential term, he was best known for his Fireside Chats over the radio which kept citizens informed, and his New Deal policies aimed at regulating and recovering the US economy. While Roosevelt aimed for peace in his foreign policies, he allowed America to enter the Second World War in 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Despite his physical confinement to a wheelchair, Roosevelt used his intellectual and political power to guide America through the roughest half-century we have seen, To quote biographer Jean Edward Smith, “He lifted himself from a wheelchair to lift the nation from its knees.”
Biography.com Editors. “Franklin D. Roosevelt.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television,
Global, Immunization. “What Is Polio?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Oct. 2019,