Franklin Roosevelt was born January 30, 1882, at his family home in Hyde Park, New York. He entered politics following his education at Groton School, Harvard, and Columbia Law School. He served as New York State Senator and then as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. In 1921, at the age of thirty-nine, he was stricken with polio, a disease that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite his disability, Roosevelt re-entered public life and was elected to two terms as Governor of New York in 1928 and 1930. With the country mired in the Great Depression, he ran for president in 1932 promising “a New Deal for the American people.” Upon his inauguration in 1933, Roosevelt quickly steered legislation through Congress that stabilized the banking system and established a variety of recovery and relief agencies. During his first term, he created his most lasting domestic legacy, the Social Security Program. Roosevelt was easily re-elected in 1936, and with war looming, he ran for and was elected to an unprecedented third term in 1940. The U.S. entered World War II after the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” Roosevelt then led the nation and the Allies against the Axis Powers. His coalition became the foundation for the United Nations. Roosevelt died at his retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12, 1945, only 82 days into this fourth term, without seeing the victory for which he had struggled. Roosevelt is buried in the Rose Garden of his estate at Hyde Park, next to his wife Eleanor and near his Presidential Library.
The original bust of President Franklin D. Roosevelt upon which this replica is based is made of bronze and was modeled from life in 1933-34 by Jo Davidson. He is considered one of the nation’s most preeminent and prolific portrait sculptors. He studied at the Art Student’s League and the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Back to top