Anna Eleanor (3 May 1906 – 1 December 1975)
Anna, born on May 3, 1906, was the first child of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and their only daughter.
She was married to Curtis B. Dall in 1926 and had two children, Anna Eleanor Seagraves and Curtis Roosevelt. She then married John Boettiger in 1935 and they had one son, John Roosevelt Boettiger. In 1952 she married James A. Halsted.
In 1944, at her father's request, Anna moved into the White House to serve him as an unpaid personal aide, eventually functioning as an assistant to the President. During her mother's frequent absences she served as White House hostess. Anna monitored her father’s declining health and, additionally, met with people FDR was unable to see. She accompanied her father to his meeting with Prime Minister Churchill and Marshall Stalin at Yalta in 1945.
Prior to World War II Anna was active as a writer and journalist, serving for several years as Associate Editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She devoted much of her later life to problems of education and to carrying on many of her mother's interests and philanthropies, particularly her active support of the Roosevelt Library.
She died of cancer at the age of 69 in 1975.
James (23 December 1907 – 13 August 1991)
James Roosevelt, the oldest son, was born on December 23, 1907 in New York City. Adhering to what would come to be something akin to family tradition, he attended the Groton School, before moving on to Harvard University, and then Boston University for his law degree.
He had an early interest in politics, helping with his father’s 1936 re-election campaign. He also worked in the Roosevelt White House as an executive assistant. He joined the Marine Corps at the outbreak of the Second World War, fighting in the Gilbert Islands, Guadalcanal, and the Battle of Midway, earning the Navy Cross and the Silver Star.
After the war, James relocated to California. His first foray into politics was an unsuccessful bid for the California governorship, losing to future Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1954 and served until 1965. President Johnson asked him to be a delegate to the United Nations, the organization for which his parents had worked so hard. He served for a year. He later started an advocacy group for Social Security and Medicare. He passed away in 1991 from complications due to a stroke and Parkinson’s disease.
Elliot (23 September 1910 - 1990)
Born on September 23, Elliot Roosevelt was educated at Groton Academy. After finishing Groton and the Hun School in New Jersey, Elliot entered the business world, specializing in advertising and journalism, where he rose to the level of executive in several firms.
When America entered the Second World War, Elliot joined the United States Army, volunteering as a captain with the Air Corps. He saw active service as a reconnaissance pilot in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, and France. He received the U.S. Air Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the French Croix de Guerre, and was made an honorary member of the Legion d’Honneur and the Order of the British Empire. Elliot also accompanied his father during the negotiations with Allied leaders at the Atlantic Charter Conference, the Casablanca Conference, and the Cairo and Tehran Conferences.
After the war, Elliot devoted his life to writing, beginning in 1946 with As He Saw It, an account of Roosevelt’s actions during the war. He followed this with An Untold Story: the Roosevelts of Hyde Park (1973), A Rendezvous with Destiny: The Roosevelts of the White House (1975), Mother: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Untold Story (1978), The Conservators (1984), and Eleanor Roosevelt, with Love: A Centenary Remembrance (1985). He also wrote several fiction mystery novels, centered on the First Lady as an amateur sleuth, solving murders in myriad places: Hyde Park, the White House, and Buckingham Palace, to name but a few.
Franklin Delano Jr. (17 August 1914 - 17 August 1988)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. was born on August 17, 1914 on Campobello Island, New Brunswick in Canada. He was educated at the Groton School, graduated from Harvard University in 1937, and completed law school at the University of Virginia in 1940.
Franklin joined the U.S. armed forces at the outbreak of the Second World War, joining the Naval Reserves. He was called to active duty in the Navy in March of 1941, serving in North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific, and was decorated for bravery in the battle of Casablanca and awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the Silver Star. After the war, Franklin Jr. practiced law and became active in politics with a combination of appointive and elective office.
He was chairman of housing activities for the American Veterans Committee (1945-47), national vice-chairman of Americans for Democratic Action, and vice-chairman of the President's Civil Rights Commission (1949). Beginning in 1949, he also served three terms in Congress representing New York's Twentieth Congressional District. His loss of the 1954 New York gubernatorial nomination to Tammany Hall-backed candidate Averell Harriman effectively torpedoed his elective political career but led to a subsequent reform movement that resulted in the demise of Tammany Hall and its boss, Carmine DeSapio. Franklin Jr. also lost two later bids for elective office; one for New York state attorney general in 1954 and another bid for governor on the Liberal ticket in 1966.
He actively campaigned for John F. Kennedy’s bid for the Presidency, and after Kennedy's election, Franklin was named Under Secretary of Commerce, a position he held until 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson named him head of the Equal Opportunity Commission. He remained in that position until 1966.
During the 1960’s and later, Franklin became increasingly involved in business, primarily focusing on importing foreign cars to the U.S. Throughout his life he was an accomplished, experienced and enthusiastic sailor who loved the sea. He also had a love for the land and farming, successfully raising pure bred cattle and horses on his farm in Dutchess County, New York.
He passed away in Poughkeepsie, New York on his 74th birthday in 1988.
John (13 March 1916 - 27 April 1981)
The youngest of the Roosevelt Children, John Roosevelt was born on March 13, 1916 in Washington, D.C. He was educated at Groton and Harvard University. During the Second World War, he served in the Navy aboard the USS Wasp, an aircraft carrier in the Pacific theater.
After leaving active service in the Navy, John owned a Los Angeles department store. His business acumen extended to the investment company Regency Fund, and as head of Universal Products, Inc. He then joined the firm of Bache, Halsey, Stuart, Shields & Company, where he served as a senior vice president until his retirement in 1980. He was also active in many non-profit activities, including the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (which his father had helped to create), the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and as a trustee of the State University system of New York.
Unlike his brothers, John never ran for elected office, preferring to help the political careers of others. He lent his support to the Presidential campaigns of Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, as well as the gubernatorial campaign of Nelson Rockefeller, and the Senatorial campaign of Jacob Javits. He died of heart failure on April 27, 1981, in New York City.