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Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd American
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FDR looking at his old Dutch family bible at his residence in Hyde Park, NY. Photograph taken February 22, 1933. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ( 1882-1945) was the 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945) and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. The only American president elected to more than two terms, he facilitated a durable coalition that realigned American politics for decades. With the bouncy popular song "Happy Days Are Here Again" as his campaign theme, FDR defeated incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover in November 1932, at the depth of the Great Depression. FDR's persistent optimism and activism contributed to a renewal of the national spirit, reflecting his victory over paralytic illness to become the longest serving president in U.S. history. He worked closely with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, but died just as victory was in sight. In the spring of 1945, Roosevelt went to the Little White House at Warm Springs, Georgia to rest before his appearance at the founding conference of the United Nations. On April 12, Roosevelt said, "I have a terrific pain in the back of my head." He then slumped forward in his chair, unconscious, and was carried into his bedroom. The president's attending cardiologist, Dr. Howard Bruenn, diagnosed a massive cerebral hemorrhage (stroke). At 335 pm that day, Roosevelt died. Roosevelt's death was met with shock and grief across America and around the world. His declining health had not been known to the general public. Roosevelt had been president for more than 12 years, longer than any other person, and had led the country through some of its greatest crises to the impending defeat of Nazi Germany and within sight of the defeat of Japan as well.
March 7th, 2013
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