Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 11, 1884,
to Anna Hall and Elliott Roosevelt, younger brother of Theodore.
mother died in 1892, when she was eight, and her father only two
years later. Eleanor then went to live with Grandmother Hall, and
at age 15 attended a boarding school in England. In 1903 she became
engaged to Franklin Delano Roosevelt (a distant cousin), and in 1905
they were married.
next eleven years she and Franklin had six children. Franklin
served in the state Senate in Albany, NY from
1910 to 1913, and then became Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
It was during these years that Eleanor began assisting Franklin
his political career while also developing her own. She joined
the Women's Trade Union League, and began championing women's
within the Democratic Party. When Franklin contracted poliomyelitis
(polio) in 1921, Eleanor stepped up her efforts to keep her husband's
political career alive. She travelled extensively thoughout the
U.S. and abroad on his behalf, especially after he became governor
New York in 1928, and even more so when he became President of
the United States in 1932.
true dedication to her husband's
political aspirations likely brought him the White House, but
by no means did Eleanor ever lose sight of her own individuality
goals during these years. She constantly fought for a better
life for the people of all creeds, races, and nations who were
privledged than she. And as First Lady, Eleanor was unfraid
to try new things,
holding women-only press conferences, giving extensive lectures,
visiting soldiers abroad during the World War II, and publishing
a daily syndicated newspaper column, "My Day" for
became a great civil rights' advocate - much more
her more conservative husband. Franklin Delano Roosevelt died
in 1945, but Eleanor's work was far from done. From 1945 to
served as a United States delegate to the United Nations General
Assembly, and In 1946 she was elected chairman of the UN's
Human Rights Commission, where she helped draft the UN's Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. She also helped found UNICEF.
the UN's General Assembly in 1961, and that year President
John Kennedy appointed her head of the Commission on the Status
had dedicated her life to championing the well-being of others,
living by this now famous quote of hers - "It's better
to light a candle than to curse the darkness." She died
in New York City on November 7, 1962.
the Eleanor Roosevelt segment of Women: Back to
the Future, Ms. Stevenson performs
the song "Fun!", with music
by Thomas Tierney and lyrics by John Forster, from the musical
ELEANOR - An American Love Story, by Jonathan Bolt,
Thomas Tierney and John Forster.
For more information
about this musical click
on the poster above.