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Most People Don't Realize That Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Were Actually Related - Trending

Most People Don't Realize That Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Were Actually Related trending details picture Most People Don't Realize That Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Were Actually Related
Posted by Temmy Tue, May 10, 2022 2:25pm
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Most People Don't Realize That Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Were Actually Related

Most People Don't Realize That Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Were Actually Related
Photo credit: Showtime/Boris Martin

History buffs are getting to see a different side of American history, thanks to Showtime’s new anthology drama The First Lady. The show features portrayals of Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis) and highlights historic moments through their eyes in the White House. Naturally, this has sparked curiosity among viewers who want to dive deeper, and one question has continued to pop up week after week: Were Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt related?

As it turns out, the answer is yes: Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt were cousins — specifically, fifth cousins once removed. According to History.com, Eleanor was born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt and was raised by her extended Roosevelt family in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Franklin’s side of the family (also referred to as a branch) was from Hyde Park in upstate New York.

She was taken in at the age of 10 when her father died from alcoholism. Her mother died two years prior from diphtheria, a contagious bacterial disease. Years later, Eleanor crossed paths with Franklin when they were teenagers. But The New York Times reports that they didn’t really notice each other until four years later when the Roosevelt cousins attended an event at Madison Square Garden in 1902. There are other accounts that they got reacquainted at Eleanor's debutante ball as seen on the show.

Later that year, they started dating and within a few months, a 22-year-old Franklin proposed to a 19-year-old Eleanor in 1903. The couple was married in an intimate wedding on March 17, 1905 in New York. Per reports, St. Patrick’s Day was chosen as the special date to accommodate President Theodore Roosevelt’s schedule, who was Eleanor’s uncle and Franklin’s fifth cousin.

Apart from officiating, he also gave away the bride. Unsurprisingly, his presence garnered a lot of attention from the press. On his way out of the wedding reception, he reportedly shared his thoughts on the Roosevelt-Roosevelt marriage. “It is a good thing to keep the name in the family,” he said, according to History.com.

Five years after their nuptials, Franklin followed in Theodore’s footsteps and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1910. During this time, Eleanor gave birth to several of their children and the couple ultimately had five: Anna, James, Elliot, Franklin Jr. and John. In a culmination of his two-decade political career, he was named 32nd president of the United States in November 1932. President Franklin served for a total of four terms from March 1933 to April 1945.

Though Eleanor stood by Franklin’s side throughout his presidency, it’s said that the two lived separate lives as a cause of multiple affairs. Still, Eleanor took her position as First Lady of the United States seriously and used her platform to discuss civil rights, humanitarian causes and philanthropic work. After his death in 1945, she continued as an active participant in public service and became a United Nations delegate in 1948. Eleanor died in 1962.

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