Franklin was elected
to the New York state Senate in 1910. Eleanor had to take on the
social role expected of the wife of a public official. When World
War I started Franklin became the assistant secretary of the navy
and Eleanor began to work with the Red Cross. Eleanor and Franklin
had some trouble with their marriage at the end of the war, but
they reconciled and returned to New York in 1921. At that point
Eleanor also realized she had to build a life for herself in addition
to raising her family. Eleanor became active in the League of Women
Voters, the Women's Trade Union League, and the women's division
of the Democratic party. That same year Franklin was stricken with
polio. Eleanor was determined to keep her husband's interest in
public affairs alive. She also opened a furniture factory in Hyde
Park to help unemployed people and became part owner and vice-principal
of a school in New York that taught history and government.
By 1928, Franklin
had recovered from polio enough so that he could return to politics,
and in 1933 he was elected President of the United States. At first
Eleanor worried that she would be unhappy at the White House, but
she soon became busy holding press conferences and lecturing around
the country. She even had her own radio program and newspaper column.
She served as her husbands eyes and ears as she traveled around
the country and did much to aid the underprivileged and racial minorities.
During World War II she visited troops in England, the South Pacific,
the Caribbean, and on U.S. military bases and became a recognized
and much loved person among the troops.
died on April 12, 1945, Eleanor continued her public service to
our country and the world until he own death in 1962. Eleanor Roosevelt
will long be remembered as the "First Lady of the World."