Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30th, 1882 to distinguished, wealthy and well-established New Yorker parents. His mother was quite possessive, while his father was distant. In his youth he spent a great deal of time in Europe, and was able to speak in both German and French. He was an avid and skilled athlete, as well as a good student. He attended an Episcopalian boarding school in his youth where he developed his ideals of aiding the less fortunate as a duty of the good Christian. He later attended Harvard University, where he was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and was the president of the school's newspaper, The Harvard Crimson. In 1901, while Franklin was still at Harvard, his fifth cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, became President, an event that would greatly influence Franklin's interest in politics and made Theodore into his role model. In 1904 he graduated from Harvard and enrolled in Columbia Law School. By 1907 he had passed the New York bar and dropped out of school, becoming a member of a prestigious law firm in 1908. He was inducted into Freemasonry in 1911.
In 1910 he ran in the State election for the region around his birthplace of Hyde Park as a Democrat, and won, taking his seat in January of 1911. He was popular among his fellow democrats for helping to break up the domination of the Tammany faction. He was reelected in 1912 but resigned his post in 1913 to accept a post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, which he was appointed to by President Woodrow Wilson. During his appointment he helped to expand the Navy and developed a life-long love of the Navy. He advocated the necessity of sea warfare throughout the war. In 1914 he was defeated in his bid for the senate. In 1918 he was charged with demobilizing the Navy following the First World War, although he didn't want to see it dismantled completely. This year was also his first encounter with future British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He resigned from his post in 1920 so as to pursue his Vice Presidential ambitions. He ran with James M. Cox as his presidential candidate but was rejected. He retired from the New York law practice in which he worked shortly after this failed bid.
In 1921 he was vacationing in Canada when he contracted a disease that was contemporaneously identified as polio but which has since been the subject of some debate. Nonetheless it severely affected him, and a quest for a cure consumed most of the rest of his life. Though in private he had to rely on a wheelchair, he taught himself to walk through an extremely difficult combination of braces and torso swivels because he believed that he could not run for public office as long as he was regarded as an invalid. When in public he was usually supported by one of his sons or an aide who helped him to further put forth the image of the convalescent polio victim.
Roosevelt spent most of the 1920s mending fences among the New York Democratic community. In 1928 he was narrowly elected governor of New York, having run at the behest of presidential hopeful Alfred E. Smith. In his tenure as governor he instituted social reform programs and instigated investigation into corruption in judicial offices. He won a second term by a large margin. In 1932 he ran for president as the Democratic candidate with John Nance Garner as his vice president. He was elected with 57% of the vote. In early 1933, while still president-elect, he survived an assassination attempt made by Italian-American Giuseppe Zangara which instead resulted in the death of Chicago mayor Anton Cermak.
During his early years of the presidency America was still mired in the Great Depression. Roosevelt's economic policies focused on "relief, recovery and reform", hoping to boost the American economic system out of the depression while reorganizing the systems that had allowed the Depression to occur in the first place. He presented these ideas and others directly to the public through a series of radio addresses, referred to colloquially as "fireside chats". He passed a record number of bills in the early days, and instituted bank holidays, after the first of which a number of banks were closed in the hopes of speeding economic recovery. He cut military spending and reduced pensions to many veterans, including remove pensions for over 500,000 veterans and widows. Heavy protests caused him to alter this arrangement somewhat by 1936, but he was otherwise able to largely reduce governmental spending by slashing governmental employee pay. He reformed Prohibition legislation, allowing for a greater maximum alcohol content. These early changes constituted the First New Deal.
The changes of the Second New Deal began in 1934 when he gained a majority in both houses following the election, which allowed him to create relief agencies that helped to employ 2 million people. He also established Social Security through the Social Security Act, which created a social safety net for the ill, the aged and the poor. Federal rights of workers to unionize was enshrined in the National Labor Relations Act. This last change helped to secure support for Roosevelt in the working class communities who benefitted from the institution of unions, and backed him and his party throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s.
In 1936 he was reelected by a landslide, winning 60.8% of the vote on the so called New Deal coalition. Unlike his first term he passed relatively little legislation, though he did institute a minimum wage in 1938. He attempted to create unprecedented presidential powers that allowed him to appoint justices to the court, but was heavily opposed by members of his own party, led by his vice president, Garner. Because of this opposition he was unable to pass the proposal, but nonetheless was able to appoint eight justices throughout his tenure due to deaths or retirements. In 1938 his party suffered some losses in the election and the minimum wage legislation was the last that he passed under the New Deal. During this second term, German chancellor Adolf Hitler had already begun to rise to prominence. When World War II started, Roosevelt rejected the isolationist policies pursued by Wilson, instead maintaining close ties with France and especially with England, where he forged a close relationship with Churchill, who became Prime Minister in 1940. He enacted reforms that allowed the US to swiftly build up its army through the reenactment of peacetime draft policies. In 1940 he was reelected for his third term, the first US president to do so, running under the promise of keeping America out of the war. He carried 55% of the vote.
Throughout 1941 he continued to support policies of re-armament, despite growing opposition from the isolationist segment of American politics. He had fully committed the American government to just short of war by the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which destroyed the anti-war sentiments in America. They were further destroyed when both Germany and Italy declared war on America a few days later. Despite the anti-Japan feelings that were strong in America, Roosevelt pursued the Europe First policy, as he felt that Nazi Germany should be defeated first. During this time period Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which allowed for the internment of first- and second-generation Japanese immigrants, as well as the internment of non-citizens from Germany and Italy who spoke out in favour of either Hitler or Benito Mussolini.
Throughout the war he worked with Churchill, Joseph Stalin and occasionally Chiang Kai-Shek to determine war strategy. For the most part, American forces were divided between fighting in the Pacific theatre against Japan and fighting on the Western Front along with the other Western Allies. Starting in 1943, when the tide of the war was slowly but surely turning in the Allies favour, Roosevelt together with Churchill and Stalin began a series of conferences in which they determined the division of the post-war world, first at Tehran and most notably at Yalta. Though Churchill distrusted Stalin, Roosevelt was willing to deal with the man, believing that he was trustworthy. Stalin supported Roosevelt's plan for the United Nations, and even agreed to enter the fight against Japan after Germany was defeated.
From 1940 onwards he had been suffering excessively bad health. Despite this, he was reelected in 1944 to his fourth term, with 53% of the vote. He ran with Harry S. Truman as his vice president because many were aware that Roosevelt could die and his current vice president was seen as being too pro-Soviet. After the Yalta conference he met with the King of Egypt, the Emperor of Ethiopia and, most importantly, the King of Saudi Arabia, a meeting that continues to have a large influence in US-Saudi relations. In March when he returned to the United States, a noticeably thin and frail Roosevelt gave a speech about the Yalta conference, and throughout the whole of it remained seated, an unprecedented admission of physical instability. Throughout March he repeatedly sent missives admonishing Stalin for breaking the promises made at Yalta, though these went largely unheeded as Stalin accused the Western Allies of attempting to form a secret peace with Hitler behind his back.
At the end of March Roosevelt moved to a rest retreat in Georgia, called Warm Springs. On April 12th he was sitting for a portrait by Elizabeth Shoumatoff. During lunch he said, "I have a terrific pain in the back of my head," and slumped forwards. He was diagnosed as having had a stroke, and died at a little past 3:30 that same day. He was 63.
Roosevelt most famous line ever has been played countless times through the years on radio and televison. During one speech he told the American people, "All we have to fear, is fear itself".
In 1902 he met Eleanor Roosevelt, niece of Theodore, who was herself Franklin's fifth cousin, once removed. Three years later they were married, and together eventually had 6 children, 5 of whom survived to adulthood. He had many affairs throughout his life, several lasting many years, which eventually extinguished the intimate relationship he had with his wife.
Major Story Arcs
FDR is perhaps best remembered for presenting Captain America with his iconic shield.
Like many presidents, FDR is raised from the dead by Michael the necromancer in hopes that the president will help correct the course of the country. FDR, like all the raised presidents, decides to wreak havoc instead. He terrorizes Manhattan until accosted by Deadpool. The two spar until FDR rolls the two into the subway. He proves difficult to kill until Deadpool stabs him and places the metal of the sword on the railway. The electricity sends FDR back to the grave.