I always knew Eleanor Roosevelt had a hand in the policy in FDR’s three term presidency, but I had no idea how progressive she was on civil rights and human rights. Even after FDR’s death, she was a part of the first UN and wrote a column up to six weeks before her death in 1962.
A recent Time Magazine article writes, “Forget First Lady; Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the master politicians of the 20th century, period. F.D.R.’s legacy cannot be understood apart from hers. While some First Ladies are remembered for redecorating the White House, Eleanor was the first to hold press conferences (more than 300 of them), to visit — alone — U.S. soldiers at war overseas and to shrewdly maneuver her agenda through the back corridors of the White House for 12 years, chipping away at segregation, poverty and injustice. She may be the only First Lady ever to have had a Ku Klux Klan bounty on her head.
How did she do it? Modern First Ladies would recognize almost nothing about Eleanor’s life. She declined Secret Service protection and carried her own gun (and permit) when necessary. She kept an apartment in New York City’s Greenwich Village — in a house owned by a lesbian couple with whom she was good friends — and spent much of her time there when her husband was President.”
Excerpt is from Time Magazine’s The Relentless Mrs. Roosevelt. It’s worth the read!