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Our History: Featured Alumni: Roosevelt, Franklin, Jr., 1940

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, congressmen, ambassadors, educators, businessmen and women, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.

Congressman from New York; Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. was born at his parents' summer home at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, now a historic site. He graduated from Groton School in 1933, Harvard University in 1937, and from the University of Virginia School of Law in June 1940. During his graduation, his father, Franklin D. Roosevelt, gave what is known as the "Stab in the Back" Speech, criticizing Italy's entry into the war. Roosevelt, Jr. served as a Naval officer in World War II and was decorated for bravery in the battle of Casablanca.

He then served as a member of the United States Congress, representing the 20th District of New York from 1949 to 1955. In 1949, he won a special election running as a candidate of the Liberal Party of New York and later ran on the Democratic ticket as well. He sought the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1954, but was nominated by the Democratic State Convention to run for New York State Attorney General. Roosevelt was defeated in the general election by Republican Jacob K. Javits, although all other Democratic nominees were elected.

He campaigned for John F. Kennedy in the 1960 West Virginia primary, and Kennedy later named him Under-Secretary of Commerce and chairman of the President's Appalachian Regional Commission. He ran for Governor of New York on the Liberal Party ticket in 1966, but was defeated by the incumbent Republican Nelson A. Rockefeller. He served as chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from May 26, 1965 to May 11, 1966. He was senior partner in the New York law firm of Roosevelt and Freiden before and after his service in Congress. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. died in Poughkeepsie, New York after a battle with lung cancer, on his 74th birthday, August 17, 1988.

 

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