Former First Lady and staunch advocate for civil liberties, Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt was a game-changer because she defied gender norms and became a powerful voice for civil liberties and equality. Her tireless dedication to social justice and championing of the underrepresented reimagined the position of First Lady and established new norms for political participation. Eleanor Roosevelt's life and legacy shine a light on the challenges we face in the twenty-first century, showing us that we have the ability to make a difference and that kindness, bravery, and conviction can create a better world.
Eleanor Roosevelt was an incredibly influential figure in the 20th century's struggle for civil and human rights. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States and went on to make an indelible effect on American politics and worldwide human rights as a diplomat for the United Nations.
Eleanor Roosevelt's early life was marred by loss and uncertainty. She was born on October 11, 1884, in New York City. However, as the wife of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, her fortitude and perseverance pushed her to national prominence.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a revolutionary first lady because she turned the job from a purely ceremonial one to one of social and political activity throughout her time in office (1933-1945). She spoke out against poverty, racism, and the suppression of women's rights through press conferences, her daily newspaper column titled "My Day," and other public appearances. Her public activity and high profile set a precedent for First Ladies to follow.
After her husband's death in 1945, President Harry S. Truman appointed Eleanor as a delegate to the United Nations, where she advocated for human rights. Her most notable accomplishment during her presidency was getting the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted, which made her "First Lady of the World."
Beyond her time as First Lady and U.N. delegate, Eleanor Roosevelt left an indelible mark on the world. Her unyielding commitment to civil freedoms and social justice helped guide the United States through a trying time and laid the framework for subsequent civil rights campaigns. Global views on human rights and dignity have been shaped in part by her work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.