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Eleanor Roosevelt

First Lady, humanitarian; born in New York City (niece of Theodore Roosevelt). Shy and insecure as a child, she was educated privately, and in 1905 she married Franklin D. Roosevelt (a distant cousin).

The first sign of her abilities came during World War I when she worked for the Red Cross;

She remained an active force in Democratic politics and served as a sort of unofficial American ambassador to the world of the downtrodden. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy reappointed her to the U.S. delegation to the UN; she also chaired the Kennedy administration's Commission on the Status of Women.

By the time of her death, she was recognized as the most active and influential of all the U.S. presidents' wives and had earned the sobriquet, "first lady of the world."

Time 100 Leaders and Revelutionaries - Eleanor Roosevelt

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Last modified: May 27, 2001