Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and assumed a role as an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author and speaker. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women.
In the 1940s, she was one of the co-founders of Freedom House and supported the formation of the United Nations. She was a delegate to the UN General Assemby from 1945 and 1952, a job for which she was appointed by President Harry S. Truman and confirmed by the United States Senate. During her time at the United Nations she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Truman called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.
Active in politics for the rest of her life, she chaired the John F. Kennedy administration's ground-breaking committee which helped start the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. She was one of the most admired persons of the 20th century, according to Gallup's List of Widely Admired People.
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Val-Kill Cottage)
The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
George Washington University's Eleanor Roosevelt archival papers site includes lesson plans
Eleanor Roosevelt's speech at Ball State Teachers College
American Experience: Eleanor website for the PBS documentary, with teacher's guide
Time Magazine names her one of most important people of the 20th Century.
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