The Roosevelts


The Roosevelts (2014) weaves together the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. 

  • A Young Franklin Delano Roosevelt | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images of the young Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), his mother, Sara, his young wife Eleanor, and various family members. FDR was the 32nd President of the United States. He was born into an old, wealthy, New York family that traced its roots to the Revolutionary War. Roosevelt’s childhood was privileged and pampered. He was educated in the finest schools, had traveled broadly and frequently throughout Europe by the time he was 15. In spite of his privileged life, Roosevelt was a champion of working Americans. Roosevelt’s family would touch the lives of more Americans than any other family. 

    Grades: 6-11
  • FDR Enters Politics | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) throughout his political career, eventually becoming the 32nd President of the United States. Franklin Delano Roosevelt began his political career with a run for the NY State Senate in 1910. He would serve two terms as senator. He was appointed Secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson. He was nominated vice president by the Democratic National Committee on the 1920 presidential ticket beside Ohio Governor James Cox, but lost. He would serve one term as governor of New York until 1932, when he won a landslide victory in the presidential election.

    Grades: 6-12
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945 | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), the 32nd President of the United States and the only president to be elected to four successive terms in office, from 1933-1945. He built a legacy on policies that showed a commitment to helping working Americans. Roosevelt led the country out of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl with his New Deal policies of “relief, recovery, and reform” that expanded the role of government, brought economic relief to citizens, and regulated industries like the nation’s banks, which had triggered the depression. Roosevelt led the country through the worst years of World War II, but died of a stroke in April 1942, just months before the war ended.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Images of FDR | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), the 32nd president of the United States and the only president to be elected to four successive terms in office. He built a legacy on policies that showed a commitment to helping working Americans. Roosevelt led the country out of the Great Depression, and the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl, with his New Deal policies of “relief, recovery, and reform.” He also guided the country successfully through World War II before he died of a stroke in 1945. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • FDR and Family | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images of the family of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), the 32nd President of the United States. He was born into a wealthy New York family that traced its roots to the Revolutionary War. In 1905, Franklin married Eleanor Roosevelt, his 5th cousin, once removed. Eleanor would bear six children, five that survived into adulthood. While a warm and engaged father, Franklin’s extramarital affairs would strain his marriage to Eleanor.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Eleanor Roosevelt: Early Years | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images of the young Eleanor Roosevelt, her wedding and honeymoon, and the summer home that she and Franklin kept at Campobello Island in Maine. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was wife and first lady to the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, and favorite niece of the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Eleanor’s childhood was filled with wealth and privilege as well as loss and isolation. She married Franklin in 1905 and raised five children. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Eleanor Roosevelt: Later Years | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images featuring Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), wife and first lady to the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, and favorite niece of the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Eleanor’s childhood was filled with wealth and privilege as well as loss and isolation. She married Franklin in 1905 and raised five children. As first lady, she grew into a role of activism and engagement with the press and public on issues like Civil Rights. In her later years, she served as a delegate the UN General Assembly, where she helped draft the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Theodore Roosevelt: Early Years | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th President of the United States. Born into wealth and privilege, he was told as a young man that he had a “weak constitution.” Teddy ignored this assessment of his health and persisted in building his strength and physical stamina. He excelled at Harvard and graduated magna cum laude. View images of Teddy’s youth, his first wife Alice Hathaway, and his “Rough Riders,” a volunteer corps of soldiers he led to victory at the Battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War fought in Cuba in 1898.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Theodore Roosevelt, 1900-1904 | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images of the early years of the presidency of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (1858-1919). He entered politics early in life, first as a member of the New York State Assembly before becoming police commissioner of NYC, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of NYC, and Vice President alongside President William McKinley. McKinley was assassinated six months into his term in 1901, making Teddy the youngest president in American history at the age of 42. He would serve as the 26th president from 1901-1909. One of his earliest victories was settling a labor dispute for the coal mining industry.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Theodore Roosevelt, 1905-1909 | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images from Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt's (1858-1919) time as the 26th President of the United States. He entered politics early in life, first as a member of the New York State Assembly before becoming police commissioner of NYC, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of NYC, and Vice President alongside President William McKinley. McKinley was assassinated six months into his term in 1901, making Teddy the youngest president in American history at the age of 42. He would serve as president from 1901-1909. Roosevelt’s legacy includes breaking up corporate monopolies and land and wildlife conservation.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Theodore Roosevelt, Travel, and Post-Presidency | Ken Burns: The Roosevelts

    View images from the life of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th President of the United States. He entered politics early in life, first as a member of the New York State Assembly before becoming police commissioner of NYC, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of NYC, and Vice President alongside President William McKinley. McKinley was assassinated six months into his term in 1901, making Teddy the youngest president in American history at the age of 42. He would serve as president from 1901-1909. In his post-presidency, Roosevelt continued to travel broadly and support his Progressive Party.

    Grades: 6-12

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