Arguably one of the most well known women in American history, Eleanor Roosevelt made a name for herself in political arenas and was quite outspoken for a woman in her time.
Married to FDR at 21, she didn’t begin throwing herself into public life and social work until she was in her mid-thirties, just after she learned of her husband’s affair with her own social secretary. With the threat of disinheritance hanging over FDR’s head, the couple remained married however their union became more of a political partnership from then on.
What could have broken many women instead catapulted Eleanor into a realm where few women held court. Over the course of her husband’s 12 year presidency, she held over 300 press conferences and insured newspapers kept women on their reporting staffs by banning male reporters from her conferences. She was a civil rights activist, wrote regularly for newspaper and magazine, held a weekly radio show, and traveled and spoke extensively. She was supportive of increased roles and factory work for women during war time and instrumental in campaigning for government sponsored daycare for those women’s children. She became the country’s first delegate to the United Nations and went on to serve as the first Chair for the UN’s Commission on Human Rights. During the Kennedy administration, she was also named as the first Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.
We love a woman that comes back from what could surely feel like defeat. Eleanor did that and more.