The Children of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as agreed by many, was an American President who helped America through the darkest period. Not only was it Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was dealing with the crisis alone but his family as well. The Roosevelt Family includes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., Anna Roosevelt Halsted, Elliott Roosevelt, James Roosevelt II, and John Aspin Roosevelt, in addition to Eleanor Roosevelt being the mother. While historians may discuss Franklin Delano Roosevelt now and then, let us take a different approach towards the Roosevelt family, by talking about the children of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. was born on 17th August 1914 and was the fifth child amongst the six children of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He graduated from one of the top educational institutes of the time, including Groton School, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia. Amongst his siblings, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. was the only child who ever came close to his father in terms of voice, looks, behavior, and appearance. 

Navy Service (World War II)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., during his time serving in the U.S. Navy, achieved several accolades, including one for bravery. During World War II, he was a junior naval officer who displayed acts of bravery and courage during the battle of Casablanca. Furthermore, Quentin Reynolds, who was a famous war correspondent, used to write to his mother, informing about Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.’s tremendous job during the war. By exposing himself under fire, he was able to save a critically injured sailor who earned him a silver medal. In addition to that, when Franklin Roosevelt Jr. was promoted to lieutenant commander in 1944, he became the commanding officer of USS Ulvert M. Moore, which was his destroyer escort.

Post-War Career

Law Practice

Post-War, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. participated in several law practices and was a senior partner in Roosevelt and Frieden, which was a New York-based law firm. 


Franklin Roosevelt Jr., apart from being a politician, was an entrepreneur as well. He was a distributor of Jaguar and FIAT vehicles in the United States. Later on, the distribution, Roosevelt Automobile Company, was sold. Not only that, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. was also good friends with Gianni Agnelli, who was the chairman of FIAT. 

Anna Roosevelt Halsted

Anna Roosevelt Halsted

Anna Roosevelt Halsted was a writer by profession and was the eldest and the only daughter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She provided a helping hand to her father in administrative issues and wrote two children books that were published in the 1930s. Her first marriage to Curtis Bean Dall in 1926, who was a stockbroker, took a turn for the worst, and she decided to continue living in the White House. Pre-divorce, Anna Roosevelt was hired by Babies Just Babies magazine as an associate editor and contributed several articles to Liberty Magazine as well. In 1934, Anna divorced her first husband and six months later married Boettiger in 1935, who had just resigned from Chicago Tribune and joined Will H. Hays organization. 

The couple together gave birth to their son, John Roosevelt Boettiger, in 1939, who went on to become a clinical psychologist, educator, and author. In 1943, Anna’s husband became a victim of severe depression upon hearing Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s remarks about his son-in-law not being in a uniform. As a result, Boettiger wrote to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who sent him to war. This gave rise to a conflict between Anna and Post-Intelligencer’s management and decided to resign. 

Anna Roosevelt Halsted was a witness to many unfortunate circumstances during her life. For instance, upon her father’s death, she had to tell her mother that FDR had a long-time relationship with his mistress Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd and that people close to both FDR and his wife Eleanor kept it hidden. Her relationship with her mother estranged and further strained when FDR chose Anna to accompany him to Yalta when Elanor herself desperately wanted to go. Both Anna and her mother Eleanor, were able to reconcile their differences later on in addition to Anna looking after her mother when she fell terminally ill.

Elliott Roosevelt

Elliott Roosevelt

Elliott Roosevelt was someone who could not hide his obsession with flying. Due to poor eyesight, he was not selected to serve in World War II, but instead, he offered to volunteer his services to General Hap Arnold, who at the time was the Chief of Army Air Force. Prior to that, Elliott had been flying as a private pilot for a small aviation industry, which was based in California in addition to editing Heart newspaper’s aviation section.

 As Elliott was deemed unfit for physical activity on the ground, he was assigned to the procurement division. This raised concern amongst the public, who thought that he was trying to avoid fighting in the war. After completing an intelligence training course, Captain Roosevelt was ordered to join the 21st Reconnaissance Squadron, who was performing North Atlantic patrol work in Newfoundland. 

Elliott then requested that he be provided a survey job of locating air force sites in the North Arctic, which would help the U.S. deliver aircrafts to Great Britain. He knew that his father, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, always wanted someone from the family to accompany him so that he could let himself lose every once in a while. This led to him accompanying his father as a military attaché for the Three Big Conferences held in Cairo, Casablanca, and Tehran. Elliott’s disability could not stand in the way for long as he found himself carrying out several unarmed reconnaissance missions. In January 1944, upon joining the 12th Air Force, Elliott was promoted to the rank of colonel after he carried out reconnaissance missions over North Africa. 

In addition to that, Elliot’s efforts had a fair share to play in the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944 and for the Battle of the Bulge in 1945. During World War II, Elliott carried out around 300 combat missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for introducing and pioneering new weather data gathering and night photography techniques. 

James Roosevelt

James Roosevelt

James Roosevelt was the oldest son amongst his brothers. Being the eldest son, he was the first one to enter the military at the age of 29 in 1936 as a Marine Lieutenant Colonel. At that time, the war was about to take place in Europe, and his designation as a Lieutenant Colonel came under controversy as people claimed that it was sheer nepotism that had earned him the title. Soon, James fought back and resigned his commission in September 1939 and reenlisted himself in the Marine Corps Reserves as a Captain. He had trained hard to master amphibious maneuvers and served as a military advisor for diplomatic missions carried out in the Middle East, Far East, and Africa. 

James, in January 1942, was stationed near San Diego near Camp Elliott. He was off the opinion that a force of Marine Corps Commandos should be formed to carry out swift operations against the enemy. Later did he know that he would put his proposals under practice when he was sent for an operation to Pacific Theater. In August 1942, James experienced his first share of gun battle when he was leading the operation against the enemy in Makin Island. The second incident earned him the Silver Star and the distinguished Navy Cross from preventing three of his men from drowning while he came under sniper fire. James’s actions not only earned him several accolades but proved to be a morale booster as well. His critics were now siding with him and honoring him by referring to him as a “fighting” guy.

After serving 26 months of wartime, James was finally discharged from the United States Marine Corps and retired in 1959 as Brigadier General from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. 

John Aspin Roosevelt

Couldn’t find his picture on wikipedia

John Aspin Roosevelt was only 25 years old and the youngest of the siblings when he, in early 1941, had joined the U.S. Navy. He had sharp retail skills, which led him to be assigned to the Navy Supply Corps after graduating from Harvard. After serving a while at the Navy Supply Corps, John, in early 1942, put in a request to be sent for sea duty. Franklin Roosevelt, on hearing the request, asked it to be declined. 

However, John was not stepping back easily as he was adamant that he would serve and later did in the Pacific Combat Zone. Later, John was promoted to Lieutenant in June 1942. He carried out his duties for 15 months on the USS WASP until it underwent heavy fire, which earned him a bronze star and being promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Upon hearing about his father’s death, John refused to return and chose to remain at the posts of the Pacific War Zone. 

Post-war, John returned and settled in California while pursuing his career in retail. He never took part in politics and continued to serve for the U.S. Naval Reserve as a Lieutenant Commander. 

Final Word

The children of Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not lead a life that was less diminished than Franklin Delano Roosevelt himself, as it can be seen. Considering their actions and the perseverance to serve their country makes them a part of history. Therefore, if Franklin Delano Roosevelt is remembered as a brilliant politician, he should also be remembered as a father who raised strong and dependable Americans that later went on and served their country in countless heroic ways.