Franklin D. Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York on January 30, 1882. He was
the son of James Roosevelt and Sara Delano Roosevelt. His parents and private tutors
provided him with almost all his education. At a young age, he became interested in birds.

For his eleventh birthday, he asked his parents for a gun to began a collection of all the
birds that were native to Dutchess County. By the time he entered college, he had
collected and identified about 300 different kinds of birds. Today, his collection is still one
of the best collectios that was ever made of the Dutches County birds. He learned how to
stuff and mount a birds. Parts of his collection can be seen in the cabinet built for it in the
entrance hall of Springwood FDR\'s home in Hyde Park. Warren Delano, Franklin\'s
grandfather, was so impressed with the lad\'s knowledge of birds that in 1894 he gave him
a life membership in the American Museum of Natural History. Franklin spent hours there
looking at the exhibits and attending lectures. He became acquainted with some of the
curators and sent them specimens of Dutchess County birds which they lacked. FDR was a
birder all his life, even when his disability and the burdens of the Presidency prevented
active pursuit of the hobby. Once in 1942, however, he took part in an early morning bird
watching expedition with Hyde Park friends. President Roosevelt\'s boyhood home is a
popular related attraction at the Hyde Park historic site. The house, on a 188-acre estate,
contains an office which the President referred to as his Summer White House. From
this room he broadcast the last speech of his fourth campaign for the Presidency on

November 6, 1944. Famous guests at the house included King George VI of Great Britain
and Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill. The house contains abundant memorabilia from
all periods of the President\'s life. As his wife Eleanor remarked, He always felt that this
was his home, and he loved the house and the view, the woods, special trees.... He
attended Groton (1896-1900), a prestigious preparatory school in Massachusetts, and
received a B.A. degree in history from Harvard in only three years (1900-03). Roosevelt
next studied law at New York\'s Columbia University. When he passed the bar examination
in 1907, he left school without taking a degree. For the next three years he practiced law
with a prominent New York City law firm. He entered politics in 1910 and was elected to
the New York State Senate as a Democrat from his traditionally Republican home district.

In the meantime, in 1905, he had married a distant cousin, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, who
was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. The couple had six children, five of whom
survived infancy: Anna (1906), James (1907), Elliott (1910), Franklin, Jr. (1914) and John
(1916). Roosevelt was reelected to the State Senate in 1912, and supported Woodrow

Wilson\'s candidacy at the Democratic National Convention. As a reward for his support,

Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1913, a position he held until

1920. He was an energetic and efficient administrator, specializing in the business side of
naval administration. This experience prepared him for his future role as

Commander-in-Chief during World War II. Roosevelt\'s popularity and success in naval
affairs resulted in his being nominated for vice-president by the Democratic Party in 1920
on a ticket headed by James M. Cox of Ohio. However, popular sentiment against

Wilson\'s plan for U.S. participation in the League of Nations propelled Republican Warren

Harding into the presidency, and Roosevelt returned to private life. While vacationing at

Campobello Island, New Brunswick in the summer of 1921, Roosevelt contracted
poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis). Despite courageous efforts to overcome his crippling
illness, he never regained the use of his legs. In time, he established a foundation at Warm

Springs, Georgia to help other polio victims, and inspired, as well as directed, the March
of Dimes program that eventually funded an effective vaccine. With the encouragement
and help of his wife, Eleanor, and political confidant, Louis Howe, Roosevelt resumed his
political career. In 1924 he nominated Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York for
president at the Democratic National Convention, but Smith lost the nomination to John

W. Davis. In 1928 Smith became the Democratic candidate for president and arranged for

Roosevelt\'s nomination to succeed him as governor of New York. Smith lost the election
to Herbert Hoover; but Roosevelt was elected governor. Following his reelection as
governor in 1930, Roosevelt began to campaign for the presidency. While the