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John Aspinwall Roosevelt
Born March 13, 1916(1916-03-13)
Washington, D.C., United States
Died April 27, 1981 (aged 65)
New York City, New York, United States
Occupation Politician, Business
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Anne Lindsay Clark (b. 1916 d. 1973) Irene Boyd McAlpin
Children Haven Clark Roosevelt
Anne Sturgis "Nina" Roosevelt
Sara Delano "Sally" Roosevelt
Joan Lindsay Roosevelt
Parents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt

John Aspinwall Roosevelt (March 13, 1916 – April 27, 1981) was the 6th and last child of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the only Roosevelt son who never sought political office.

Contents

Early life

John Aspinwall Roosevelt was the youngest child of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. His siblings were Anna E. Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (I) (b./d. 1909), Elliott Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.. Roosevelt grew up on the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York and attended preparatory school at Groton.

John and his next oldest sibling, Franklin Jr., were much closer to their mother than the three older Roosevelt children had been. This was due in part because by the time they were born, she was more comfortable in her role as a parent.

Also during this time, a serious paralytic illness had struck their father, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when John was five years old. Conscious of her husband's disability and determined that the younger children should not miss out on the sports and physical activities that their older siblings had enjoyed, Eleanor Roosevelt learned to swim and skate. She also took John and Franklin Jr. camping and to Europe. She urged both children to live boldly and self-reliantly.

Career and politics

After graduation from Harvard, his father's alma mater, John worked at Filene's Department Store in Boston until America entered World War II in 1941. He served in the navy until 1946 and thereafter pursued a business career in California.

In 1947, John Roosevelt changed his political affiliation to Republican, a gesture his mother interpreted as an attempt to win support from his wife's family, his father-in-law being a staunchly Republican Boston banker.[1] But in 1952, he went beyond paper registration, actively supporting Dwight D. Eisenhower's bid for the Presidency against Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson, for whom his mother was just as actively campaigning. His defection from the Democratic Party and his subsequent leadership of Citizens for Eisenhower - he vocally defended Eisenhower's running mate, California Senator Richard Nixon, against attacks by his mother - caused considerable family friction.

The tension was exacerbated when John and his family moved into Stone Cottage next door to Eleanor Roosevelt's home at Val-Kill that same year. He and his brother, Elliott, who lived at nearby Top Cottage, did not get along. Elliott left shortly after John and his family arrived. John subsequently acquired what remained of the Hyde Park property Elliott had farmed with Eleanor Roosevelt. More importantly, the presence of John and his family enabled Eleanor Roosevelt to live at Val-Kill until her death in 1962. She saw John's children often and was particularly close to his daughter Sara "Sally" Roosevelt.

Uranium interests

At the height of the Cold War, when the US Atomic Energy Commission was desperately seeking sources of uranium for the production of atomic weapons, John Roosevelt became an officer and director of the Standard Uranium Company, reportedly the first and most successful publicly-traded uranium corporation, which registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in early 1954 and soon attracted heavy investments by industrialist Floyd Odlum, one of the wealthiest men in America.[2] According to an authorized biography of San Francisco hotel magnate (and Democratic Party fund-raiser) Benjamin Swig, Roosevelt was also partnered with Swig and Hollywood producer Louis B. Mayer, the powerful "boss" of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, in what was probably a related consortium, involving uranium investments in southern Utah.[3]

Remaining years

In 1956, Roosevelt began consulting for the investment firm of Bache and Company, which he joined in 1967, retiring as a vice-president in 1980. His philanthropic activities included serving as a fund raiser with the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which FDR had founded, membership on the executive committee of the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America and service as a trustee of the State University of New York.

Within three years of ER's death, John divorced and remarried. In 1970, he sold the Val-Kill properties. Thereafter, he and his second wife lived on an estate in Tuxedo, New York. John Roosevelt died at 65 of heart failure in 1981.

Personal life

Considered by some to be the most "stable" of the mercurial Roosevelt children, John Roosevelt was married only twice, his first marriage, to a "Boston Brahmin", lasting 27 years.

His siblings were: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (known as Anna), James Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (I) (b./d. 1909), Elliott Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.

He served in World War II as Lieutenant and received the Bronze Star for his logistics work with a carrier task group in the Pacific.

Roosevelt received his middle name from that of his great-grandmother, Mary Rebecca Aspinwall.

John Aspinwall Roosevelt married Anne Lindsay Clark (1916-1973) on June 18, 1938 in Massachusetts. They had a son, Haven Clark Roosevelt, and three daughters, Anne Sturgis "Nina" Roosevelt (b. 1942), Sara Delano "Sally" Roosevelt (1946-1960) and Joan Lindsay Roosevelt (1952-1997).

Their daughter, Sally was killed in a horse riding accident in 1960.

In 1965, John and Anne Roosevelt obtained a divorce. That same year he married Mrs. Irene Boyd McAlpin (born 8 March 1931).

References

  1. ^ Eleanor Roosevelt Papers
  2. ^ Mark Steen,My Old Man, The Uranium King (Charles Steen)
  3. ^ Walter Blum. Benjamin H. Swig, The Measure of a Man (San Francisco, 1968)

External links

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