Franklin D. Roosevelt, our nation’s thirty-second President, was arguably the most unique leader our nation has ever had. He faced two major national crises as president: the Great Depression and World War II. He was the only president to be elected to more than two terms. He was the first to appoint a female cabinet member. He was the first sitting president to address a national party convention. He was the first to consistently use electronic media. He was the first president to bear a major disability while in office. And the list goes on and on.
FDR is consistently listed as one of our five greatest US presidents by historians. He was not without his distracters, however, and not without his faults. He was a fascinating man who truly empathized with the common man although he had been raised as a person of privilege. At times he was quiet and inward, yet at other times an incredible socializer. He valued the opinion of his advisors and cabinet members but would often make decisions that went against their advice and counsel.
Dozens of books have been written about this fascinating man. He is often called the most influential American in the twentieth century. And his wife, Eleanor, is often credited as being the most influential First Lady our nation has ever had. Truly, these Roosevelts, who share a bloodline with another great American President, Theodore Roosevelt (a fifth cousin of FDR and uncle to Eleanor), helped shape our country as we know it today.
In my portrayal of FDR I strive to reflect the complex personality that helped make this man so unique. While I have spent many hours to perfect the voice, mannerisms and appearance of FDR, I have also read countless books and watched numerous documentaries about him to try and understand what influenced him and made him the leader that he was. My intention is to bring him back, once more, for my audiences so that they may understand and appreciate a one-of-a-kind American. FDR Lives.