- Longest serving first lady of the United States, niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, and distant cousin of her husband, Franklin Roosevelt.
- Widely credited with transforming the role of the ‘first lady.’
- Enjoyed having her own money and donated much of her income to organizations such as the Women’s Trade Union League and the Red Cross.
- She worked to combat prejudice against married working women, denouncing, for example, the Economy Act of 1933, which permitted the termination of women in civil service if their husbands also had government employment. She also spoke out on this issue at many news conferences.
- She is credited with contributing to the humanitarian projects of FDR’s administration, including the National Youth Administration, slum clearance, and nursery schools.
- Promoted flying at a time when most Americans feared travelling by airplane.
- Did not support the Equal Rights Amendment despite breaking precedent by using her position as first lady to advocate for the advancement and protection of women.
- Aided in achieving expanded civil rights for Black Americans.
- Wrote the “My Day” newspaper column from 12/31/1935 - 09/26/1962.
- Served as the first United States Representative to the United Nations Commission of Human Rights, helping draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Appointed by President Kennedy as the head of the Commission on the Status of Women.