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John Aspinwall Roosevelt

John Aspinwall Roosevelt (March 13 1916April 27 1981) was the 6th and last child of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt.


John Aspinwall Roosevelt was born in Washington DC to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt as the youngest child. His siblings were Anna E. Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, Elliott Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.. Roosevelt grew up on the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York and attended school at Groton. Considered by some to be the most stable of the five Roosevelt children, he had two marriages with the first lasting 27 years. In 1952 presidential campaign, he became a Republican as he supported the candidacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Childhood years

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.

Education, career and political affiliations

Educated at Groton and Harvard, 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 on the West Coast. In 1952, he became a Republican so he could support Dwight D. Eisenhower's bid for the United States presidency. John's defection from the Democratic Party and his subsequent leadership of Citizens for Eisenhower caused family friction as Eleanor Roosevelt strongly supported the Democratic presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson. 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.

Remaining years

In 1967, John joined Bache and Company. He retired 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

His siblings were: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (known as Anna), James Roosevelt, 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).

In 1960 Sally was killed in a horse riding accident.

In 1965, the couple obtained a divorce. That same year he married Mrs. Irene Boyd McAlpin (born 1931).

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