While Theodore Roosevelt was a republican and Franklin D. Roosevelt was a democrat, these two early 20th century presidents both attended Harvard, studied law at Columbia, wore a pince-nez instead of standard glasses and used similar phrases. Both presidents were blood relatives of Eleanor, who eventually became Franklin's wife.Continue Reading
Eleanor Roosevelt was the daughter of Teddy's younger brother Elliot. Elliot died of alcoholism when she was 10 and her uncle became her caregiver. Franklin and Eleanor were fifth cousins, once removed. Theodore gave away Eleanor as the bride and signed the couple's marriage license.
Both of the Presidents had six children, although only five of Franklin's children survived infancy. While they chose opposite political parties both embraced progressive politics. Both also ran for the Senate in New York. Before Franklin decided to enter his first race, he sought the blessing of Theodore, who gave it.
When the United States elected Woodrow Wilson as president, Franklin and Eleanor attended his inauguration. At the event, Wilson selected Franklin as his Secretary of the Navy, another position that his older cousin had held. During the events leading to World War I, both Theodore and Franklin supported the Allied forces and believed that the United States should rally to their support although it was three years until Wilson led the nation into involvement.Learn more about US History