First Lady of the World: The life of Eleanor Roosevelt

Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy joined Park Rangers Franceska Macsali-Urbin and Michael Autenrieth at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York, approximately two miles from the historic Roosevelt home. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt built a cottage on the site for his wife when she became more active in politics, necessitating her own space. He called the site a “shack in the woods,” and the First Lady would go on to host dignitaries from around the world at the house. 

Macsali-Urbin noted that Eleanor grew up in a prominent family, and actually was a niece of Theodore Roosevelt. But her marriage to FDR was a love match, spurred when the two ran into each other on a train from New York City to Hyde Park. 

“It was a marriage of love,” Macsali-Urbin said. “FDR recognized in Eleanor Roosevelt a very intelligent woman, and early on he had ambitions of becoming president of the United States.” 

Macsali-Urbin also spoke of Roosevelt’s work to make the world a better place both during her time in the White House and after. 

“One of the things that she felt very strongly about was that everyone should be treated the same,” she said. “No matter if you were male or female, the color of your skin, she felt everyone in this country deserved the opportunity to have a good-paying job, a good education, that your pay should be commensurate with your ability to have a good home and good healthcare.”

“Eleanor’s work schedule was nothing less than remarkable,” Autenreith added. “She was on the go from the time her feet hit the floor in the morning to the time her head hit the pillow at night.” 

Even after the death of FDR, Macsali-Urbin said the new chapters of Roosevelt’s life were “just beginning.” President Truman asked her to be a delegate to the United Nations, where she championed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

“For her, life meant doing things until the very end,” Macsali-Urbin concluded. 

Learn more about the life of Eleanor Roosevelt in Fox Nation’s “Women of the White House.” 

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