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the history of tva

FDR: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

photo of president roosevelt
President Roosevelt often talked to the nation on the radio.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the man who created the Tennessee Valley Authority, became president of the United States in 1933. When he took office, President Roosevelt knew that his administration would need to take bold action to deal with the terrible economic problems the country was facing. The U.S. was in the middle of what’s called the Great Depression, and millions of people were out of work.

President Roosevelt was born to a wealthy family in Hyde Park, New York, in 1882. His distant cousin was Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. In 1905, FDR married Theodore’s niece, Eleanor Roosevelt, who went on to become one of our most active first ladies.

photo of eleanor roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt loved working with children.

In the summer of 1921, when Roosevelt was 39, he came down with polio, a serious disease that made it difficult for him to walk or stand. For the rest of his life, he used crutches or a wheelchair to get around.

Franklin Roosevelt was elected to the presidency four times, beginning in 1932. In his first hundred days in office, Roosevelt proposed, and Congress enacted, many new government programs to create jobs, assist the poor and the elderly, and help farmers. These programs, as well as Roosevelt’s plan to create the Tennessee Valley Authority, were known as the New Deal.

photo of united nations headquarters
The United Nations headquarters in New York City.

President Roosevelt led the nation to victory in World War II. He also played a major role in the creation of the United Nations, which he hoped would help settle problems between countries without warfare. As World War II came to an end, President Roosevelt became sick, and on April 12, 1945, while visiting his vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia, he suffered a stroke and died.