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New York City (JFK+50) Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the future 1st Lady of the United States, was born on October 11, 1884 in Manhattan at 56 West 37th Street.

She was the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt & Anna Hall & the niece of Theodore Roosevelt.

In a White House biography, Eleanor is described as “a shy, awkward child starved for recognition & love.”

Another source says that Anna Hall Roosevelt, who was considered a “great beauty,” was critical of Eleanor’s “plain looks.”

In 1892, after her mother’s death, Eleanor lived with her grandmother. Two years later, Elliott Roosevelt passed away.

From 1899 to 1902, Eleanor attended ALLENSWOOD ACADEMY* in London, England.

The private school for young ladies of wealthy families was led by Headmistress Marie Souvestre who emphasized history, geography, literature as well as the importance of direct inquiry & free thinking.

When Eleanor returned to New York to make her debut in society, she met Franklin D. Roosevelt.

*Allenswood Academy is located in Southfields (SW London) near Wimbledon.  Three rules of the academy which Eleanor thought  ‘silly’ were:

only 3 baths a week at no more than 10 minutes each, confess to the use of a single word of English before entering the dining hall, & be subjected to having the contents of one’s dresser dumped on your bed for punishment.


Eleanor Roosevelt & Frank Sinatra, December 1960, NARA Photo


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