Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884, in New York City. She and two of her friends started a business at her home. They made furniture, providing jobs during the Great Depression.
When Mrs. Roosevelt entered the White House in 1933, she was acting as the eyes, ears, and feet of her husband, 32nd President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was partly paralyzed with polio. She travelled often, both at home and abroad, and reported what she learned in great detail to the President.
Mrs. Roosevelt visited war zones during World War II, gave radio addresses every week, and even spoke about the bombing of Pearl Harbor before her husband addressed the nation in his famous "Day of Infamy" speech. She also wrote a very popular syndicated newspaper column daily.
Mrs. Roosevelt took many stands against injustice in the United States. She visited the homeless on the streets and worked in soup kitchens, even on Christmas Day. She publicly resigned from a major women's organization when a prominent singer was denied the chance to sing at its event because of her race.
After her time in the White House, Mrs. Roosevelt was a delegate to the United Nations. She was proud of her work on behalf of the state of Israel.
Design on Reverse
The image shows Eleanor Roosevelt's right hand lighting a candle. Its light shines over the Earth's curved horizon.
The design symbolizes her life's work and the way she touched the world by actively helping people. Adlai Stevenson said of her after her death: “She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.”