Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
Part of the Biography television series from A&E, this documentary reviews the career and personal life of New Deal PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt. Admitted to the New York bar in 1907, he served as a progressive state senator and assistant navy secretary before running unsuccessfully as vice-president on the 1920 Democratic ticket. After a crippling attack of polio in 1921 (he would never again walk without assistance), he resumed his political career, becoming governor of New York and seeming to take on a new sense of purpose. With the country in a deep depression, he easily defeated Herbert Hoover in 1932. As president, he moved decisively and set the pattern for the modern liberal Democratic Party with a social and economic program called the "New Deal." An array of agencies and departments were designed to stimulate the economy, put people to work, and simply to create hope. Reelected by a landslide in 1936, he won unprecedented third and fourth terms in 1940 and 1944. Having maintained neutrality in the face of European hostilities his administration began supplying arms to the allies by 1940 and then led the nation into World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Having seen the nation through the war, Roosevelt died less than four weeks before the German surrender.