Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Great American Leader
Kevin J. Keller
Edison State College
I have chosen to focus my research on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States of America. I feel that Franklin D. Roosevelt provides an excellent example of everything that a leader should be. Arguably one of the greatest presidents in United States history, Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only American president to be elected to four terms. In this paper I will discuss the history of Roosevelt’s life prior to him initially being elected president in 1932. I will discuss the traits, motives, and characteristics that inspired Roosevelt to be an effective leader, along with his behaviors, attitudes, and leadership
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Roosevelt showed his determination to lead, forcing his way into naval strategy meetings that were not commonly attended by those in his position (Brinkley, 2000). Franklin Roosevelt was also credited with the plan to place anti-submarine mines in the North Sea, and the development of small naval craft to help protect the American coast (Brinkley, 2000). Following his time as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt went on to be nominated as the Democratic candidate for the Vice Presidency, as the running mate for former Ohio Governor, James M. Cox (Brinkley, 2000). Though the duo was unsuccessful in the election, Franklin Roosevelt was able to gain valuable experience in regards to participating in a national campaign. This experience taught him valuable leadership behaviors; behaviors such as being able to align people for a common cause, being able to create inspiration and visibility for their party, and promoting the principles and values which their campaign was based upon. After returning from the campaign trail, Franklin D. Roosevelt experienced the most significant event in his life to this point. In 1921, he contracted poliomyelitis, a crippling disease that can cause paralysis and extreme pain (Brinkley, 2000). As a result of this disease, Roosevelt would end up temporarily losing the use of his legs. This situation taught him one of the most important leadership traits, humility.