Paralytic illness of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Rare photograph of Roosevelt in a wheelchair, with Ruthie Bie and Fala (1941)
Roosevelt at Warm Springs (1929)
Roosevelt with polio patients in Warm Springs, Georgia (1925)

39 years old.

- Paralytic illness of Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Franklin D. Roosevelt

American politician and attorney who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945.

Official campaign portrait, 1944
Eleanor and Franklin with their first two children, 1908
Roosevelt in 1944
Roosevelt supported Governor Woodrow Wilson in the 1912 presidential election.
Theodore Roosevelt was Franklin Roosevelt's distant cousin and an important influence on his career.
Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1913
Cox and Roosevelt in Ohio, 1920
Rare photograph of Roosevelt in a wheelchair, with Fala and Ruthie Bie, the daughter of caretakers at his Hyde Park estate. Photo taken by his cousin Margaret Suckley (February 1941).
Gov. Roosevelt with his predecessor Al Smith, 1930
Results of the 1930 gubernatorial election in New York
Roosevelt in the early 1930s
1932 electoral vote results
Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law, August 14, 1935
1936 re-election handbill for Roosevelt promoting his economic policy
1936 electoral vote results
Roosevelt with Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas and other dignitaries in Brazil, 1936
The Roosevelts with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, sailing from Washington, D.C., to Mount Vernon, Virginia, on the USS Potomac during the first U.S. visit of a reigning British monarch (June 9, 1939)
Foreign trips of Roosevelt during his presidency
1940 electoral vote results
Roosevelt and Winston Churchill aboard HMS Prince of Wales for 1941 Atlantic Charter meeting
Territory controlled by the Allies (blue and red) and the Axis Powers (black) in June 1942
The Allies (blue and red) and the Axis Powers (black) in December 1944
1944 electoral vote results
Official portrait of President Roosevelt by Frank O. Salisbury, c. 1947

In 1921, Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, believed at the time to be polio, and his legs became permanently paralyzed.

Eleanor Roosevelt

American political figure, diplomat, and activist.

Roosevelt in July 1933
Roosevelt as a child, 1887
School photo of 14-year-old Roosevelt, 1898
Roosevelt in her wedding dress, 1905
Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt with their first two children, 1908
Roosevelt with her dog Fala in 1951
Roosevelt (center), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in London, October 23, 1942
Roosevelt flying with Tuskegee Airman Charles "Chief" Anderson in March 1941
Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune, a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Black Cabinet, 1943
Eleanor Roosevelt, George T. Bye (her literary agent, upper right), Deems Taylor (upper left), Westbrook Pegler (lower left), Quaker Lake, Pawling, New York (home of Lowell Thomas), 1938
Roosevelt with Shirley Temple in 1938
With Lucille Ball during a tour of Washington D.C. hotels presenting fundraisers for the President's Birthday Ball to fight infantile paralysis (1944)
Gen. Millard Harmon, Eleanor Roosevelt and Admiral Halsey in the South Pacific Theater, 1943
Roosevelt visiting troops
Roosevelt speaking at the United Nations in July 1947
Roosevelt with Frank Sinatra in 1960
Despite her reservations, Roosevelt supported Kennedy's campaign.
Roosevelt with President Ramon Magsaysay, the 7th President of the Philippines, and his wife at the Malacañan Palace in 1955
Eleanor Roosevelt, Walter Reuther, Milton Eisenhower and the Cuban prisoner exchange delegation in Washington, D.C.
The Eleanor Roosevelt Monument in Riverside Park in Manhattan
This 1949 portrait of Roosevelt by Douglas Chandor was purchased by the White House in 1966.
Val-Kill Historic Site, Hyde Park, New York

She persuaded Franklin to stay in politics after he was stricken with a paralytic illness in 1921, which cost him the normal use of his legs, and began giving speeches and appearing at campaign events in his place.

Warm Springs, Georgia

City in Meriwether County, Georgia, United States.

The Little White House, located in the Warm Springs Historic District, was Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal retreat and was the site of his death. The house was opened to the public as a museum in 1948.
Georgia Hall, the main building of the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute, was built in 1933. Roosevelt often hosted Thanksgiving dinners in its dining hall for those who were using the Springs. For much of its existence, the institute was the only such facility "exclusively devoted" to polio patients.
The Polio Hall of Fame (or the Polio Wall of Fame) consists of a linear grouping of sculptured busts of fifteen scientists and two laymen who made important contributions to the knowledge and treatment of poliomyelitis. It is found on the outside wall of what is called Founder's Hall of the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Georgia.
The Eleanor Roosevelt School in Warm Springs was built in 1936 and opened in 1937. It was the last Rosenwald school built in the United States using funds provided by the Julius Rosenwald Fund. The school operated from 1937 until 1972. The building was purchased privately in 1977. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 3, 2010.
The Benjamin F. Bulloch House was built in the Queen Anne style in 1893 by Warm Springs' co-founder, Benjamin F. Bulloch. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 1994. For many years, the house was the location of The Bulloch House Restaurant. The Benjamin F. Bulloch House was completely destroyed by a fire on June 10, 2015.
The Bulloch Family House is located at 5634 Spring St. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 2002.
The Oakland Plantation Inn was built in 1829. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 28, 1982.
Warm Springs was originally named "Bullochville". The historic district of Old Bullochville is located in the center of town and is the site of the annual Watermelon Festival.
Downtown Warm Springs

In 1921, Franklin Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, diagnosed at the time as poliomyelitis (later thought in a 2003 peer-reviewed retrospective study to be Guillain–Barré syndrome ).

March of Dimes

United States nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

FDR's personal secretary Missy LeHand with 30,000 letters containing ten-cent contributions to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis that arrived at the White House the morning of January 28, 1938
March of Dimes polio poster (1957)
FDR receives a $1 million check, proceeds from the first President's Birthday Ball (1934)
Eleanor Roosevelt with celebrities invited to Washington, D.C., for the 1937 President's Birthday Ball
FDR buys a certificate enrolling him as "Founder No. 1" of the new National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (1938)
Poster for the 1939 President's Birthday Ball
Eleanor Roosevelt buys the first ticket for the 1940 President's Birthday Ball
Glenn Miller recorded Irving Berlin's "At the President's Birthday Ball" (1942)
FDR with Basil O'Connor (1944)
Eleanor Roosevelt with celebrities invited to Washington, D.C., for the 1944 President's Birthday Ball
Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucille Ball at the 1944 President's Birthday Ball
1944 President's Birthday Ball
Eleanor Roosevelt with celebrities invited to Washington, D.C., for the 1945 President's Birthday Ball

Roosevelt was himself diagnosed with polio in 1921, although his symptoms are now known to be more consistent with Guillain–Barré syndrome – an autoimmune neuropathy which Roosevelt's doctors failed to consider as a diagnostic possibility.

Polio vaccine

Polio vaccines are vaccines used to prevent poliomyelitis (polio).

This 1963 poster featured CDC's national symbol of public health, the "Wellbee", encouraging the public to receive an oral polio vaccine.
Share of one-year-olds vaccinated against polio in 2015
cVDPV cases (red line) outnumbered wild polio cases (blue line) for the first time in 2017
Doses of oral polio vaccine are added to sugar cubes for use in a 1967 vaccination campaign in Bonn, West Germany
Sabin immunization certificate
Example of OPV in dragee candy
1955 newspaper headlines on the development of an effective polio vaccine
Administration of the polio inoculation, including by Salk himself, in 1957 at the University of Pittsburgh, where his team had developed the vaccine
Mass polio vaccination in Columbus, Georgia circa 1961 for the National Polio Immunization Program
Albert Sabin (right) with Robert Gallo, circa 1985
A Somali boy is injected with inactivated poliovirus vaccine (Mogadishu, 1993)

The results of the field trial were announced 12 April 1955 (the tenth anniversary of the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose paralytic illness was generally believed to have been caused by polio).

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site

The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site preserves the Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York.

Springwood Estate at Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.
Springwood, the home where Franklin Delano Roosevelt lived with family, is now a National Historic Site
The grave of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy at Springwood during his 1960 presidential campaign
Entrance to the FDR National Historic Site
South hallway on the main floor, leading into the living-room, with a view of the Snuggery door to the left
Statue of Roosevelt as a young man
Library and living room
FDR's childhood bedroom
Horse stable
Side of Springwood

Originally these rooms included a sitting room and two dressing rooms, but after Roosevelt was diagnosed with poliomyelitis in 1921, one of the dressing rooms was converted into a separate bedroom for his wife Eleanor and the sitting room into a bedroom for his mother Sara.

Elliott Roosevelt (general)

American aviation official and wartime officer in the United States Army Air Forces, reaching the rank of brigadier general.

Roosevelt receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross in Algiers
BG Elliott Roosevelt as 325th Wing commander
Elizabeth Browning Donner and Elliott Roosevelt's divorce as reported by the Hongkong Telegraph

With James Brough, Roosevelt wrote a highly personal book about his parents called The Roosevelts of Hyde Park: An Untold Story, in which he revealed details about the sexual lives of his parents, including his father's relationships with mistress Lucy Mercer and secretary Marguerite ("Missy") LeHand as well as graphic details surrounding the 1921 paralytic illness that crippled his father.

Basil O'Connor

American lawyer.

Basil O'Connor
Leaders in the effort against polio were honored at the opening of the Polio Hall of Fame on January 2, 1958. From left: Thomas M. Rivers, Charles Armstrong, John R. Paul, Thomas Francis Jr., Albert Sabin, Joseph L. Melnick, Isabel Morgan, Howard A. Howe, David Bodian, Jonas Salk, Eleanor Roosevelt and Basil O'Connor.

In August 1921, while vacationing with his family at their summer home on Campobello Island, Franklin D. Roosevelt fell ill and was diagnosed with polio.

Samuel A. Levine

American cardiologist.

Samuel A. Levine in 1964

In August 1921, Levine gave advice in the case of Franklin D. Roosevelt's paralytic illness.

George Draper (physician)

American physician.

School seal

Aside from his Constitutional Clinic, Draper was a known expert in polio, and personally attended to Roosevelt after his return from Campobello more than a month after the onset of his 1921 paralytic illness.