Roosevelt

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The Roosevelt Political Family

Based in: New York, California

Members: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt Sr., Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr, James Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was first elected Governor of New York in 1898 as a Republican. He served for a little less than 2 years, and in 1900 was chosen as William McKinley's running mate, a move that was designed by New York Republicans to stifle his political career. He became VP in 1901, and when McKinley was shot and killed that September, became President. He won re-election in 1904, and left office in 1909, having hand-picked a successor, William Howard Taft. But Taft's policies were not to his liking, so Roosevelt challenged him for the Republican nomination in 1912. When the Conservative Republicans backed Taft, Roosevelt and his Progressive Republican supporters left the party and nominated Roosevelt to run on a Progressive "Bull-Moose" ticket. Roosevelt won 27 percent to Taft's 23, but both were beaten handily by Woodrow Wilson.

The other side of the Roosevelt family is Democratic. Franklin Roosevelt was only a distant relative of Theodore, and he backed Wilson in the 1912 election. He served several terms in the New York legislature, and in 1913, was appointed by Wilson to be the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, serving until 1921. In 1920, he was nominated by the Democratic Party to be the running mate on the ticket with Gov. James Cox of Ohio, but Cox and Roosevelt were defeated easily by the Republican Harding-Coolidge ticket. After contracting polio, Roosevelt retired from politics and spent several years adjusting to his disability. In 1928, he made a comeback, winning the New York Governorship. He was re-elected as Governor in 1930, and in 1932, won the Democratic nomination for President. He defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover in a landslide, and in 1936, defeated Kansas Gov. Alf Landon to win a second term. He won an unprecedented third term in 1940, and a fourth term in 1944, serving from March 1933 until his death in April 1945.

His son FDR Jr. served as a Liberal and Democratic Representative from New York from 1949 to 1955. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Governorship of that state.

Another son, James Roosevelt, served as a Representative from California from 1955 to 1967. He sought the California Governorship unsuccessfully.

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