Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of the best and most influential presidents in U.S. history. Successfully guiding the stricken nation through the Great Depression and World War II, FDR also forever changed the office of the President of the United States and the future course of American politics. The scion of a wealthy upstate New York family, and cousin to President Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt was beloved by ordinary Americans and reviled by the elite as a class traitor for his New Deal policies. Here, FDR's life from childhood to midlife struggle with crippling polio to his death in office in 1944 is detailed, offering both personal and public perspectives. Starting with his privileged prep school and Harvard upbringing, readers follow this masterful politician's development as New York senator and Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War I. During a brief retreat from the public eye, Roosevelt is struck by polio and regroups personally and professionally. Next comes his triumphant return to national politics and his election to president in 1932. The pivotal years during which he was elected president an unprecedented four times during the Depression and World War II round out the final third of the book. An annotated bibliography and index conclude the work.