As a young man Roosevelt became crippled by polio. He could not stand or move his legs. His muscles were also damaged and he spent most of his life in a wheelchair. When many people thought that this illness would end his political career, Roosevelt became President for the first time in 1933.
At that time, America suffered from bad depression. Many people had lost their jobs and families didn't have enough to eat. Roosevelt started a new programme called the New Deal. The government spent lots of money to create new jobs - it built roads, bridges, new schools and did other important things to help the population.
America's people saw that FDR could do a lot for his country and they elected him for a second time in 1936.
When Roosevelt started his third term in office in 1941, Europe was at war. At first, he wanted America to stay out of World War II but when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941, the USA declared war on Japan and Germany.
Roosevelt's health was already very bad when he started his fourth term in January 1945. He met with the leaders of Great Britain and Russia, Churchill and Stalin, at Yalta . There the three leaders planned the final attacks on Germany and talked about how they would divide the country after the war. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair in 1941