Eleanor Roosevelt a Great American that shaped America and left behind a legacy for others to follow.

Essay by dlindley November 2005

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Eleanor Roosevelt had unique qualities that allowed her to be an effective leader. Her actions and writing affected twentieth century American politics, society and economy. Eleanor is know as one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. Her legacy is one that reflects ambitions and ideals worthy of all people.

Eleanor Roosevelt typified the realization of the dreams of the female crusaders of the 20th Century , who threw off the restrictions of the Victorian age. Eleanor Roosevelt had a vision of a united world. For someone who never held elective office Eleanor Roosevelt wielded a great deal of power. The honesty with which she told us, of the long path she traveled to free herself from fear and prejudice and became an independent person has placed her in a special arena reserved for shapers of the human spirit.

Eleanor the only daughter of an alcoholic father and a beautiful aloof mother was openly disappointed by Eleanor's lack of a pretty face.

Eleanor was plagued by insecurity and shyness. An early marriage to her fifth cousin once removed, Franklin Roosevelt, increased her insecurity and took away her one source of confidence, her work in a New York City settlement house. "For 10 years, I was always just getting over having a baby or about to have one," she later lamented, So my occupations were considered restricted." Women of this time were considered only to occupy themselves with family matters and not to worry themselves over politics.

After 13 years of marriage and after having six children , Eleanor resumed her search for her identity. The discovery of love letters revealing that Franklin was involved with Lucy Mercer. "The bottom dropped out of my own particular world," she later said, "I faced myself my surroundings, my world, honestly for...