Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, holding the post from 1933 to 1945 during her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office. President Harry S. Truman later nicknamed her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.
Born into a wealthy and well-connected New York family, the Roosevelts, Eleanor had an unhappy childhood, suffering the deaths of both parents and one of her brothers at a young age. At 15, she attended Allenwood Academy in London, and was deeply influenced by feminist headmistress Marie Souvestre. Returning to the US, she married Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1905. The Roosevelts' marriage was complicated from the beginning by Franklin's controlling mother, and after discovering Franklin's affair with Lucy Mercer in 1918, Eleanor resolved to seek fulfillment in a public life of her own. She persuaded Franklin to stay in politics following his partial paralysis from polio, and began to give speeches and campaign in his place. After Franklin's election as Governor of New York, Eleanor regularly made public appearances on his behalf.