Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born into wealth and prestige, and as a young Harvard graduate, he seemed destined for success. By the age of 30 he was elected as a state senator, and a few years later he was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
However, shortly before Roosevelt turned 40, tragedy struck when he contracted polio. It's hard to imagine the fear he must have felt upon suddenly losing motion in his arms and legs. FDR could have let the fear of living with polio debilitate him, but he rose above it. Through therapy, he regained the use of his hands, and he learned to walk with braces. Eight years later he became Governor of New York, and he was eventually elected President of the United States.
Interestingly enough, when Roosevelt became President, the American nation was paralyzed. How appropriate that a person who had personally conquered fear would lead a nation filled with fear. In steering the country through the Great Depression and World War II, FDR put his stamp on society and gained notoriety as one of the greatest American leaders of the 21st century.
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