James Roosevelt

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New York City, New York
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James Roosevelt, the oldest child of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States of America, served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and as a member of the House of Representatives. During his father’s presidential campaign, he offered assistance. James temporarily served as FDR’s secretary during his first term in office. He had a significant impact on many programs at the time, but his time in the White House was cut short as suspicions of nepotism and corruption emerged. He then started working as a Hollywood film producer. He was charged with obtaining Mafia funding for his business endeavors. During World War II, he distinguished himself in combat after enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve. He represented California in the House of Representatives and Congress for ten years. He was outspoken in his criticism of the House of Un-American Activities Committee and McCarthyism. The International Overseas Services Management Company hired him after he resigned from UNESCO. When the company’s irregularities were too evident to overlook, he quit. Despite being a Democrat, he backed Republicans for president, including Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan. Despite being a brave soldier, his political career was too often characterized by opportunism.

Early Childhood & Life

James Roosevelt, the second of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s (FDR) six children, attended schools in Washington, D.C. for his early education. FDR was the 32nd president of the United States.

He attended the Groton School, a prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts, like his father. He excelled in football and rowing there, and in his senior year, he was elected prefect. He received his Groton diploma in 1926.
He went to Harvard University like his father before him. He belonged to the Fly Club, the Signet Society, and the Hasty Pudding Club. In 1930, he graduated from Harvard University.

Career of James Roosevelt

James Roosevelt started attending the Boston University School of Law but quit after becoming president of the successful insurance company he co-owned, Roosevelt & Sargent Inc.

At the Democratic National Convention in 1924, he helped his father out. He led FDR’s Massachusetts primary campaign after dropping out of Harvard, earning the title of the president’s deputy.

He grew close to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., who helped him in a number of contentious ventures, including the importation of alcoholic beverages, while he secured Kennedy’s appointment as ambassador to the United Kingdom.
In a contentious decision during the 1936 elections, he was given a direct appointment to the Marine Corps. He accompanied his father, the President, to the Inter-American Conference in Buenos Aires while serving as a military aide.

He was officially named Secretary to the President and the 18 federal agencies’ coordinator in 1937. Due to claims that he had used his positions for the benefit of his insurance company, he resigned from his positions.

He moved to Hollywood and worked until 1940 for Samuel Goldwyn, a producer. He founded Globe Productions to make short movies. ‘Pot o’ Gold,’ starring James Stewart, was another film he produced.

He was also dogged by controversy in Hollywood. He had a good relationship with movie mogul Joseph Schenck, who gave him money to fund his endeavors. Because of his ties to the Mafia, Schenck was sentenced to prison.
He was promoted to captain in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1939. He participated in covert diplomatic trips to China, Egypt, and Greece just before the United States entered World War II.

He requested combat duty when America entered the war, and as a result, he was given command of the 2nd Raider Battalion. At Midway and Makin Island, he witnessed combat.

He was a colonel when the war ended, and although he was taken off active duty, he remained in the Marine Corps Reserve until 1959, when he retired as a Brigadier General.

After Roosevelt and Sargent changed its name to Roosevelt and Haines, he was appointed executive vice president, chairman, and president of Roosevelt & Company, Inc.

His appointment as a representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization came from President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. (UNESCO). After a year with UNESCO, he left.

In Geneva, he rose to the position of the executive with the Investors Overseas Service (IOS). The Securities and Exchange Commission was looking into IOS for possible fraud. He left his position in 1971; no complaints were made against him.

Even though he had always been a liberal Democrat, he joined Democrats for Nixon and openly backed the president’s reelection in 1972. He backed Ronald Reagan as well.

His nonprofit, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, came under scrutiny for dubious fund-raising methods and mail fraud in the 1980s.

He co-authored the 1959 book “Affectionately, FDR” with Sidney Shalett. He also co-authored “My Parents, a Differing View” with Bill Libby and the Sam Toperoff novel “A Family Matter.”

Bigger Works of James Roosevelt

Between 1955 through 1965, James Roosevelt was a congressman, and he opposed McCarthyism. Thousands of innocent Americans were investigated harshly by government agencies after being charged with sympathizing with communism.

He argued that the House Un-American Activities Committee should be abolished in 1960 because it may “embarrass our nation… and tarnish the good name of this House.”

Awards of James Roosevelt

James Roosevelt received the Navy Cross for his participation in the 1942 Makin Island operation. He received the Silver Star the next year in recognition of his participation in the invasion of Makin.

Personal Legacy & Life

James Roosevelt has seven children through his four marriages. His spouses included Mary Winskill, Romelle Theresa Schneider, Betsey Maria Cushing, and Irene Owens. He had Parkinson’s disease and passed away at age 83 following a stroke.

James Roosevelt’s Net Worth

James is one of the wealthiest and most well-liked politicians. According to our analysis of information from sources including Business Insider, Forbes, and Wikipedia, James Roosevelt’s net worth is about $1.5 million.


The father of this congressman served as president four times and lived through both the Great Depression and the Second World War.
The congressman who said, “The greatest approach to make a successful speech is to have a good beginning and a good ending – and have them close together” is credited with these words!