FRD at Harvard


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shadowshadow > American History > FDR > Harvard
FDR at Harvard

In September 1900, Franklin began his studies at Harvard. All but two of his Groton roommates studied with him at Groton.  His roommate was Lathrop Brown, a fellow Groton alumni. They rented a four-room suite in Westerly Court.

Franklin was a fair student.  He maintained an average just above C. He did not spend too much time studying, and in fact, wrote very little about his studies in his letters home.  Instead, Franklin devoted most of his efforts to his social life.  Franklin tried out for intramural sports teams but did not succeed.  The fact that he was a cousin to the new Vice President of the United States added to his standing on campus.  Upon the assassination of President McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt succeeded to the presidency thus distinguishing the Roosevelt name even more.

Franklin's father, James, died during his freshman year.  His mother's life was left with a void that she was determined Franklin fill.  She moved to Boston to be closer to him.  Franklin was able to maintain his independence without rebuffing his mother.

Franklin's biggest let down during his university years was not being accepted in the Porcelain club - the most exclusive club at Harvard.  A number of years later Franklin stated that his failure to be admitted to the Porcelain club was "the greatest disappointment of his life." 

He found notable success at the university newspaper, the Harvard Crimson.  Franklin began as a staff reporter diligently working his way up to become editor-in-chief of the Crimson.  In order to fulfill his duties as editor, Franklin returned to Harvard for an extra year.  He was a competent, if undistinguished, editor.

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