Miami Beach, Florida , United States
|| September 23, 1910
|Died||October 27, 1990
|Last Modifed||Thomas Walker|
Jan 22, 2008 12:59pm
|Info||Elliott Roosevelt (September 23, 1910 – October 27, 1990), was a World War II hero and an author. He was also the son of President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) and his wife Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. |
Elliott Roosevelt was the fourth of Franklin and Eleanor's six children, their third child having died in infancy about a year before Elliott's birth. He was named after his grandfather, Elliott Roosevelt. His siblings who reached adulthood were Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and John Aspinwall Roosevelt. Sara Delano Roosevelt, Elliott's grandmother, hired her grandchildren's nannies, interfered with their raising, and told both Eleanor and the children that Eleanor was "only the one who bore you: I am your real mother."
Elliott Roosevelt was a bombardier in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II. He flew a P-38 Lightning in the North African campaign of November 1942. In 1944, he witnessed the death of Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. over Blythburgh, England. Roosevelt attained the rank of Brigadier General in 1945, causing some controversy as virtually all others who had made general in the Army Air Corps were pilots.
During World War II, he accompanied FDR as a Military attaché to the Casablanca meeting and the subsequent Cairo and Tehran Conferences. At the Tehran Conference, Elliott Roosevelt, apparently under the influence of alcohol, sided with his father in approving of large-scale executions of German POWs by the Soviets. (Montefiore 469-70).
As an Army photo reconnaissance pilot, he and the men in his unit also played a key role in the D-Day landings.
Elliott was involved in many different careers during his life, including a Texas radio station owner, a rancher, and for a term in the 1960s as the mayor of Miami Beach, Florida. As Elliott approached his 80th year of age, his final ambition was to "outlive James." However, Elliott Roosevelt died at the age 80 of congestive heart failure. His brother James Roosevelt survived Elliott by one year.
He was also the author of numerous books, including a bestselling mystery series in which his mother, Eleanor Roosevelt, is the detective.
Elliott described his experiences with his father during the war years in his book As He Saw It.
Together with James Brough, Elliott wrote a highly personal book about his parents called The Roosevelts of Hyde Park: An Untold Story where he reveals details about the sexual lives of his parents, including his father's unique relationships with two mistresses Lucy Mercer and Marguerite ("Missy") LeHand as well as graphic details surrounding the illness that crippled his father. The biography also contains valuable insights into Roosevelt's run for vice-president, rise to the governorship of New York, and his capture of the presidency in 1932, particularly with the help of Louis Howe.
On January 16, 1932 he married Elizabeth Browning Donner, daughter of William Henry Donner. They had one son, William Donner Roosevelt, in 1932. The marriage ended in divorce in 1933. She died in 1980.
On July 22, 1933, in Burlington, Iowa, he married Ruth Josephine Googins. They had three children: Ruth Chandler Roosevelt (b. 1934), Elliott "Tony" Roosevelt Jr. (b. 1936), and David Boynton Roosevelt (b. 1942). Elliott and Ruth were divorced in March 1944. Ruth Googins Roosevelt Eidson died in 1974.
On December 3, 1944, at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, he married actress Faye Emerson. They were divorced on January 17, 1950. She died of stomach cancer in 1983 in Spain.
On March 15, 1951, at Miami Beach, Florida, he married Minnewa Bell Gray Burnside Ross. They were divorced in 1960. Minnewa died in 1983.
On November 3, 1960, at Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, he married Patricia Peabody Whitehead. Her four children, James M. Whitehead, Ford Whitehead, Gretchen Whitehead and David Macauley Whitehead, all adopted Roosevelt as their surname. The couple's only child together, Livingston Delano Roosevelt, died in 1962 as an infant.
Born September 23, 1910, he died of congestive heart failure on October 27, 1990.) His heroics in World War II earned him many medals, nevertheless, as in the case of his older brother, charges of exploiting his father's name for personal gain made him an often controversial figure. He was the author of numerous books, including a famous, bestselling mystery series. Married five times, he was the father of four children.