DescriptionFranklin D. Roosevelt: Photograph Signed as President, also includes the Signatures of Advisors Louis McHenry Howe, Stephen Early, and M. H. McIntyre.
-[no date] 11" x 14". Sepia. Hessler-Henderson, Washington, DC.
-FDR signature faded to brown, else fine.
This collage of FDR and three important advisors features (clockwise from top) four portrait images: President Roosevelt; Colonel Marvin H. McIntyre, Secretary to the President; Stephen T. Early, the first White House Press Secretary; and Colonel Louis McHenry Howe of FDR's "Brains Trust." Each signed the photo below his respective image, with FDR signing the center of the bottom blank margin. This is a rare Roosevelt Administration item signed by all four. Though the photo is not dated, it is from FDR's first term (1933-1937).
The extended description below was supplied by the consignor. We are making it available to our web bidders who are interested in more in-depth research and broader historical perspective. Please note that presentation (i.e. framing), lot divisions, and interpretations of condition and content may occasionally differ from our descriptions. Assertions of fact and subjective observations contained in this description represent the opinion of the consignor. These remarks have not been checked for accuracy by Heritage Auctions, and we assume no responsibility for their accuracy; they are offered purely to allow the bidder insight into the way the consignor has viewed the item(s) in question. No right of return or claim of lack of authenticity or provenance based upon this extended description will be granted.
A very rare signed photographic collage of FDR and his secretaries. FDR's photograph, sitting before a radio broadcast microphone, is at the top of this special photographic collage, below which is a photograph of Colonel Marvin H. McIntyre, Secretary to the President, on the right. A photograph of Stephen T. Early, the first White House Press Secretary, is directly below FDR. Below and to the left of FDR's photograph is a photograph of Colonel Louis McHenry Howe, "the man behind Roosevelt." Each of FDR's secretaries signs his name below his image, and FDR signs the photograph on the bottom blank margin. This magnificent photographic collage has a printed area of 9 x 11 ¾," with a blind stamp of Hessler-Henderson, Washington, DC, framed to an overall size of 11 ¾ x 14 ½." Louis McHenry Howe (1871-1936) was an intimate friend and political advisor to FDR. He, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Marguerite "Missy" LeHand, was one of the few close associates who supported FDR throughout the most difficult stages of his personal and political recuperation after being afflicted by poliomyelitis in August, 1921. Howe is most known for his fierce, astute, and lifelong devotion to the political career of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who publicly credited him (along with James A. Farley) for his election as President of the United States in 1932. Howe was also well known for his ill health and diminutive appearance which was referred to as "gnome-like" or "ghoulish." Part of this antipathy to his appearance may well have been provoked by the success of the Roosevelt campaigns he managed. Howe was also referred to as "the man behind Roosevelt," and Eleanor Roosevelt frankly credited him for his influence on her political development as well. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana to an established and very well-to-do family, he suffered a disfiguring bicycle accident as a teenager. This handicap was in addition to chronic heart and respiratory ailments which he endured throughout his life. His father, Edward Porter Howe, after losing his considerable savings in the Panic of 1873, became a newspaper reporter, and eventually a newspaper owner in New York. Young Louis followed his father into the newspaper business becoming a co-editor, and covered the Spanish American War in the Philippines in 1898. In early September 1912, with an election just two months off, the nascent political career of New York Democratic State Senator Franklin Delano Roosevelt teetered on the verge of disaster. Elected to his first term the year before, FDR endeared himself to reformers by daring to oppose the Tammany Democratic political machine. Now, with Tammany aligned against him, FDR was struggling against a bout of typhoid. Defeat seemed certain, until an Albany newspaperman named Louis McHenry Howe stepped forward. FDR and Howe had met during FDR's stand against Tammany, in January 1911. The bosses supported William F. Sheehan for United States Senate, but FDR and about 20 other Democrats refused to give Sheehan their votes. The rebels held out until March 31, when Tammany bowed, withdrawing Sheehan and substituting Judge James A. O'Gorman, who quickly won the election. Howe interviewed Roosevelt about the Sheehan uprising for the New York Herald. The newspaperman left the interview with a story, and with a sense of FDR's political potential. Howe, it seemed, impressed FDR as well. The men became friends, and FDR called on Louis McHenry Howe to help his campaign. Mutual respect aside, they made the oddest of couples. As a young Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR followed Howe's advice to directly and personally monitor labor conditions in the Navy Yards. This gave FDR valuable administrative experience in understanding and maneuvering through government bureaucracy while also making connections to both labor leaders and the rank and file. When FDR was stricken with poliomyelitis, Howe's support was probably second only to Eleanor's in guiding and supporting FDR's personal and political resurrection. Howe had already become more intimately involved in the Roosevelt family situation when Eleanor had threatened to divorce her husband after discovering he had been involved in an extramarital affair with her social secretary, Lucy Page Mercer. With Franklin's mobility restricted by poliomyelitis, Howe played a mentorship role to Eleanor, helping her to become a more confident and effective public speaker. With this support FDR successfully attained the Governorship of New York 1928, and then the American Presidency in 1932. After FDR's inauguration Howe took up residence at The White House which gave him immeasurable and unaccountable influence on the President. It is known that Howe played a significant role in the early administration of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and it is often speculated that Howe gradually lost influence on the President as the Administration became more focused on governance, as the number of additional Presidential advisers increased, and as his own health deteriorated until he died in 1936. Marvin Hunter McIntyre was born in La Grange, Kentucky, on November 27, 1878. Beginning his career in 1905 in journalism, he rose to city editor of The Washington Post. He left this post to become Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and to serve as a member of the committee on public information and as Publicity Director, United States Navy, 1917 to 1921. Mac served as publicity representative and business manager for several of FDR's campaigns and was appointed to the Presidential Secretariat in 1933. On July 1, 1937, Mac was appointed Secretary to the President and remained in that position until his death December 13, 1943, in Washington, D.C. The World War II Haskell-class attack transport U.S.S. Marvin H. McIntyre (APA-129) was named in his honor. Stephen Tyree Early (1889-1951) was an American journalist and government official. He served as the first-ever White House Press Secretary under FDR from 1937 to 1945, and again under President Harry S. Truman in 1950. Early met FDR while covering the 1912 Democratic Convention as a reporter for the United Press. From 1913 to 1917 Early was the Associated Press correspondent covering the Navy Department, during which time his acquaintance with FDR and Louis McHenry Howe grew. After serving in World War I with an Infantry Regiment and the Stars and Stripes he returned to the United States and was asked by FDR to be the advance man for the 1920 Vice Presidential campaign. After the election Early returned to the Associated Press, and in 1927 became the Washington representative of Paramount News. After the election of 1932, FDR asked Early to serve as one of the White House Secretaries, and to be responsible for press relations. Early held that post throughout the Roosevelt years, leaving government service June 1, 1945 to become Vice President of Pullman, Inc. He returned to the Government as Under Secretary, later Deputy Secretary of Defense from April, 1949 to June, 1950. In December, 1950 Early was briefly Press Secretary to President Truman, filling in after the sudden death of Charles G. Ross. A rare and fabulous signed photographic collage of FDR and his key secretaries.
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