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    FDR's original 1913 application for "Who's Who in America" includes rare full signature.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Autograph Document Signed.
    -1913. Three pages. 11.5" x 9.25" [unfolded]. Who's Who in America personal sketch form.
    -To: Who's Who in America.
    -Original center fold, some soiling, chipping and minor paper loss along edges, particularly at foot of center fold.

    FDR's handwritten responses to the many questions on this Who's Who form provide a rare, personal "mini-biography" up to that point in his career. Information about himself, his wife, family, and personal and professional activities is accompanied by a very rare signing of his full name "Franklin Delano Roosevelt" at the top of the first page.

    More Information:

    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 document from 1913, 4to. Completely written in FDR's own hand, his signature in several places, plus a very rare full signature with his entire middle name: "Franklin Delano Roosevelt."  This document, joined pages on both sides completely written out by FDR, is his original application for Marquis' Who's Who in America. FDR's application contains some 40 lines in FDR's own hand, as well as additional surname signatures where he mentions his wife, mother, father, and law firm. In deep blue ink on porous yellow paper, accompanied by a separate summary of the information from a clerk at Who's Who, 2pp 8vo, of the form. The instructions on the Who's Who application state: "Kindly furnish on this sheet the necessary data for a concise personal sketch of yourself, and return it at your early convenience. The facts will be arranged in proper form and sent for revision before they are put into print." FDR responds in his own hand as follows on the Who's Who application (the application question is typed and precedes each colon that follows, the response after the question is in FDR's own hand): "Name in full: Franklin Delano Roosevelt/ Chief Occupation or Profession: Lawyer – Assistant Secretary of the Navy, appointed March 17, 1913/ Residence Address: Hyde Park, Dutchess Co., N.Y./ Business Address: Navy Department, Washington/ Place of Birth: Hyde Park, Dutchess Co., N.Y./ Father's Name in full: James Roosevelt/ Mother's Maiden Name in full: Sara Delano/ Education, when and where, in detail: Groton School, Groton, Mass; Harvard University A.B. 1904; Columbia Law School/ Are you Married? Yes/ If Married, to whom? Anna Eleanor Roosevelt of New York/ Date of Marriage: March 17, 1905/ Military, Political and Civic Record: Elected to N.Y. State Senate from Dutchess, Columbia & Putnam Counties 1910, first Democrat for 30 years, Reelected by increased majority 1912. Resigned March 1913 to accept appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Navy; Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commissioner 1909; Plattsburg Centennial Commissioner, 1913/ Director or Trustee of the following Educational or Public Institutions: Director 1st Nat. Bank Poughkeepsie; Trustee Laura Franklin Free Hospital for Children – & of Seamen's Institute/ Politics: Democrat/ Religious Denomination (if any): Protestant Episcopal/ Professional Associations, Learned and Technical Societies, Decorations, etc.: Member Law firm of Marvin, Hooker, & Roosevelt N.Y.; Naval History Soc.; N.Y. Historical Society; Holland Society, etc. etc./ Secret Societies, Fraternities, etc.: !)2; I.O.O. Fi; F.A.M./ City Clubs: (N.Y.) City; Harvard; Knickerbocker; Racquet & Tennis; (Washington) Army & Navy; Metropolitan/ Please furnish here sufficient data to enable the editor to do complete justice to your business or professional record, as the case may be: Practiced law 1907-1910 with Carter, Ledyard & Milburn N.Y. City; In 1911 formed firm of Marvin, Hooker & Roosevelt/ Name of Firm or Company and character of business: Marvin, Hooker & Roosevelt Lawyers – N. Y. City." Essentially, FDR writes his own biography, and signs his full name, including his middle name Delano. The original Who's Who in America was founded and published by Albert Nelson Marquis in 1899 to serve as an accurate, concise source of biography for notable Americans. Marquis wanted to create a reference source that would reflect America's unique ethic of hard work and success. Significant contribution to society through achievement or position was the major criterion established to earn a place in Who's Who. Wealth, notoriety, or social status alone did not qualify for listing in the absence of significant socially-relevant behavior.  Only a few months after he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the Woodrow Wilson Administration, FDR was selected to make application to Marquis for inclusion in Who's Who in America.  The document is date stamped as being received on July 14, 1913 by A. N. Marquis and Company, indicating that FDR completed his application within four months of assuming national office as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (his official appointment commencing on March 17, 1913, the eighth anniversary of his marriage to Eleanor Roosevelt). FDR had just been re-elected to a second term as a New York state senator from the twenty sixth district comprising Columbia, Dutchess, and Putnam counties (1911-1913).  A truly unique, historic, and significant document where FDR provides, all in his own hand, biographical and factual information about himself, his wife, his family, and his personal and professional activities. Significantly, this may be one of the only documents presently in existence where FDR signs his full name, including his middle name Delano! FDR biographer Nathan Miller states in a footnote to his 1983 FDR: An Intimate History (page 102) that signing his middle name Delano was indeed a rare event. In discussing a letter FDR wrote to his mother Sara upon commencing his duties as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in March, 1913, Nathan Miller writes: "This letter is one of the few...notes written by FDR that is signed with his full name...'Try not to write your name too small, as it gets a cramped look and is not distinct,' Sara Roosevelt quickly replied. ‘So many public men have such awful signatures and so unreadable...'" This piece is truly one of a kind, an autobiography of FDR written entirely in his own hand, and in the rarest of rare examples signed using his full name Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 949

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