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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: An Important Grouping Including Rare Original Photos of His Shriveled Legs. With a level of cooperation unimaginable from the media today, FDR went to extraordinary lengths to conceal the full extent of his affliction. Accordingly, these candid photos taken by a family friend during private vacationing are particularly rare and significant. Equally interesting is a whimsical signed poem of FDR's own composition, dated "Oct 1924."
    During the mid-1920s, Roosevelt spent several months each winter on his houseboat, the Larooco, which he co-owned with close friend John Sigsbee Lawrence, whose initials appear with Roosevelt's on the stationery used to type the poem. Eleanor was nowhere to be seen, as Franklin's longtime secretary and rumored paramour Missy LeHand lived with him on the boat and acted as his hostess.
    The photo offered here, including one of the Larooco, were taken during one of those winter holidays. The candid images of FDR in his bathing suit, doubtless taken on a private beach, unapologetically display the extent of his disability.
    The remarkable eleven-verse poem was written to "M.S. Crosby, Companionable Ornithologist." Crosby was a respected ornithologist who had been at Harvard at the same time as FDR where their friendship undoubtedly began. The poem humorously describes a rather undisciplined voyage of the Larooco down Biscayne Bay, apparently with Crosby as the skipper. FDR writes, "Oh the Blue Laroo [sic] is missing you / For you taught her things no boat e'er knew." At the bottom Roosevelt writes, "For Helen," Crosby's daughter.
    Together the photos and signed poem show a charming and unguarded picture of an FDR at peace with his paralysis and clearly enjoying life. The 4" x 3" snapshots are in excellent condition with residue on versos from mounting. The 6" x 11" poem is too fragile to remove from the board on which it was mounted, but aside from the old tape marks it displays well.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    18th Monday
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