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    Description

    Franklin Roosevelt, Original Carbon Copy of His Complete Last Will and Testament, December 14, 1941. Fully annotated by Grace G. Tully, and signed by Ms. Tully. On the first page, Basil "Doc" O'Connor initialed the document, and instructed that the document be filed, also noting the date ("12/14/1941"). Grace G. Tully also signed FDR's name on the signature page, and signed "FDR" on the bottom left of each page throughout the document.

    This particular version of FDR's Last Will and Testament is significant in that a major change was made to the document in 1941 regarding Marguerite "Missy" LeHand, FDR's long-time personal secretary from Somerville, Massachusetts, including Missy in FDR's estate should the President pre-decease her. Missy was FDR's personal secretary from 1921 until 1941 when Missy was felled by a stroke that left her partly paralyzed and almost unable to speak. She went to Warm Springs to recover. There, she attempted suicide in the cottage where she lived. The Roosevelts were never told. She spent the last three years of her life back at her family home in Somerville, Massachusetts. After her stroke, in 1941 FDR was concerned what would happen to her financially should he die. FDR told Basil O'Connor to alter his will to leave a significant percentage of the interest on his estate to Missy. O'Connor objected because it removed the Roosevelt children as beneficiaries, but FDR insisted feeling, "The children could care of themselves, but this faithful aide could not. If it embarrassed mother, I'm sorry. It shouldn't, but it may." "I owed her that much," he told son James. "She served me so well for so long and asked for so little in return." On July 30, 1944, while looking through old photos of FDR, she suffered a fatal cerebral embolism at age 46.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
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