Famous Stamp Collectors: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt –or more popularly known as “F.D.R.”— was a leader, in many respects. Being the thirty-second president of the United States of America, he led the country through the struggle of the Great Depression, the tragedy of World War II, and provided as a role model for those suffering from infantile paralysis (polio). It’s no surprise that a man who ran the country with such vigor and dedication would pursue his personal hobbies with the same spirit. Ever since he was eight years old, F.D.R. had a passion for stamp collecting that traveled with him his entire life, giving him renowned status in the world of philately.
Roosevelt’s parents were involved in the business of shipping and trading with countries all over the world. Naturally, this exposed the boy to countless varieties of stamps. This is, essentially, what sparked his interest in collecting, which included any and every type of stamp he came across. He was known for constantly bothering his relatives to send him all sorts of stamps, from all over the world.
In 1921, Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio, after visiting a Boy Scout camp. One of the major things that got him through his trying time of hardship, pain, and suffering was his intent focus on his stamp collection. In 1928, the same year he was elected Governor of New York, he also became a life member of the American Philatelic Society. The news of his hobby really hit the public four years later, when he became President of the United States of America. His influence in the world of philately brought it new levels of popularity and began to set trends among the people of the American nation.
Roosevelt used his stamps to gain knowledge of the world during the time of World War II, as he traveled the globe. Not a place did he go where his infamous trunk of stamps did not follow, devoutly studied and observed by him, each day. His stamps were his companions for the remainder of his life. On April 12, 1945, Roosevelt approved the design for a new commemorative stamp titled “Toward United Nations.” Later that day, while posing for a portrait, he died, suffering from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. It is said, though, that the President did not leave the earth before spending an hour solemnly taking pleasure in the enduring comfort of his stamps.