Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. He was an only child born to James Roosevelt and Sara Ann Delano, both of whom came from very wealthy and respected families. His mother was his biggest influence as he was growing up. After graduating from Groton High School he went to Harvard College in 1900. Four years later he graduated from Harvard at the age of 22. On March 17, 1905 Franklin D. Roosevelt married Eleanor Roosevelt. In attendance was former president Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor's uncle who stood in place of her deceased father. They had five children together although their marriage wasn't very stable due to Franklin's extra marital affairs with his wife's secretary, Lucy Mercer. .
Soon after, Roosevelt graduated from Columbia Law School. Then, in 1910, he was elected to state senate in Dutchess County, New York close to where he grew up. This was his first step in his political career. As he gained popularity in New York, he was reelected two years later but resigned midway through his 2nd term so that he could serve as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He acquired a love for the Navy and tried expanding and increasing the budget. In the 1920 election between Harding and Cox, Roosevelt was selected as the democratic vice president under James Cox but was easily defeated by Harding and Coolidge. Then, in 1921 he contracted polio at Campobello Island where he was vacationing. .
Roosevelt made his first public appearance since suffering from polio at the 1924 Democratic National Convention in New York where he nominated Alfred E. Smith as "the happy warrior"," and gave him his support even when running for president against Franklin's cousin Theodore Roosevelt who won in a landslide victory. Roosevelt successfully ran for governor of New York in the 1928 election and was reelected in the 1930 election by over 700,000 votes. As governor he established many new social programs and was advised by Harry Hopkins and Francis Perkins.