Throughout the 20th century many great leaders have emerged; from the evil Adolph Hitler to the motivational Martin Luther King JR. However it is my opinion, and the opinion of many others, that the most influential and successful leader of the last century was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The four terms he served as President of the United States and overwhelming support of the citizens of this nation at that time help to support this notion. Those four terms he was in office spanned one of the most difficult times in American history. He began his presidency by ending the Great Depression of the 1930's with his "New Deal", which gave a bigger role to the government and also gave most citizens of the nation a new perspective on government. Now government was not only expected to protect from foreign invaders and affairs, but to protect America's people against poverty and joblessness as well. He ended his presidency as Commander in Chief during World War II, in which he showed great military and diplomatic leadership, and established better foreign relations. .
FDR was born January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, NY, near New York City. He attended a prestigious high school and went on to graduate from Harvard in 1903. After Harvard he attended Columbia Law School. He was admitted into the New York Bar in 1907, despite the fact that he never obtained his law degree. He quickly gained recognition for his leadership of upstate New York Democrats in a fight against Tammany Hall's nominee for the U.S. Senate. That got him a seat on the New York senate in 1910. In 1912 he back Woodrow Wilson as the presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention. His actions there landed him the job of assistant secretary of the navy, for which he served during World War I. Then he became the Democratic nominee for vice president in 1920.
In 1921 FDR contracted polio. He became paralyzed and lost the use of his legs.