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Foundations of a Public Life:  FDR's Education

FDR's Education

"I am getting on finely both mentally and physically...I am all right in Latin, Greek, Science and French; a little rusty in Algebra but not more so than the others."

     - Franklin Roosevelt, letter to his parents, September 18, 1896

Until age 14, FDR was educated at home by tutors and governesses. In 1896, he entered Groton School, an elite Massachusetts boarding school for the sons of wealthy families. Groton was run by the Reverend Endicott Peabody, an affectionate but strict taskmaster who instilled in his students a sense of duty to humanity, especially through public service. Franklin idolized Peabody. But he found it difficult to stand out among his peers. He had come to Groton two years after the rest of his class and did not excel in sports, which were highly prized at the school.

Young FDR dreamed of entering the U.S. Naval Academy, but his father insisted he attend Harvard. He enrolled there in 1900. That same year, James Roosevelt - long in declining health - died of heart failure. At Harvard FDR was an average student, but served as president of the Harvard Crimson. After graduation, he entered Columbia Law School.
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