20¢ Eleanor Roosevelt
Issue Date: October 11, 1984
City: Hyde Park, NY
Printed By: American Bank Note Company
Printing Method: Engraved
Color: Deep blue
As the wife of President Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt was perhaps the most active First Lady in history. In 1948, as chair of the U.N.'s Commission on Human Rights, she helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
First Lady and Humanitarian
Born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in New York City, she never used her first name. President Theodore Roosevelt was her uncle. In 1905, she married a distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1921, Franklin was stricken with polio and permanently disabled. Later, when Franklin served as governor of New York and then president of the United States, Eleanor served as his eyes and ears, frequently making fact-finding trips.
Historians consider Eleanor the most active first lady in American history. She traveled the nation lecturing, held 350 press conferences for women reporters only, wrote a daily newspaper column, and contributed frequently to magazines. She was well known for working to help the poor, minorities, and young people. Eleanor often went out of her way to meet the people and stay informed, visiting factories and hospitals to see “her people.”
Her public service continued after Franklin’s death in 1945. She served as a delegate to the United Nations until 1951. In 1946, Eleanor was elected chairman of the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission. She played a key role in writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed her to head the Commission on the Status of Women.