Childhood & Early Life
Anna Roosevelt Halsted was born on May 3, 1906 in New York City. She was the daughter of the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt.
She was named after her mother Anna Eleanor Roosevelt and maternal grandmother Anna Rebecca Hall. She had five younger siblings, namely, James, Franklin, Elliot, Franklin Delano Jr., and John Aspinwall.
In her early years she helped her father in social and administrative duties at the White House.
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Anna Roosevelt Halsted held the post of an associate editor for a magazine called ‘Babies Just Babies’ between 1932 and 1934.
Her article contributions to the ‘Liberty Magazine’ pushed her to write more, and thus she wrote two children’s books ‘Scamper’ and ‘Scamper’s Christmas’. She also hosted a radio program that was promoted by the ‘Best and Company Department Store’.
She worked as a columnist and associate editor for the Woman’s page at the ‘Seattle Post-Intelligencer’ from December 1936 to September 1943. Her second husband, Clarence John Boettiger, was the publisher of the magazine. Anna Roosevelt Halsted left the ‘Seattle Post-Intelligencer’ due to some problems with the new management of the magazine, which assumed the charge after her husband’s departure.
Anna Roosevelt Halsted moved to the ‘White House’ to assist her father and serve as the First Lady in the absence of her mother. Her mother’s was busy with her political activities and worthy causes.
Anna accompanied President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he travelled to Yalta to meet Churchill and Stalin in 1945.
After Franklin D. Roosevelt demise, Anna and Clarence Boettiger bought a weekly newspaper in Phoenix. Arizona, in 1946 and christened it as ‘Arizona Times’. Anna Roosevelt became the editor and publisher of this newspaper in 1948. The newspaper incurred losses due to newsprint shortages and problems with the investors, and was sold in July, 1948.
Anna Roosevelt launched a radio program, called the ‘Eleanor and Roosevelt Program’ with her mother but this show got canceled in September of 1949. At this time, she started editing the monthly magazine ‘The Woman’, and contributed a series of articles called ‘My Life with F.D.R’.
She started working in public relations for labour unions and attended the ‘University of California’, Los Angeles, School of Social Work in 1954.
In 1955, she moved to Syracuse, New York with her third husband James Addison Halsted, and was hired as the assistant to ‘Director of Public Relations’ at the ‘State University Upstate Medical Center’ in Syracuse.
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She became the director of public relations, and assistant to the Dean in April 1957, and occupied that position until 1958.
In 1958, Anna and her husband moved to Iran, where Anna worked in public relations and administration at ‘Pahlavi University Medical School’, with her husband.
After returning from Iran, in 1960, to Lexington, Kentucky, she held the position of staff assistant to the Dean of the University at ‘Kentucky Medical Center’.
In 1961, the Halsted couple moved to Birmingham, Michigan and Anna Roosevelt Halsted became the public relations director and coordinator at the ‘Metropolitan Hospital’ for ‘Comprehensive Medical Care Program,’ which was sponsored by ‘United Auto Workers’.
In 1963, she moved to Detroit, and she took the position of Director of Public Relations for ‘School of Medicine’ at ‘Wayne State University’. She was appointed by John F. Kennedy to the Citizen’s ‘Advisory Board’ for the status of Women, and worked with the council until 1968.
She was appointed vice-chairman of the Presidents Commission for the Observance of Human Rights in February 1968.
Personal Life & Legacy
Anna Roosevelt Halsted’s married Curtis Bean Dall in 1926. The marriage lasted eight years before they got divorced in 1934. The couple had two children, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Dall and Curtis Roosevelt Dall
Her second marriage was to Clarence John Boettiger in 1935 and they had a son named John Roosevelt Boettiger. They were together for more than a decade but got divorced in 1949. The end of their relationship led to the suicide of Clarence due to depression.
She married James Addison Halsted in 1952, and lived her life with him at a cottage in Hillsdale, New York. They were together till her death in 1975.
Anna was diagnosed with throat cancer, and died on December 1, 1975 at Montefiore Hospital, New York, at the age of 69.