Birthday: September 23, 1910
Died At Age: 80
Sun Sign: Libra
Born Country: United States
Born in: New York City, New York, United States
Famous as: Pilot
Spouse/Ex-: Patricia Whitehead Roosevelt (1960), Elizabeth Donner Roosevelt (1932–1933), Faye Emerson (1944–19500, Minnewa Bell (1951–1960), Ruth Googins Rooseveltm (1933–1944)
father: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
mother: Eleanor Roosevelt
siblings: Anna (1906–1975), Franklin Jr. (1914–1988), James (1907–1991), John (1916–1981)
children: Chandler Roosevelt Lindsley, David Boynton Roosevelt, Elliott Roosevelt Jr., Livingston Delano Roosevelt, William Donner Roosevelt
Died on: October 27, 1990
place of death: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Cause of Death: Congestive Heart Failure
City: New York City
U.S. State: New Yorkers
education: Hun School of Princeton
awards: Distinguished Flying Cross
Legionnaire of Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
Who was Elliott Roosevelt?
Elliott Roosevelt was a distinguished wartime pilot and aviation official. The son of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he joined the US Army Air Corps a year before the United States joined the Second World War and was promoted to the post of brigadier general within a few years. Meanwhile, he established new techniques in night photography and meteorological data-gathering and commanded the multinational aerial reconnaissance wing, playing an important part in the D-Day landings. After the war, he took up various vocations, including breeding of Arabian horses, concurrently beginning to write, publishing ‘As He Saw It’ in 1946. It was followed by 'The Roosevelts of Hyde Park: An Untold Story', ' A Rendezvous with Destiny ' and 'Mother R.: Eleanor Roosevelt's Untold Story.' He also wrote a series of mystery novels, in which he cast his mother as an amateur detective. He died at the age of eighty from heart failure.
Childhood & Early Life
Elliott Roosevelt was born on September 23, 1910, in New York City, USA. His father, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 to 1945. His mother, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, was a political figure, a diplomat and an activist in her own right.
Born the fourth of his parents’ six children, Elliott had two surviving elder siblings: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt and James Roosevelt II. Younger to him were two more brothers, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. and John Aspinwall Roosevelt II. Another elder brother, Franklin Roosevelt, died in infancy.
Little is known about his childhood except that he was educated at The Hun School of Princeton, a private secondary school located in Princeton, New Jersey. Thereafter, he moved to Groton School, where many of his family members, including his father and brother had studied.
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On graduating from Groton School, Elliott Roosevelt began his career with advertising, refusing to follow his father and brother to the Harvard University. Before long he left the job, thereafter holding several positions for brief periods.
In early 1933, he was appointed the general manager at Gilpin Airlines and aviation editor for ‘Hearst Communication’ later that year. In 1934, he became vice president of the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce. Next in 1935, he moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where he ran a radio chain.
In Texas, he also involved himself with state politics, supporting those who criticized his father’s ‘New Deal’ project. He also went against his father’s choice of vice presidential candidate and proposed the name of Jessie James at the 1940 Democratic National Convention.
In 1940, when Elliott Roosevelt tried to join the United States Army Air Corps he was initially refused entry because of his poor eyesight. Undeterred, he petitioned to the Chief of Army Air Force, General Henry H. Arnold, eventually being commissioned as a captain on 23 September 1940.
His first posting was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Shortly, he took an intelligence course, at the end of which he was posted with the 21st Reconnaissance Squadron, stationed in Gander, Newfoundland, serving as an intelligence and reconnaissance officer. Later, he also served as a procurement specialist and navigator.
In the summer of 1941, he traced air bases in Canadian territories like Labrador and Baffin Island, as well as in Greenland. He was also able to gather significant information on Iceland as well as on the North Atlantic Ferry routes, submitting them to relevant authorities.
In the fall of 1941, he underwent a navigator/bombardier course. Thereafter, he was briefly assigned on anti-submarine patrol duty with the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron at Muroc AAB. In August, he accompanied his father when the latter met Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Newfoundland, Canada, to finalize the Atlantic Charter.
In the spring of 1942, he was sent on Operation Rusty, carrying out clandestine reconnaissance flights over the Sahara Desert. Thereafter, he was given command of the new 3d Reconnaissance Group at Colorado Springs, leading his team in the Operation Torch in November.
In January 1943, he served as a military attaché to his father, when the latter traveled to Casablanca to meet Allied leaders like Winston Churchill and Generals Charles de Gaulle. Again in November, when FDR went to attend the Cairo Conference and Teheran Conference, Elliot accompanied him as military attaché.
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In January 1945, he was promoted to the post of brigadier general. In April, he was called back from combat duty, but continued to play an important role, especially in the D-Day landings. By the time he was decommissioned in August 1945, he had flown 89 combat missions.
After the war, Elliott Roosevelt moved to Hyde Park, New York, to be near his mother and turned to farming. However, he was not very successful in his new vocation. In 1946, he published his first book, ‘As He Saw It’.
Concurrently, he also dabbled in TV, hosting ‘At Home with Faye and Elliot’ in 1946 and co-hosting ‘Eleanor and Elliot Roosevelt’ with his mother on NBC (1950-1951). In 1952, he moved to Texas where he became owner of Texas State Network and also ran a ranch.
From Texas he moved to Florida, where he served as the mayor of Florida for two years (1965-66). Sometime now, he might have become involved with organized crime and in 1973 was accused of involvement in a plan to assassinate the Bahamanian Prime Minister, Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling.
In 1972, he migrated to Portugal, where he continued to write, publishing ‘An Untold Story: The Roosevelts of Hyde Park’ in 1973. In 1974, he moved to England. But eventually he returned to USA, where he lived in several places, spending his final years in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Awards & Achievements
For his achievements during the Second World War, Roosevelt had received several awards, including Air Medal with eleven clusters, World War II Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal and European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with seven stars.
For his distinguished services during WWII, he had also received Order of the British Empire (Commander, United Kingdom), Légion d'honneur (Chevalier, France) and Croix de Guerre with palm (France).
Family & Personal Life
Elliott Roosevelt had been married five times. On January 16, 1932, he married Elizabeth Browning Donner, with whom he had one son, William Donner Roosevelt. They divorced in 1933.
On July 22, 1933, he married Ruth Josephine Googins, having three children with her. They were Ruth Chandler Roosevelt, Elliott "Tony" Roosevelt, Jr. and David Boynton Roosevelt. The couple divorced in March 1944.
On December 1944, he married actress Faye Emerson and divorced her on January 17, 1950. They did not have any children.
On March 15, 1951, he married Minnewa Bell Gray Ross. It also ended in a divorce in 1960 without producing any children.
On November 3, 1960, he married Patricia Peabody Whitehead, with whom he spent the remainder of his life. They had one biological son, Livingston Delano Roosevelt, who died in 1962. Additionally, he also adopted his wife’s four children, James M. Whitehead, Ford Whitehead, Gretchen Whitehead, and David Macauley Whitehead.
On October 27, 1990, Roosevelt died of congestive heart failure at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. He was then eighty years old.