Women's History Month Presentation by Maurine H. Beasley
Women’s History Month Presentation
Eleanor Roosevelt: How She Transformed Herself and the Role of First
When FDR was first elected, Eleanor wasn’t sure of her role. Through her travels and her influence with the media, she provided FDR with political intelligence he didn’t get from other sources. As she became increasingly valuable to him as a reporter of what was going on in the country, I think she got a greater sense of her self-worth."
Eleanor’s unhappy childhood and her unfulfilling marriage have been well documented. What may be less known is her emotional need for a few intense friendships at a time, including with Hickok, Joseph Lash, and her secretary. These personal relationships affected what she did as a political figure. "She was a complex character," says Beasley. "This was a woman who suffered from depression, who felt keenly about things. I think that ability to feel for other people is what made her such a good advocate for civil rights and for the dispossessed. I think she was tremendous because she overcame the turmoil within herself and her fragmented family. She transformed not only the position of first lady but herself—from an insecure person to a woman admired all over the world."
Maurine H. Beasley, author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Transformative First Lady, is Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland, where she has specialized in women in journalism. She has a B.A. in history and journalism from the University of Missouri, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from George Washington University. Beasley is also the author of Women of the Press: Politics, Prejudice, and Persistence; Eleanor Roosevelt and the Media: A Public Quest for Self-Fulfillment; and First Ladies and the Press: The Unfinished Partnership of the Media Age. She co-edited The Eleanor Roosevelt Encyclopedia.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sibley Renaissance Building
5255 Loughboro Rd, NW