Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was an American politician, diplomat, and activist.She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, having held the post from March 1933 to April 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms in office, and served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952. President Harry S. Truman later called her the “First Lady of the World” in tribute to her human rights achievements. —Wikipedia
Eleanor’s was the first painting I made in the series of women, just a month ago when I decided that “looking for inspiration” would be my New Year’s Resolution. I’d always enjoyed the quotes I’d read from Eleanor and admired her tireless campaigns for social reform and human rights, but after speaking to a friend of mine who has written a screenplay about her and seeing how impassioned she became that really piqued my interest. When I asked my friend why she found Eleanor so inspiring, this is what she said:
“The thing I most admire about her is that when she finally learned that her her kindness, compassion and loyalty, not only to her family but to all she met, when she learned that this was her strength not her weakness. That this innate trait in women, to put others before themselves, is not something that keeps them back but is something that can cure a very ill world. That I feel is the strongest take away from studying her. Eleanor had that need to help others more than most due to the lack of love in her earliest years. To her it meant that if she was helpful, people would need her and therefore love her.
“Something that many people don’t know is that when she became First lady she held the first all female press conference. It was the Depression and she was told by Lorena Hickok that these women would loose their jobs unless she took this step. She asked the reporters to ask Americans to write to her with their problems, no matter how large or small, just write. In the first 6 month as First Lady she received and hand replied – hand replied – to more than 300,000 letters. To her it was more important than sleep to fulfill her promise to Americans.
For further reading on this real-life heroine, I encourage you to visit her page at biography.com.
And remember these wise words: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” —Eleanor Roosevelt