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Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.

Photo of Chairman Roosevelt

First Chairman of the EEOC, May 26, 1965- May 11, 1966

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. was the first chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and served as Chairman from May 26, 1985 through May 11, 1966.

The son and namesake of former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "F.D.R., Jr.," as he was often called, helped the new agency attract wide public response. In fact, much of the mail that arrived in the first few months at the basement offices the Commission had borrowed temporarily from the U.S. Department of Commerce was simply addressed to "F.D.R., Jr., Washington, DC."

Mr. Roosevelt served only a year with the Commission, but his efforts gave his immediate successors a solid foundation on which to build.

Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Roosevelt served as under-secretary of Commerce, and acting secretary during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. He also served as a member of Congress, representing the Twentieth District of New York from 1949 to 1954. During this period, he was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and also was active in legislation dealing with housing, veterans' affairs, foreign affairs and civil rights.

Mr. Roosevelt was a senior partner in the New York law firm of Roosevelt and Freiden before and after his service in the Congress. He graduated from Harvard University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia. He served with distinction during World War II and was a highly decorated U.S. Naval officer.

Mr. Roosevelt died on August 17, 1988.