Following President Franklin Roosevelt's death, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt decided to downplay her role in his administration. She saw that as a way to help elevate and secure his legacy, according to founding editor of the Eleanor Roosevelt papers, Allida Black.

In this new episode of the Presidential podcast, Black—along with FDR Presidential Library and Museum Director Paul Sparrow and White House speechwriter Sarada Peri—examine FDR's leadership through the lens of the first lady's contributions to his presidency. They explore how her character and values shaped his policies, as well as how she complemented the unique communication skills he brought to the White House.

Listen to the episode here or on iTunes:


In previous episodes of the Presidential podcast, we've explored topics like Theodore Roosevelt's heartbreak and the violent life of Andrew Jackson. The podcast is hosted by Lillian Cunningham, editor of The Washington Post's On Leadership section.


As listeners tune in each week, the podcast reveals the ways in which our collective sense of what’s ’presidential’ has evolved over the years and how each president—esteemed, loathed or nearly forgotten—has something to tell us about what it takes to hold the nation’s highest office.

A new episode comes out every Sunday. Here's how to follow along:

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