The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project is a university-chartered research center associated with the Department of History of The George Washington University

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The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project
Questions and Answers about Eleanor Roosevelt

Question: What positions did Eleanor Roosevelt hold after the White House?


[picture: Walter Reuther, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Roy Wilkins at NAACP board meeting]Eleanor Roosevelt led an active life after 1945 and held key positions within and without the government.

Now that she was no longer first lady, ER spoke out more forcefully on political and international issues. She continued her summer lecture tour and her "My Day" and "If You Ask Me" columns. She also wrote sixteen books and more than one hundred articles, moderated two radio shows, and hosted her own television news program.

ER served the U.S. government in two ways. She was a member of the American delegation to the United Nations from 1946 until 1953 and chaired the first Presidential Commission on the Status of Women from 1961 until her death in November 1962.

She also dedicated years of her life to organizations she held dear. She sat on the boards of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Association for the United Nations, the Citizens Committee for Children, Brandeis University, and the Advisory Council for the Peace Corps. She helped found Americans for Democratic Action, the National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, and the Tractors for Freedom Committee. When organizations she respected were under attack (the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief, the Encampment for Citizenship) by ultra conservative critics, she agreed to serve as their honorary president to defend their reputations.

As a leader of the Democratic Party, ER became an active campaigner. She lent her support to Democratic candidates across the country by appearing with them at campaign events and praising them in her columns. She was a key advisor to Adlai Stevenson in his 1956 presidential campaign and organized the Draft Stevenson Committee in 1960. She co-chaired New York Citizens for Kennedy in 1960 and helped organize the New York Committee for Democratic Voters in 1959 and played a key role in their 1962 victorious campaign challenging Carmine DeSapio.