Roosevelts at Harvard: A Family Matter

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James Roosevelt, Franklin's father, received his ll.b. from Harvard Law School in 1851. Theodore Roosevelt enrolled in the College in 1877, FDR in 1900. Thereafter, Roosevelts came to Harvard in droves. In 1936, the tercentennial year, when FDR ran for a second term, nine Roosevelts were registered in the College, including three sets of brothers.

FDR's Harvard progeny included three of his four sons—James '30, Franklin Jr. '37, and John '38—as well as four grandsons and a great-grandson. Eleanor Roosevelt's brother Hall '13 and his two sons also went to Harvard. Several of FDR's Delano uncles and cousins, including his uncle Fred—class of 1885, twice an Overseer, and president of the Alumni Association in 1932-33—were Harvard men.

Theodore Roosevelt, of the Oyster Bay branch, sent all four of his sons: Theodore '09, Kermit '12, Archibald '17, and Quentin '19. His daughters Alice and Ethel made it a clean sweep by marrying Harvard men (Senator Nicholas Longworth, A.B. 1891, and Dr. Richard Derby '03, who followed FDR on the Board of Overseers). Six of TR's grandsons, seven great-grandchildren, and a half dozen great-great-grandchildren have gone to Harvard.

Most of the 17 other Roosevelts on the alumni rolls were or are descendants of TR's four uncles, and thus belong to the Oyster Bay branch. TR's sister Corinne Roosevelt Robinson had two Harvard sons and a Harvard grandson (the late columnist Joseph Alsop '32).

No one named Roosevelt has graduated from Harvard since 1993, and no Roosevelt is currently enrolled.

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