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JFK Calls Eleanor Roosevelt “One of the Great Ladies in History”

Nov. 7, 1962 - President Kennedy (pictured in 1960) led the nation tonight in expressing grief at the death of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt (right). The President received the news at the White House in a telephone call from Mrs. Roosevelt’s son James, a member of Congress from California. The President said, “One of the great ladies in the history of this country has passed from the scene. Her loss will be deeply felt by all those who admired her tireless idealism or benefited from her good works and wise counsel. Since the day I entered this office, she has been both an inspiration and a friend.” Adlai E. Stevenson, U.S. representative to the U.N., said: “Like so many others, I have lost more than a beloved friend. I have lost an inspiration. She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.” Vice President Johnson said: “I am deeply grieved to learn of the passing of a great lady who impressed upon our country her warm philosophy of helping those who needed help. Our people will mourn as they grieved at the death of her husband. This is a different world because of the Roosevelts, and they will never be forgotten.” Thousands of other statements in tribute to Mrs. Roosevelt were issued.


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