Eleanor Roosevelt
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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women.

In the 1940s, Roosevelt was one of the co-founders of Freedom House and supported the formation of the United Nations. Roosevelt founded the UN Association of the United States in 1943 to advance support for the formation of the UN. She was a delegate to the UN General Assembly from 1945 and 1952, a job for which she was appointed by President Harry S. Truman and confirmed by the United States Senate. During her time at the United Nations she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Truman called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.

Active in politics for the rest of her life, Roosevelt chaired the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, the John F. Kennedy administration's ground-breaking effort that helped start second-wave feminism. In 1999, she was ranked in the top ten of Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20thCentury.

In 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman appointed Roosevelt as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. In April 1946, Roosevelt became the first chairperson of the preliminary United Nations Commission on Human Rights.  She remained chairperson when the Commission was established on a permanent basis in January 1947.

Along with René Cassin, John Peters Humphrey and others, she played an instrumental role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). On the night of September 28, 1948, Roosevelt spoke on behalf of the Declaration, calling it, “the international Magna Carta of all mankind.” The Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948.

Roosevelt also served as the first United States Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and stayed on at that position until 1953, even after stepping down as chair of the Commission in 1951.

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