32nd President. Typed letter signed “F.D.R.”, June 5, 1928, “Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland” stationery (listing FDR as the Vice President), 7.25×10.5, to his physical therapist Helena Mahoney, who was also the head therapist at Warm Springs, in full:
Many thanks for the check from the Carpenters. It is very exciting.
I talked to Missy on the telephone and told her not to sell her house for less than $6,000 unfurnished. On this price she would only make about $500 profit.
Tell Mrs. Jasper not to worry about her lease. It is good for the whole of the time stated in it.
A letter from Curt says the Lovelace cottage will be finished June 16th.
You are an Angel.
At this time, Helena Mahoney was helping Roosevelt prepare for an important speech – without the use of crutches, at the National Democratic Convention that summer, where he was introduced to a national audience.
In fine condition, folds.
In 1921, FDR received the dreaded diagnosis of polio—a simply unacceptable condition that potentially spelled disaster for the up and coming politician. He refused to believe that his paralysis was permanent, and it was not until a friend recommended the natural springs of Warm Springs, Georgia, that he found hope for the future. The mineral springs’ buoyancy allowed him to walk its waters without the benefit of braces and made him feel whole. So taken was Roosevelt with Warm Springs that he bought the spa and founded the Green Warm Springs Foundation, a hydrotherapy center for polio victims with virtually no working capital and no real financial plan.
In 1928, when he was elected Governor of New York, he turned over the reins of the struggling foundation to his law partner Basil O’Connor who immediately began to put Warm Springs’ financial house in order. O’Connor, the foundation’s director, became its biggest champion and fund-raiser. Green Warm Springs Foundation eventually became the March of Dimes and funded Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine. Ironically, with today’s science and forensics, it’s now widely believed that FDR never had polio, but another neurological disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.