32nd President. Typed letter signed “Franklin D. Roosevelt” as Governor-Elect of New York, November 18, 1928, highly uncommon “Democratic National Committee” letterhead (FDR is listed as a Member of the Executive Committee), sent from Warm Springs, GA, to his law partner Basil O’Connor (addressed as “Dear Doc”), with 8-line autograph postscript signed “FDR”. Letter reads:
I enclose the application of the Foundation to be filed with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Will you have it attested?
I am writing Hoppy to thank him for what he wrote you.
The postscript, inviting O’Connor and his family to visit, expressing doubt that he would meet Al Smith, inquiring whether he should cable their “friend” [Smith?].
Fantastic letter on many levels – great content, fantastic association, uncommon amount of handwritten content, RARE stationery and good date.
Received stamp at upper right, two holes punched in left margin, horizontal 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.