She was born in New York City, the niece of Theodore Roosevelt, and in 1905 became the wife of Franklin D Roosevelt. She undertook extensive political activity during her husband's illness from polio, and proved herself an invaluable social adviser when he became President. In 1941 she became assistant director of the Office of Civilian Defense and after her husband's death in 1945 she extended the scope of her activities. She was a delegate to the UN Assembly in 1946, chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission (1947-51) and US representative to the General Assembly (1946-52). She was also chairman of the American UN Association. Her publications include The Lady of the White House (1938), The Moral Basis of Democracy (1940), On My Own (1958), and her autobiography (1962).