How Roosevelt romanced 5 mistresses in upstate NY cottage
Franklin D. Roosevelt, who has an affinity for the company of women, allegedly carried on affairs with at least five women that will be revisited with the release of 'Hyde Park on Hudson'.
The film, which opens on opening December 7, stars Bill Murray as Roosevelt and Laura Linney as his distant cousin Margaret 'Daisy' Suckley, the Daily Mail reported.
It takes place during the June 1939 weekend that the British king and queen visited Roosevelt at his upstate New York cottage in Hyde Park, where FDR was said to take a number of mistresses.
The least disputed of Roosevelt's supposed affairs was with Lucy Mercer, his wife's social secretary when he was assistant secretary of the Navy in 1916. The affair lasted two years, with one of his friends posing as Mercer's escort.
His wife Eleanor discovered the affair in 1918 when she found love letters in her husband's suitcase.
Mercer stayed in FDR's life until his death in 1945, and she was with him when he took his last breaths, even though she eventually married another man.
Also by FDR's side when he died was Daisy Suckley and the extent of her close relationship with Roosevelt wasn't known until her death in 1991, when a stash of letters from Roosevelt was found under her bed.
Soon after his death, Suckley wrote in her diary "He told me once that there was no one else with whom he could be so completely honest."
She spent long periods of time at the White House with him during the war years and they often visited his cottage in Hyde Park. While the letters are suggestive, some historians argue they do not provide hard evidence of a physical love affair.
Another woman close to FDR was Princess Martha of Sweden, a royal who was forced to flee Scandinavia in 1941 after the Nazi invasion.
Rumours of their affair spread like wildfire, as she always conveniently visited the White House and Hyde Park when Eleanor was out of town.
The princess called Roosevelt by the nickname "Dear Godfather", and friends said they were very flirtatious towards one another.
During the same time period, Roosevelt was said to be involved with Dorothy Schiff, a former publisher of the New York Post.
Schiff's biographer, Jeffrey Potter, claimed in his 1976 book, 'Men, Money and Magic: The Story of Dorothy Schiff', that she admitted to having an affair with FDR between 1936 and 1943.
However, when the book was published she denied the affair even though Potter claimed she had reviewed the manuscript and never asked to have that information retracted.
Roosevelt's longest supposed affair was with his secretary, Missy LeHand, which some historians believe he became romantically involved with beginning in 1921, when he was serving as governor of New York.
The affair lasted 20 years, according to some, and it was catalogued in a book written by FDR's son Elliott, who said the relationship was common knowledge.