Was Franklin D. Roosevelt a Freemason?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (born 1882, New York), was the 32nd President of the United States. He was the President during WW2 and he was a Freemason, like some of his presidential predecessors.


Who was Franklin D. Roosevelt?

FDR, as he’s known, was President during one of the worst crises in US history; the Great Depression and World War 2. His effective governance pulled the country through the war and paved the way for future World Superpower status.


Roosevelt’s Early Years

Unlike his distant Freemason presidential predecessor Andrew Jackson, FDR came from a wealthy family. Roosevelt was an only child, born to a Dutch American family. Both parents came from wealthy New York families.

Have you heard of Theodore Roosevelt? Theodore, also a Freemason, was FDR’s distant cousin and the 26th President of the United States.


Roosevelt at Harvard

Like many other children of wealthy American families, Roosevelt attended Harvard, graduating in History. The future president commented, “I took economics courses in college for four years, and everything I was taught was wrong.”



Franklin D. Roosevelt and Freemasonry

The world recognizes Roosevelt as an American Statesman and a Political Leader but only few may know that he was a Freemason before becoming a President of the United States.


Roosevelt joins Freemasonry

Roosevelt was initiated into Freemasonry by receiving his 1st Masonic Degree in 1911, in a Masonic Lodge called “Holland Lodge No.8” in New York. This is the same year that Roosevelt became a US Senator for the State of New York. With many Masons holding high stations, it’s possible the two events were related.


Roosevelt’s sons join Freemasonry

Keeping the tradition alive, three of Roosevelt’s sons joined Freemasonry. His sons, Elliot, James and Franklin Jr, all joined a Masonic Lodge called “Architect Lodge No.159” in New York City.

Roosevelt even participated in the initiation ritual for one of his son’s 1st Degree; the degree you receive when you are initiated into Freemasonry.


Roosevelt the Shriner

In March of 1929, Roosevelt was elevated to the 32nd Degree in Freemasonry. Although the 3rd Degree is the highest ranking Masonic Degree you can attain, there are other degrees, going up to the highest 33rd Degree. Read more about that here.

After this honor, Roosevelt joined a Masonic organization called the Shriners, or “Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine”. The Shriners are part of the Freemasonry family, almost like an offshoot. Most Freemasons are not Shriners, but all Shriners are Freemasons.

We’ve a full article on the Shriners here.


Illness and Death

Serious illness racked Roosevelt for much of his later life. An illness, before he became president, left him permanently paralysed from the waist down, which is why you see him sitting in most photographs.

Throughout his career, his health only got worse, much of it hidden from the general public during WW2.

On April 12 1945, Roosevelt passed away; his death caused by a massive brain hemorrhage. His death occurred just one month before Nazi Germany officially surrendered.

Upon Roosevelt’s death, Harry Truman took the reigns, becoming the 33rd president of the United States. Truman also being a Freemason, honored Roosevelt by dedicating the War victory and celebrations to the memory of Roosevelt.


How Roosevelt managed to cope with such tribulation whilst suffering from severe health conditions is unfathomable. Modern scholars consider Roosevelt as one of the three greatest presidents, along with George Washington, also a Freemason.




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