Arthur Schlesinger, jr.: Roosevelt biographer remembered





While he is most closely associated with the Kennedys, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., who died Wednesday, was also a Roosevelt insider who served in the Office of War Information and Office of Strategic Services and chronicled the life of the Hyde Park president.

"Arthur Schlesinger is kind of unique," said David Woolner, a professor of U.S. history at Marist College in Poughkeepsie and executive director of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

"He's a historian who be- came much more than an historian. Because of his tremendous grasp of American history, he really shaped his times."

Schlesinger was one of the founding members of the Roosevelt Institute, which began in 1987. Based at the FDR presidential library and museum in Hyde Park, the institute is the nonprofit fundraising arm of the library as well as an advocacy organization for the Roosevelt ideals.

William vanden Heuvel, another founding member and chairman emeritus of the institute, said he lost a close friend of 50 years when Schlesinger died of a heart attack at 89 in New York City.

"He was a most cherished friend," vanden Heuvel said from his New York City office. He said he saw Schlesinger only two days ago.

"He was a towering figure of our times and it was an immense privilege to have known him."....

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