Social networking has had a string of early pioneers – among them, Eleanor Roosevelt.
Eleanor grew up in the U.S. at a time when women were just beginning to find their voice. She married into a wealthy family who never completely accepted her and then became the first lady in 1933 when her husband Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the 32nd president of the United States.
She was an active speaker prior to her husband’s election and she continued these activities despite intense criticism lobbed at both she and FDR. At that time women were not permitted to attend press conferences so she settled the score by holding her own press conferences and inviting only women. She made her point and after a number of years society relented and the press conference became a co-ed event. She hosted a monthly television show called “Prospects of Mankind” where prominent political and social leaders discussed the issues of the times – and maintained a daily syndicated column called “My Day” which ran for nearly 30 years.
Eleanor Roosevelt campaigned in a serious way for causes she believed in such as putting an end to child labor, gaining a more equal footing for women and ousting racial discrimination.
She was known for her unbending devotion to her principles yet somehow maintained a sense of humor as witnessed in this remark:
“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”