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Article

Abstract

In April 1945, all seemed well in the United States; the end of the war in Europe was within the grasps of the Allied forces as they drove their invasion into the heart of the European Theatre. On April 12 of that year, however, the thirty-second President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, died in Warm Springs, Georgia. The news concerning President Roosevelt sent shock waves around the world. The cause of the death of Roosevelt was in question, because no autopsy was performed; the surgeon general of the U.S. Navy and Roosevelt's personal physician, Vice Admiral Ross T. McIntire, stated on numerous occasions that prior to his "unexpected death," the president was as healthy as ever. In reality, though, Roosevelt had been gravely ill for the final five years of his presidency. With the cooperation of McIntire and his other advisers, Roosevelt was able to conceal from the American people the truth about his health. His many ailments weakened him mentally as well as physically and affected his ability to make decisions. Although clearly dying by 1944, he chose to run for an unprecedented fourth term and then made little effort to prepare his Vice President, Harry S. Truman, to succeed him. Roosevelt's actions put a nation already imperiled by the war in still more danger.

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