Fact Check

Is This Dashing Young Man Franklin D. Roosevelt?

A 1930s photograph of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., the President’s son, is a popular item online but it is often miscaptioned as a picture of his father.

Published Aug 23, 2018

A photograph shows a young Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States.

A photograph of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. is frequently shared online thanks to his “seriously handsome” looks and because of the misconception that it is a picture of his father, the 32nd President of the United States:

The picture, which is sometimes displayed in an artificially colorized format, appears to date to the late 1930s and may be associated with Roosevelt Jr.’s time as a student at the University of Virginia Law School, which he attended from 1937 to 1940. For comparison, the following is a photograph of Franklin Jr. next to his father and his family taken during his wedding to Ethel DuPont in June 1937, a month before he began his studies at UVA:

Embed from Getty Images

Roosevelt Jr., who died in 1988, also led a public life. After graduating from law school, he served in the Navy during World War II, taking part in the invasions of North Africa and Sicily, the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Following the war, he held office as as a United States Congressman from New York from 1949 to 1955 and was the first chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.


The Daily Progress.   "FDR Jr. Visits UVA Law School on This Day in 1937."     19 February 2017.

The Washington Post.   "Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. Dies."     18 August 1988.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.