Louis Howe Denies Roosevelt's Polio Condition Is Serious, 1921

Louis McHenry Howe was FDR's trusted aide and confidant. When Roosevelt was overcome by the polio that would leave him unable to walk for the rest of his life, he retired to the family estate in Hyde Park with his wife Eleanor, who was suffering emotional problems of her own. For the Roosevelts it was the low point of their lives. Louis Howe then moved in with them, leaving his own family behind. He set to work to life Roosevelt's spirits and maintain his connection to the world of politics. This very rare letter by Howe, written on the stationary of FDR's business firm, The Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland, is an early example of political damage control. Howe assures the recipient, a U.S. Marshal, that Roosevelt's paralysis was "very mild" and he "would suffer no permanent effect." The letter is signed, "Louis M. Howe." It was a great loss to the Roosevelt's when Louis McHenry Howe died in 1936.