The mission of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy is to operate and maintain the Louis Kahn-designed Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on the southern end of Roosevelt Island, New York, and to develop and present vibrant educational materials that celebrate the life and legacy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. fdr4freedoms has been a multi-year project of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy. The full Roosevelt history presented here is intended as a companion resource to the Louis Kahn memorial. We hope you visit the park often!

fdr4freedoms is made possible by the generous financial support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. From 1996 to 2014, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has made grant commitments of $1.57 billion through more than 2,800 grants to nonprofit organizations in 111 nations around the world. The Foundation’s support for Four Freedoms Park combines its commitment to arts and culture and to education. For that reason, the Foundation is a major donor to the construction of the Park, which uses the arts to create a stunningly impactful public space, and lead donor to which provides online educational resources illuminating the historic leadership and legacy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms.

There are fifty-two essays that make up, and each one is related to a specific aspect of the rich Roosevelt legacy. The park benefactors also helped fund the creation of this complex and full history and even encouraged us to write specific chapters.

Park benefactors include:

Fred Eychaner, Alphawood Foundation Chicago — William and Melinda vanden Heuvel — Katrina vanden Heuvel — Wendy vanden Heuvel — Arthur and Janet Ross — The Reed Foundation, Reed Rubin and Jane Gregory Rubin — The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation — The Starr Foundation — Charina Endowment Fund, Richard L. Menschel — Vital Projects Fund, Robert B. Menschel — Bloomberg Philanthropies — Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Eranda Foundation — Shelby White and Leon Levy — Hugh Trumbull Adams — Carnegie Corporation of New York — Henry and Paulette Fownes — HBO, Richard Plepler — William Randolph Hearst Foundation, George B. Irish — The Marc Haas Foundation — The National Endowment for the Humanities — The New York Community Trust — Newman’s Own Foundation, Robert Forrester — Clifford Ross — Judith and William Scheide — Sheldon H. Solow — Xhema Construction of NY, Jim Xhema — Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin — The Achelis Foundation, Walter J.P. Curley — Donald and Barbara Bady — David Latham — Robert and Joan Beir — Paul R. Beirne — Nicola vanden Heuvel Cohen — Lila vanden Heuvel Coley — The J.M. Kaplan Fund — Joan K. Davidson — Peter Davidson — Richard D. Kaplan and Edwina Sandys — Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Carl Spielvogel — The Dyson Foundation, Robert R. Dyson — John and Kathe Dyson — Lucas A. Ferrara — Peter and Barbara Georgescu — George J. Gillespie, III — Jane and Charles L. Grimes — Agnes Gund — Robert H. Haines — Catherine Heckett — Heineken, Royal DSM & TNT Express — George Chao Chi Chu — David Chen Chun Hsu — Henry and Charlotte Kimelman — A. Eugene and Barbara Shattuck Kohn — Steven and Jennifer Korman — Lawrence and Korin Korman — Elaine and Ken Langone — Pablo and Almudena Legorreta, who commissioned the writing of The Good Neighbor Policy: Promoting Respect and Unity in the Americas, about Roosevelt’s connection to Mexico — George Stavros Livanos — Dan W. Lufkin — Sally Minard and Norton Garfinkle — The Monteforte Foundation — Marilyn and Zachary Morfogen — The Myers-Elkins Family — Norman L. Peck — John vanden Heuvel Pierce — Bruce C. Ratner — RLM Finsbury — Rockefeller Brothers Fund — David Rockefeller — Felix and Elizabeth Rohatyn — William Rollnick and Nancy Ellison Rollnick — Susan and Elihu Rose — Adrian Ross — Alfred and Jane Ross — Caroline Ross — Lara R. Constable, Maia A. Rubin, Peter L. Rubin — May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation — Jack and Susan Rudin — Fiona and Eric Rudin — Stanley S. Shuman — Harvey & Kathy Sloane — Jerry Speyer and Katherine Farley — Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund — Ashley von Perfall — Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III — Kenneth and Susan Wallach — John C. Whitehead — Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn

As members of the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy Board of Directors, the following individuals have been instrumental in bringing this four-year project to completion:

William J. vanden Heuvel, who led this project to fulfillment, is the founder & chair emeritus of the Conservancy


Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., honorary chair
Barbara Shattuck Kohn, chair
Sally Minard, president & CEO
William R. Griffith, secretary & treasurer
John S. Dyson,
David Handler
Donald B. Hilliker
Warren Hoge
Jessica S. Lappin
Gina Pollara
James S. Polshek
Jack Rosenthal
Katrina vanden Heuvel
William Whitaker, ex-officio

Project Team:
Project director: Stephen Martin
Editor: Katharine Greider
Writers: Allida Black, David Woolner, Katharine Greider, Greg Robinson and William vanden Heuvel
Photo editor: Emma C. Levine
Copy editors: Lisa Delgado and Yaël Tamar Lewin

The success of fdr4freedoms is largely due to its board of talented scholarly advisors, which provided direction throughout and is made up of historians who care deeply about the legacy of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt:

Allida Black, whose commitment to the Eleanor Roosevelt legacy is unmatched in today’s scholarship


Jonathan Alter
Former senior editor for Newsweek; author of The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, among other books

Douglas Brinkley
Fellow, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University

Robert Clark
Deputy Director, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum

Morris Dickstein
Distinguished Professor of English, Senior Fellow, The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Susan Dunn
Preston S. Parish ’41 Third Century Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Williams College

Deborah Gardner
Historian and Curator, Roosevelt House at Hunter College

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Historian and author

Jonathan Holloway
Professor of History, African American Studies, History & American Studies, Yale University

David Jaffee
Professor, Head of New Media Research, Bard Graduate Center

Harvey Kaye
Director, Center for History and Social Change, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

William Leuchtenburg
Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of North Carolina

Greg Robinson
Professor of History, University of Quebec

Stephen Schlesinger
Former Director, World Policy Institute, The New School

Geoffrey Ward
Historian, documentary screen and scriptwriter, and former editor of American Heritage

Edward L. Widmer
Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo Director and Librarian, John Carter Brown Library

David Woolner
Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian, Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute; Associate Professor of History, Marist College

A special thanks to the following museums and organizations for their unfailing assistance:

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
Library of Congress


Detroit Public Library
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Imperial War Museums
Miller Center, University of Virginia
National Archives
San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives
United Nations Archives and Records Management
National World War II Museum

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An Accompanying Historical Resource For Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park