The following is an excerpt from the Fall 2009 Rendezvous article, “Eleanor Roosevelt at 125,” by Allida Black:

In 1962, as ER battled fatal illness, she also sought to complete her final call to action. In Tomorrow is Now, she dared us to recognize the power we had as citizens and to use our power carefully and boldly. “I would like to see,” she wrote, “our people fired by the vision of building a new and peaceful world.” This could only happen if “we cast out fear and face the unknown. . . with imagination and integrity, with courage and a high heart.”

Why? “For where there is no vision the people perish.”

Eleanor Roosevelt died at her home in New York City on November 7, 1962, at the age of 78. She was buried alongside FDR in the Rose Garden of their estate at Hyde Park, NY, now a national historic site, and four U.S. presidents (former, sitting, and future) attended her funeral.

On November 9, 1962, Adlai Stevenson delivered a eulogy to the United Nations General Assembly. He stated,

“Yesterday, I said that I had lost more than a friend — I had lost an inspiration: for she would rather light candles than curse the darkness and her glow had warmed the world. My country mourns her; and I know that all in this Assembly mourn with us.” Hear the full eulogy.

For more on Eleanor Roosevelt’s legacy, including information about her voluminous papers and artifacts that are housed at the FDR Presidential Library & Museum, see theFall 2009 Rendezvous honoring her 125th birthday.

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