Franklin D. Roosevelt

President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Ca. 1935.

A rare portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in which the leg braces he wore as a result of paralysis are detectable.  During F.D.R.’s three terms in office, the White House went to enormous lengths to prevent the extent of his paralysis from being publicized by carefully choreographing the president’s movements, through such accommodations as a private underground entrance to New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel.  Despite such efforts, the “open secret” was only possible through the remarkably well-maintained taboo among the press against portraying FDR as physically handicapped.  

Link: PBS American Experience: FDR