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Lucy Mercer had an 31 years affair with Franklin D. Roosevelt when Franklin D. Roosevelt was married to Eleanor Roosevelt. Lucy Mercer is now deceased.

Lucy Mercer Profile Photo

Lucy Mercer

Politics - Other

Why Famous: Mistress of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Age: 57 (4/26/1891 - 7/31/1948)


Lucy Mercer's Relationships (1)

Franklin D. Roosevelt Profile Photo

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Politics - President

Why Famous: 32nd President of the United States

Age: 63 (1/30/1882 - 4/12/1945)


Franklin D. Roosevelt's Relationships (2)

Relationship Timeline

Event Start Date Length
Affair 1914 31 years
 Total31 years

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Relationship Information, Quotes, and Trivia

Where and/or how did Lucy Mercer and Franklin D. Roosevelt meet?

Lucy Mercer was hired by Franklin's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, as a personal secretary in the winter of 1914.

Why did Lucy Mercer and Franklin D. Roosevelt break up?

Rutherfurd was with Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, the day that he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that killed him in Warm Springs, Georgia.

Other Relationship Information about Lucy Mercer and Franklin D. Roosevelt:

In September 1918, Eleanor discovered love letters between her husband and her social secretary when he returned from Europe suffering from the flu of 1918. Eleanor offered her husband a divorce. The future president's mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, was adamant that there be no divorce, as that would have ruined Franklin's political career. Eleanor then gave Franklin an ultimatum: stop seeing Lucy Mercer or she would obtain a divorce. Roosevelt did not want to sacrifice his political career, so he promised never to see his mistress again. However, Roosevelt continued to see Mercer over the years, in later years with the connivance of his daughter, Anna. Thereafter Franklin and Eleanor's marriage existed in name only and was strictly a business relationship between them.

The Mercer-Roosevelt affair became public in 1966, when it was revealed in The Time Between the Wars (Doubleday), a memoir written by Jonathan Daniels, a former Roosevelt aide from 1943 to 1945 who was then editor in chief of The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. Mercer's daughter and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. denied any romance between their respective parents had occurred; the historical record, however, has established the romance beyond doubt.

According to Jonathan Daniels, when Roosevelt was elected president for the first time, the new chief executive secretly arranged for a private car to bring Lucy Rutherfurd to the 1933 inauguration as well as supplied her with a ticket to the event. She also often visited the White House when Eleanor Roosevelt was absent and met him several times at the winter White House in Georgia.

Roosevelt's daughter, Anna, had arranged for the two to meet. According to the president's cousin Laura Delano, who was with the president and Lucy Rutherfurd that day, the latter retreated to another cottage on the property immediately after the president's stroke, and she remained there until his death soon after; upon being told of his demise, Rutherfurd left the property. "She was there when he was stricken," Laura Delano told The New York Times, "but she was not there when he died."

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Classic Quotes by Lucy Mercer and Franklin D. Roosevelt about their relationship:

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