After Tehran: Rome, D-Day, the Pacific, and the Struggle Between FDR and Churchill “FDR at War,” the Final Volume, “War and Peace” by Nigel Hamilton Richard J. Garfunkel 8-15-19

The political and strategic turning point of World War II came at the Tehran Conference, where the critical direction of the war in Europe was determined. Europe was always the critical battlefield involving all major combatants of the Old World and their descendants from the Americas. In the Pacific, the burden of the war was carried almost universally by the American forces, Army, Navy and Marines by the joint command of General Douglas MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific Sector and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in the South East and Central Pacific. Nimitz was based in Hawaii and MacArthur in Australia. Their personalities, styles and philosophies of war, regrading strategy and tactics, couldn’t have been much different. But, in their own ways, with their own staffs, they achieved remarkable goals.

Thus, after this most important meeting between the Big Three, which determined the strategy for the next critical phase of the war, it was up to the Allied armies to deliver tactically the success they needed to actuate this strategy. The decision for a cross-channel invasion, establishing the critical Second Front was what was determined, and the cooperation of the Soviets was clearly established. Sometime in the spring of 1944, depending on the weather and the availability of the most essential element of an invasion, the landing craft, the invasion would strike somewhere in Northern France. In coordination with that happening, the Soviets would launch a massive counter offensive against the German Wehrmacht, which was still occupying a huge swath of the European portion of the Soviet Union.


But, as a consequence of this agreement, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had commanded American forces in both North Africa, Sicily and the Mediterranean was transferred to London to organize the massive invasion, known as Overlord. Since the British could not achieve their desire regarding their own singular command over all of the European Theater from Britain to Greece, they were forced to concede to American control of the upcoming D-Day invasion Therefore, they demanded, and received, control over the Mediterranean Theater, which seemed to be always in their best colonial interests. No one should ever forget the logistical needs of this great effort. Aside from the build-up of men, artillery, armor, supplies, food, and ancillary equipment, without the critical landing craft, no invasion could succeed. Thus, there was always one sector competing with another for these vital ships (LSTs, LCIs and LCMs, among many designs and iterations).


Churchill, in the continued wake of his disappointments at Tehran, continued to fester over the thwarting of his desires to attack up and through the Aegean area all the way to the Dardanelles. He never seemed to come to the realization that these adventures were to never happen, no less succeed. In the meantime, the campaign in Italy had slowed down dramatically, the difficult terrain benefitted the defending German army, and the casualties were mounting at an alarming rate. The American command, and especially, FDR never saw the conquest of Italy as a strategic lynch pin for success. They were happy to have German divisions diverted from the Eastern Front with the Soviets and, thus have their manpower and supplies drained. For sure, the liberation of Rome was not a strategic objective, needed at all costs. Almost immediately, as Eisenhower relinquished command of the Mediterranean sector to the British, Churchill pushed for another invasion, up the boot of Italy at Anzio.

FDR, who was stricken with the flu, and as a result was being diagnosed with extreme hypertension and heart disease, was in no position of forcefully opposing this action. Anzio turned out to be a complete disaster. Even though it was a British created and directed operation, it was manned almost completely by American troops, who took the brunt of the fighting and casualties. Eventually, after a very difficult period, success was achieved under the heroic leadership of the controversial 5th Army Commander, the young General Mark Clark. The disaster of this campaign has been discussed and debated for decades. But, eventually, on the eve of D-Day, Rome was finally liberated. Many accused Clark of taking the Eternal City as a matter of glory and at the expense of other objectives, but in fact, when advanced units of the American Armed forces, including the war correspondent Ernest Hemingway drove into the outskirts of Rome, they found it almost abandoned by the German Army. In reality, those accusations are political and questionable. Italy was never a priority of the United States planners, but it was certainly more important than securing British interests in the Eastern sector of the Mediterranean. The eastern Mediterranean was far beyond effective allied naval and air support. Their abilities to adequately supply such actions, in the face of German land-based air support was tenuous at best. The Americans want no ancillary diversions from their main goal, the invasion of France. The fall of Rome was an important symbol, but meaningless to both the Germans and the Allies. The city had no strategic importance.

Once again, Churchill’s interference with the goals of Tehran proved costly to allied efforts with regards to blood and treasure. Eventually, with the August invasion of Marseilles, in the Anvil-Dragoon Operation Churchill was proven quite incorrect. He, even in one of his more lucid moments, he admitted it was his greatest mistakes. Unfortunately, throughout the war, there were many, “greatest mistakes” from Norway, to Singapore, to Tobruk, to Anzio, and his operation to the southern invasion of France. The most remarkable consequence of his actions was that General Brooke, chief of the Imperial Army and his staff didn’t resign en mass regarding Churchill’s interference, inconsistencies, casting of blame, and ranting diatribes, In fact, after the war all of their diaries supported their concerns about Churchill’s stability.

Unfortunately, after Tehran and the remarkable effort of FDR, his health did deteriorate significantly. It started with the flu, which many were afflicted with in the fall and the winter of 1943. A physical malaise set in and alarm bells went off with FDR’s daughter Anna, his cousin and confidante, Daisy Suckley, and others. His doctor, Rear Admiral Ross McIntire, was literally forced to bring in outside consultation. The young Dr. Howard Bruenn, a cardiologist discovered, along with the president’s traditional high blood pressure, advanced heart disease and all of its ancillary problems. With alarm bells ringing loudly, eventually specialists, including, the eminent Doctor James Paullin, former head of the AMA and Dr. Frank Lahey of the Lahey Clinic, were brought in to assist with the diagnosis.  He went up to Hyde Park for rest and recovery, but until all three of them could agree on a plan to deal with his severe health threat, FDR’s was in mortal danger. Finally, they agreed with Dr. Bruenn’s assessment, and he was allowed to administer digitalis, which then was the only treatment of an enlarged heart. Though risky, it probably saved his life.

Even Churchill was not immune to the stress and ravages of age and his consumption of copious amounts of alcohol. After Tehran, Churchill had collapsed in Tunis and reports had surfaced that he had died. Of course, the reports were unfounded, but he was seriously ill. But, with that reality in mind, many were speculating whether he could continue to serve as Prime Minister. Churchill had suffered other health setbacks, including mild heart attacks and bout with the flu and pneumonia, including in the days after his late December, 1941, visit to the White House. In the midst of FDR’s latest health crisis, Churchill rapidly recovered from pneumonia and atrial fibrillation.

As American command of the Mediterranean was turned over to the British, the pressure for the Anzio Operation was forcibly promoted by Churchill. As mentioned earlier, this action was supposed to relieve pressure on General Mark Clark’s US 5th Army, which was bottled up south of the monastery of Monte Casino, while British forces were also bogged down in the mountainous western part of Italy.

With all this happening, as FDR was recovering at Hyde Park, Churchill again was anxious for another Big Two summit. FDR wanted no part of another meeting and would not countenance Churchill’s next moronic plea for more landing craft to be deprived from the Overlord buildup. There would be no change in the American resolve to meet the agreed deadline of the cross- channel invasion in the late spring of 1944.

Of course, D-Day would eventually commence on June 6, 1944, over one month from the proposed May 1st objective. Despite all the existential anxieties and fears by almost all the parties involved, the invasion took place, and despite some bloody setbacks at Omaha Beach, the foothold on French territory was secured. The Germans were completely fooled over the true location of the invasion, as they continued to hold in reserve their powerful armored divisions, with the idea that the main invasion would take place at Pas de Calais. They never were able to mount a successful counter attack, and with the help of incredible Allied air supremacy along with the assistance of both the French resistance and allied OSS and SOE agents, the access to Normandy was sufficiently blunted. This total effort allowed American, British and Canadian forces to consolidate their five beachheads at Omaha, Utah, Sword, Juno and Gold. Even though they had adverse weather, which not only initially limited their ability to pulverize enemy positions further from the beachhead, but wrecked their artificial ports, they eventually slogged through the French hedgerows in the bocage country and would liberate Caen, Cherbourg and St. Lo. Once this done, the western Allies would not be denied nor reversed. As part of the Tehran agreement, the Soviet forces, on June 22nd, initiated a huge counter-attack on German positions. Thus Germany was caught between the teeth of two giant pincers from the east and west and were facing the two-front war they so feared. American armor, uninhibited by the mountainous terrain of Italy and under the command of General George S. Patton and his 3rd Army was unleashed into the flat French plains of southerner Normandy and Brittany and into the Loire Valley.

Therefore, with the political concerns of the 1944 election looming, FDR had to make difficult and wrenching choices, on not only whether to run for a 4th term, but how to manage a campaign when he was diagnosed with advanced heart disease. Of course, it was debatable whether he really understood the criticality of his health or just denied its reality. For sure, he had to decide who would be is running mate in 1944. As popular as he was the old New Dealers and many other liberal Democrats, his Vice-president Henry A. Wallace wasn’t popular with the party regulars who were delegates, the party leadership, a number of the labor leaders, and many of the average voters. Thus, FDR was faced with the dire necessity of not only facing the fact that the party needed him and only him as their standard nearer, and their dissatisfaction with his Vice-President, who at one time, was the most popular and effective member of the Cabinet. FDR had to choose between retaining Wallace, against his party’s wishes, and Jimmy Byrnes, a southerner from South Carolina, who had problems with unions, northern liberals, and because he had been a Catholic and was now a convert to being a Protestant, Justice William O. Douglas, who was too young and too controversial, and Harry S Truman, a little known Senator from Missouri, who had impressed many party leaders while chairing the Truman Committee. Eventually, when FDR asked his Democratic Chairman Bob Hannegan to check on Truman, get him nominated by the DNC Convention, before there is any more trouble with Wallace and to make sure to “clear it with Sidney!” Of course, Sidney was Sidney Hillman, FDR’s close ally and friend, an active, committed liberal, who was the head of the CIO –Political PAC.

Once FDR was nominated, he was backed by virtually 100% by his party, except the sole vote of Joe Kennedy Jr, the only dissenting vote, in the whole convention. He had never attended the convention and was headed in his armored train, the Ferdinand Magellan, to San Diego for the critical voyage on the USS Baltimore, a heavy, 14,000 ton cruiser to Hawaii and a meeting with his Pacific Commanders. Once FDR and his staff boarded the USS Baltimore for the three day voyage to Hawaii, he began to recover his health and vigor, as he always did with sea voyages. Thus, with his spirits and demeanor buoyed, despite his worn and sallow pallor, he and his staff worked on the challenges of the meeting at Pearl Harbor.

By, all accounts, his welcome in Hawaii was unprecedented, as over 100 ships in the harbor saluted him, as their crews, in their dress whites, lined the desks cheering his arrival. He was eventually greeted by over 20 top command level officers of the Army and Navy. It was a remarkable event. The only one absent was the imperious MacArthur, whose association with FDR, went back decades with FDR. Of course, MacArthur had arrived earlier, but it was a long flight from Australia, and the president didn’t seem to mind the supposed “slight” from his old associate and sometime adversary. Both men knew that FDR had saved MacArthur’s career after his disaster in the Philippines back in 1942. MacArthur, who had been saved from surrender at Corregidor, had been order to Australia directly by FDR. He always thought that his beleaguered men on Bataan and Corregidor could have been relieved by an American naval force. Of course, that was a fanciful pipe dream, which lingered with MacArthur for the rest of his long life. In truth, FDR was always careful about his true feelings, and showed no obvious pique regarding MacArthur, for he knew him all too well.

The vast Pacific Theater was divided between the commands of the self-absorbed General Douglas MacArthur, whose headquarters was in Australia and had presidential ambitions pushed by a number of members of the Republican Party and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who was based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Both men were strong leaders with diametrically opposing styles and personalities. MacArthur’s command was the Southwest Pacific, with his forces made up by members of the US Army, his own Air Force and naval assets, the much smaller 7th Fleet.. His primary focus was New Guinea, and dealing with the Japanese strongholds of Rabaul and Truk Admiral Nimitz, the commander of most of the US Navy’s assets, including its fleet carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines, also was the tactical commander of all of the US Marine assets, which were part of the Navy.

This meeting would determine the future strategies to be employed in the Pacific Theater and the prosecution of the War against Japan. The included MacArthur’s concept of invading the three large islands of the Philippines; Mindanao, Leyte and Luzon and the navy’s idea of striking first at Formosa, bypassing the Philippines and eventually attacking the Bonin Island and eventually Iwo Jima as a stepping stone to Japan.  Eventually, with FDR chairing the meeting and without an over-abundance of staff, (MacArthur had little with him), both commanders made their presentations regarding their strategies. FDR, listened to both with an open mind, had no preconceived notions and eventually with consultation with Admiral Leahy, his Chief of Staff, he made the final decision reaching compromises on both the Philippines, bypassing Formosa, and the plans to move closer to the Japanese home islands. .

It was another great effort by a seriously ill president. Eventually he was back on the USS Baltimore, made his way to the Aleutian Islands to visit American troops and then made his way back to the mainland and the issues and controversies that lay ahead. One of these continuing problems was the dealing with the demands of Churchill, as the late summer moved on into September and a second meeting with Churchill in Quebec.

Before this very successful meeting in the Pacific with the two American commanders, America’s partner in the great European crusade was still causing mischief and controversy in the central Mediterranean. Even as great progress was being made in Northern France, Churchill was offering alternatives to Anvil-Dragoon, the Southern invasion of France, scheduled for August 15th, a bit more than two months after D-Day!

Once more Churchill was proven devastatingly wrong as a strategist or a tactician. As a result of Anvil-Dragoon, Marseilles was overrun quickly and liberated within a week, when General Jacob Dever’s 6th Army moved quickly up the Rhone River Valley to link up with units of Eisenhower’s forces that were sweeping south in a wide arc to encircle German forces in the Falaise Gap.

Therefore, by September of 1944, this meeting had become superfluous and redundant, and there was no way that the ailing President Roosevelt was going to meet Churchill in Scotland or almost anywhere else, except in North America, especially in the midst of the presidential campaign.  As the time for the next Quebec Conference approached, both western leaders were seriously ill. On the voyage west to meet with their American colleagues on the Combined Chiefs of Staff committee, at the Chateau de Frontenac, Churchill was quite impossible to argue with. Field Marshall Brooke later recalled, “It was a ghastly time which I carried away the bitterest of memories!” Churchill felt the same about his top two commanders, Brook and Admiral Andrew Cunningham.

Churchill still wanted to reach Vienna from the Adriatic and he was coming to Quebec, with hat in hand, to solely obtain 20 landing ships to carry out an operation against Istria (a peninsular in the Adriatic) to seize Trieste. No matter what the British Staff reacted up against Churchill’s futile protestations, their objections went to “dead and deaf” ears! “Was Churchill then mad,” Brooke wondered or “perhaps ill?”

The next day of the voyage, Churchill’s fever increased and he became increasingly worse. Brooke recorded in his diary. “He knows no details, has only half the picture in his mind, talks absurdities and makes my blood boil to listen to his nonsense!”

According to Nigel Hamilton, Field Marshall Brooke wrote, “I find it hard to remain civil,” and he continued, “and the wonderful thing is that three-quarters of the population of the world imagines that Winston Churchill is one of the strategists of history, a second Marlborough and the other one-quarter have no conception what a public menace he is and has been throughout the war!” Of course, FDR, in the midst of the presidential campaign, was a shadow of his former self, who was trying to end the war without more unnecessary, further bloodshed. He wasn’t looking for more “side shows” or gambits to satiate more imperial desires of Churchill. His objective was to defeat Germany, get the United Nations concept in place, and secure the peace.

Thus, to sum up the Quebec Conference with regards to Churchill’s speech to the gathered fourteen chiefs and their staffs, his objectives regarding Vienna and Singapore were totally dismissed out of hand, as FDR punctured all of his trial balloons. FDR doubted that the Germans or the Japanese were about to fold. The Japanese were beyond fanatical and suicidal on Saipan and the Germans eventually would retreat behind the wide Rhine River. He also predicted that there would be another huge German offensive in the West. Eventually he was proven right as the German attack in the Ardennes, known historically as the Battle of the Bulge would take place in nine weeks. As for fortress Singapore, FDR for sure didn’t want to attack fortified positions with the high resultant casualties, unless the position had strategic importance. Singapore had no strategic importance and he recommended that it be isolated from the north with an effort in the Malay Peninsula.

He explained that General MacArthur had successfully bypassed the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul and that Singapore could also be isolated and marginalized. Of course, the Prime Minister’s display of casualness in the face of casualties made Brooke groan. It was like he couldn’t care less!

But, FDR had convinced the Joint Chiefs of his sage advice and strategy. Admiral Leahy, the senior member of the Combined Chiefs was delighted, as was Field Marshall Brooke, who was also relieved! He later wrote, “My mind is now much more at rest!” The war was finally being “left to the professionals, who knew that its strategic direction bad been set by the president.”

The most interesting and controversial story that came out of the 2nd Quebec Conference was the Morgenthau Proposal on the post war conversion of Germany from an industrialized-based state to a group of bifurcated agricultural, almost min-states. Of course, by many, this was seen as draconian punishment of the German People. Obviously FDR was of that mind. The first negative reaction was from Secretary of War Stimson who was appalled at this, saw it as a case of Jewish vindictiveness, and thought it flew in the face of the Atlantic Charter’s declaration and goals. FDR, though sicker than it seems he would admit, was for sure affected by reports of German brutality, especially to the Jews and others. At first Churchill was indignant and repulsed by the proposal. Conventionally, excuses were made against the plan under the dubious auspices of Christian charity.

Franklin Roosevelt was a confirmed “German-hater.” He told the NY Times in August 1944, “If I had my way, I would keep Germany on a breadline for 25 years!” He wrote Cordell Hull, America’s Secretary of State, “Every person in Germany should realize that this time Germany is a defeated nation… and that the whole nation has been engaged in a lawless conspiracy against the decency of modern civilization.” It was FDR who advocated, against the wishes of Winston Churchill for the policy of “unconditional surrender” and a tough peace. He said that Germany should be dismembered and their leaders punished. Roosevelt, in truth, never rejected the “Morgenthau Plan” that called for the economic destruction of post-war Germany, and let his friend and the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry M. Morgenthau present and promote the plan. Thus, with its revelation, Secretary of War Stimson took a softer line and complained about its brutality to the President. He found that FDR was unwavering in its support, for the concept of a destroyed industrial state, surviving only on agriculture. Whether the plan was sensible or even w viable, it would later be scrapped by Truman who also accused Morgenthau of Jewish vindictiveness. Both Truman and Stimson agreed that no Jews, especially Morgenthau, should be at any peace conference determining the fate of Germany.

Even with Churchill’s opposition, he had almost immediately learned that Great Britain’s Exchequer (Treasury) was virtually broke.  With that in mind, FDR allowed Morgenthau to “sweeten the pot” regarding their effort to have Churchill sign on to the proposal. He made it clear that the US was willing to extend at least $6 billion in Lend-Lease funds to Britain after the war. At this, Churchill did not jump to sign, he leaped. All of sudden, the specter of billions to help Britain, meant that the British may be able to actually retain their hold on their teetering empire..

No matter how it was accomplished, Churchill initialed the Morgenthau Plan for post-war Germany. When the news of the Quebec Conference reached Germany, Propaganda Minister Goebbels claimed, “Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to the Jewish murder plan.” German radio announced that Roosevelt’s “bosom” friend Henry Morgenthau, the “spokesman of world Judaism” was singing the same song as the Jews in the Kremlin,”- dismember Germany, destroy its industry and “exterminate forty-three million Germans.” Interestingly, across the Atlantic, another democratic leader seems to have concurred with the blame-the-Jews theory.

An unpublished article by Winston Churchill, written in 1937 and discovered in the Churchill archives by Cambridge University historian Richard Toye in 2007, claimed that Jews were “partly responsible” for the mistreatment that they suffered. Churchill denounced the “cruel and relentless” persecution of the Jews but then criticized German Jewish refugees in England for their willingness to work for less pay than non-Jewish laborers, which — he claimed — caused antisemitism. Some of Churchill’s earlier statements about Jews and communism indulged in anti-Semitic stereotypes, such as referring to the Russian Bolshevik leadership as “Semitic conspirators” and “Jew Commissars.”

Not long after the breakup of the Quebec Conference, was the failure of the operations to seize the Rhine River Bridges, known as Market-Garden. It was the brainchild of Field Marshall Montgomery, even though it was originally panned by two American generals. The objective was to go north through Holland with airborne units, capturing bridges across the Rhine and bypass the vaunted Siegfried Line. The nexus of this plan seemed to come from various sources regarding the failure to capture French ports from the Germans, attacks by V-2 missiles on London, a problem of supplies, the inability to cross the Rhine River in force, and aggressive German resistance. Montgomery eventually flew to Brussels, where he confronted the Supreme Commander, Dwight Eisenhower, over his reluctance to sign on to this effort, originally called Operation Cornet. Eventually the effort was re-configured according to Montgomery’s design, and by a series of mix-ups, poor coordination, and heavy resistance, the effort failed miserably, and the American and British airborne troops were decimated, and forced to retreat, as the operation turned into a chaotic disaster.

Meanwhile, as bad as FDR felt, he was able to finish the campaign and though it was the closest election in many years, he was able to beat back the aggressive challenges of Governor Tom Dewey of NY, who lost the election. The Republicans campaigned against the New Deal seeking a smaller government and less-regulated economy, as the end of the war seemed in sight. Nonetheless, Roosevelt’s continuing popularity was the main theme of the campaign. To quiet rumors of his poor health, Roosevelt insisted on making a vigorous campaign swing in October and rode in an open car through NYC’s rainy and crowed streets.  He finished the campaign with an address at Brooklyn’s Ebbet’s Field. He certainly had rebounded miraculously. But, this like other extreme efforts, took a lot out of his constitution.

A high point of the campaign occurred when Roosevelt, speaking to a meeting of labor union leaders, gave a speech carried on national radio in which he ridiculed Republican claims that his administration was corrupt and wasteful with tax money. He particularly derided a Republican claim that he had sent a US Navy warship to pick up his Scottish Terrier, Fala, in Alaska, noting that “Fala was furious” at such rumors. The speech was met with loud laughter and applause from the labor leaders. In response, Governor Dewey gave a blistering partisan speech in Oklahoma City a few days later on national radio, in which he accused Roosevelt of being “indispensable” to corrupt big-city Democratic organizations and American Communists; he also referred to members of Roosevelt’s cabinet as a “motley crew”. However, American battlefield successes in Europe and the Pacific during the campaign, such as the liberation of Paris in August 1944 and the successful Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines in October 1944, made President Roosevelt unbeatable.

Throughout the campaign, Roosevelt led Dewey in all the polls by varying margins. On Election Day, the Democratic incumbent scored a fairly comfortable victory over his Republican challenger. Roosevelt took 36 states for 432 electoral votes while Dewey won twelve states and 99 electoral votes. In the popular vote, Roosevelt won 25,612,916 (53.4%) votes to Dewey’s 22,017,929 (45.9%).

With the election out of the way, the next big crisis for the Western Allies was the Battle of the Bulge, which followed a massive incursion into the Ardennes Forest by German armored divisions, in their attempt to split the allies and retake the vital port of Antwerp. Eventually, it would fail as the late December weather, which had been incredibly bleak and overcast, had cleared up enough to sufficiently allow Allied airpower to attack all the units of the German army, which had been bottled up at the important crossroad city of Bastogne. Eventually, Bastogne was relieved on the ground by advanced elements of General Patton’s 3rd Army, which had swung northward over a period of 72 hours and relieved the almost surrounded city and its 101st Airborne Division defenders. The battle for Bastogne alone resulted in 3000 American casualties as they faced a German force over five times its size. As for the Battle of the Bulge, it was a last gasp effort by the Germans in the West and it was the largest battle fought in the West. Total American casualties were over 85,000, with British losses at less than 1,500 and with the German losses, upwards of 100,000.

With the collapse of Germany’s last offensive effort in the West, along with the Soviet Union’s penetration into Warsaw, Poland, it became apparent that there needed to be another Big Three Meeting to determine the final “end game” strategy of the European War and to determine what would happen in the war against Japan.

Therefore the critical Big 3 meeting was scheduled for the Crimea. The USS Quincy, a heavy cruiser, and a sister ship to the USS Baltimore, carried FDR on his last overseas odyssey to Yalta. He was accompanied by his daughter Anna, and a small entourage on board, which included his Chief of Staff Admiral Leahy, his Director of War Mobilization, former US Supreme Court Justice James (Jimmy) F. Byrnes, his Press Secretary Steve Early, his political advisor Ed Flynn, from the Bronx, his naval and military aides, his two doctors and three officers from the White House map room.

On January 31, 1945 as they passed into the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar, they celebrated FDR’s 63rd birthday, one day later. On February 2nd they entered into the Grand Harbor at Valletta, Malta and disembarked. All of bomb ravaged Malta was out to greet him along with Ambassador Harriman, Harry Hopkins, his personal assistant, and Anthony Eden. Ed Flynn remarked, “It was quite an emotional moment!” One could just imagine how this small island, which endured 1000 air raids welcomed this great leader of the United Nations and the Western Allies.

After their stay in Malta, he and his intimate team, bordered a newly furbished C-54, the latest, newly equipped version of his plane, the “Sacred Cow.” (an early version of Air Force1). The plane was screened by six fighter planes and escorted to Russia.

Churchill, from his perspective, according to Harry Hopkins, dreaded the conference and despised the location. But, since Churchill had flown to meet personally with Stalin in Moscow, he wasn’t going to be left out of this conference. As damaged as Yalta was treated by the Nazis invaders and looters, who even took out the piping in most of the buildings, including the summer residence of the former Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, the Livadia Palace, it was meticulously restored and rehabilitated by the Russians. Frankly, it was in excellent condition.

In the last few months of his life, FDR struggled to balance the interests of the West, the special relationship with Great Britain, and the criticality of building trust with the Soviet Union and their leader Josef Stalin. He understood the anxiety of the Russians; their fear of the rise of German militarism in the future, and he also knew that the Soviets feared a united Western Alliance, bent on their destruction.

He envisioned a Big Four, comprised of the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the emerging China, which would keep the peace, work for decolonization, and build understanding between competing economic and social systems. He understood the dynamic of nationalism and he also understood clearly that the Soviet Union was in control of Eastern Europe and that they would not easily give up their hard earned, with blood and treasure, buffer. He certainly didn’t believe it was in America’s interest to fight a 3rd World War over Poland’s sovereignty. Despite the opinion of his conservative critics, FDR was quite aware of what he was doing at Yalta. He tried to build confidence in Stalin, by showing him that the West was not in monolithic lockstep. He did annoy Churchill, who couldn’t understand his tactics, and it was basically the British who criticized his health and attentiveness. Almost all the others, did not see FDR as the “weak sister” of the conference. He was for sure the leader of the Big Three and he also understood the reality of “Russian boots on the ground.” During his later address to a Joint Session of Congress he addressed that reality.

Of course, as FDR and many of his aides understood, “the United States had not entered the war to take responsibility for the democratic future of such enemies – which they had effectively become German allies, following Hitler’s declaration of war on America.” There was in reality little that the United States could actually do to save them from communism. On the other hand this did not mean having to abandon the notion of a United Nation Organization. Even with British protests regarding the Russian view on Poland, and their support for the Lublin Poles (Russian backed, government in exile) the British had almost zero cooperation from the London Poles, and they couldn’t help Poland in 1939 and for sure couldn’t help them in 1944 or 1945. Where were these democracies in Eastern Europe? They certainly never had a democratic tradition in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, Croatia, or Poland! The Baltic States were controlled by Russian and the Soviets before 1917 and had varied periods of independence until 1939 when they were conquered by the Germans. The Finns were aligned with the Germans against the Soviets and Austria was basically a Nazi state. There would not be a satisfactory answer to both Britain’s concerns about the future of a free Poland, along with the lesser concerns of the United States about the same issue. This consequences would have later political consequences for both the Democratic Party in the wake of FDR’s passing in Warm Spring on April 12, 1945, and the British general election, which would oust the ruling Conservative Party coalition and cause the replacement of Churchill as Prime Minister with Labour’s Clement Atlee.

Aside from all the reports of divisions between the Western Allies and concerns about Stalin’s cooperation, the Big Three were able, with the assistance of their staffs, to issue a comprehensive statement, which would eventually reach Hitler’s underground bunker. Hitler, virtually a sick, broken, and delusional prisoner in his Chancellery Bunker, was still railing to all who would listen, that the Allies would soon be divided, fighting amongst each other and that the 3rd Reich’s super weapons would snatch from the jaws of defeat, victory. The Nazi regime’s 2nd most influential voice, Herr Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister, also bought into the myth that the Yalta Conference would be an abject failure.

The fact that Russian armies in the East and the Allied armies in the West were, against stiff German resistance, moving inexorably towards Berlin seemed to be irrelevant.  Goebbels was about to ask Hitler to make a “clear statement of the war aims,” but that became patently realistic when the details of the Yalta Agreement reached the Bunker. On February 12, 1945, the statement hit the delusional top Nazis with a large dose of realism. Its declaration, divided into “nine separate sectors and covered not only how the allies proposed to end the war.” It specified the following: specified occupation zones (US, Soviet, British and French), a new world security system (which would be the United Nations), unconditional surrender (declared at Casablanca), total disarmament, destruction of German war-making potential, an Allied Control Commission (for administrating the post war Germany), dissolution of the German High Command, arrest of German war criminals and their prosecution and punishment, along with complete de-nazification.

The final morning of the Yalta Conference Summit, in February of 1945, saw FDR looking at the sunrise over the Crimea. President Roosevelt and his daughter Anna, who was serving as his aide on this historic trip, managed to get in some sight-seeing on the grounds of the Livadia Palace. The final plenary meeting was held in the president’s dining room, and the final communique’s wording was fleshed out.

At 3:45 PM, that afternoon when the final document was completed, FDR, Churchill and Stalin presented it to their foreign ministers, for their polishing and release. They signed three blank pieces of paper which were to be later affixed to the final copy of the conference’s statement. After the meeting FDR bade his farewell to Churchill, and thanked Stalin for his hospitality. Within a few minutes, after gifts were exchanged, FDR was wheeled to a waiting car and he was driven to the coast of the Black Sea. The Yalta Conference was over, and FDR began his journey, and his “the Last Mission” to Egypt and his meeting with the “three kings!” (Haile Selassie, King Farouk of Egypt and Ibn Sa’ud of Saudi Arabia).

As they made their three hour journey, FDR insisted that they drive through the devastated City of Sevastopol, once thought to be the most beautiful port city in Europe, now as the Chicago Tribune called it, “the city of death.” It was completely destroyed by the Nazi siege, and the pre-war population of 150,000, had been reduced to a few thousand. FDR boarded the USS Catoctin for a night’s rest in the captain’s quarters. In the morning he faced another 3.5 hour drive (80 miles) to Saki Airport, where he met Harry Hopkins, Secretary of State Stettinius and his translator Charles Bohlen, along with other members of the American delegation and Foreign Minister Molotov.

The flight was a slow and torturous effort covering 1000 miles and 5.5 hours from the Crimea to Egypt. Because of FDR’s heart condition, the flight could not be above 10,000 feet and the plane had to circumvent Turkey’s high mountain peaks. Eventually the plane landed at Deversoir Field on the shores of the Great Bitter Lake, which is part of the Suez Canal system.  Of course, in the last few months of his life, FDR did assure both the Zionists in America of his continued support and the British and the Arabs that he would not unilaterally force a Zionist state on them without their consent. This dualism is not easily answered. In a sense FDR was continuing his balancing act with his British Allies. He understood their deep reliance on both India, with their large Muslim population and their long relationship with the Arabs. Certainly he did want not to threaten their unity with extraneous issues not related to winning the war in both Europe and Japan. He was unaware that the Atomic Bomb would be successfully tested in the coming months, and therefore he looked forward to a long bitter and bloody struggle to subdue and conquer Japan. Again, Roosevelt was also exhausted by his 12,000+ mile trip back and forth to Yalta.  The last leg of his voyage on the Quincy was marked by the fact that Harry Hopkins was terribly ill and had to be flown back to the states, and the death of his naval aide, and close friend General Edwin “Pa” Watson. In a sense, according to Ambassador Alexander Kirk, who had been part of the President’s diplomatic party, it was a “Death Ship!’

FDR’s Yalta Address was carried live on the radio and during his later address to a Joint Session of Congress he addressed that reality. There were few who could disagree with his evaluation. His extemporaneous remarks led some among the American Zionists to wonder about his true commitment to a Jewish State. Maybe in reaction to this original misconception, FDR on March 16, 1945, allowed Rabbi Stephen Wise to quote him directly and say: that FDR’s positive position on Zionism, from October of 1944, had not changed. Wise’s private account of this meeting is more sanguine, as he wrote in a note to Chaim Weizmann.

Wise revealed that FDR did something he rarely did, admit, “the one failure of his trip,” FDR confessed, “had been his meeting with Ibn Sa’ud.” Indeed, the president had arranged this meeting, “for the sake of your cause!” He deeply regretted his inability to make an impression on the Saudi ruler. “I have never so completely failed to make an impact upon a man’s mind in as in his case.” FDR feared that Sa’ud would attempt to unify the Arab States in a “holy war” which could easy defeat the small contingent of Jews in Palestine. He then revealed that the issue be brought eventually to the first meeting of the Council of the United Nations.

Franklin D. Roosevelt would never see the opening of the United Nations in San Francisco. As the world knows, he passed away on April 12, 1945, at his small home, the Little White House, in Warm Springs, Georgia. He was both the “Soldier of Freedom,” and as James MacGregor Burns said, “the Lion and the Fox.” He was the creator of the New Deal which halted and reversed the Great Depression. He authored the Four Freedoms and wrote the Atlantic Charter with Winston Churchill. He was the architect of victory for the Western World over the forces of darkness and enslavement. He founded the United Nations. His words and ideas would be incorporated in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He fought for victory to the end, and gave his life as an average soldier would in battle.

At his death, Winston Churchill said, “In the days of peace he had broadened and stabilized the foundation of American life and union. In war he had raised the strength, might, and glory of the Great Republic to a height never achieved by any nation in history.” To Churchill, as he stated, “for us it remained only to say that in Franklin Roosevelt there died the greatest American friend we have ever known and the greatest champion who ever brought help and comfort from the New World to the Old.”

In speaking of the late President, Churchill said in Parliament to the members of the House of Commons on April 17, 1945, “he died in harness, and we may say in battle harness, like his soldiers, sailors, and airmen, who side by side with ours are carrying on their task to the end, all over the world. What an enviable death was his.”

In the end, neither FDR nor Churchill, made any headway with Sa’ud, who was an obdurate, narrow-minded oligarch, who had no concept of what the future, which was upon him, would mean. FDR, caught between his desire to aid the Zionist cause and to maintain good relations with the oil-rich Arabs, would struggle with this intractable problem right up to his death.

Even though his effort in moving the process along, had failed, it had marked a remarkable alteration in the evolution of American involvement in foreign policy.  The United States, from that moment on would now be a player in world events, aside from contributing mightily to the defeat of both the militarism of the Kaiser’s Germany in the First World War and Nazi Germany, in the 2nd.  The United States had become a global force, far beyond the New World and the Monroe Doctrine.


One of the great causes of the failed peace was the death of FDR, because he was the only one with the skills and prestige to lead the West and insure the peace. Truman did as best as he could, considering his inexperience and poor advice. As to the West, its fear of communism obfuscated the crimes of the Fascists, Nazis and Eastern European strongmen, who brutalized Germany, Italy and all the countries east of the Oder-Niese. The dictators of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania were not democratically inclined and Poland was run by a military junta. FDR was not going to commit the US to go to war over Poland and he had stated that the Russians and Poles had hated each other for centuries and they both had blood on their hands. How correct he was! Poland was the trip wire for war with regards to Britain and France. They had no special allegiance to Poland and their treaties were signed to draw the line with regards to German aggression. As to the Soviet Union, they were making geo-political deals to survive no differently than the West. As to Stalin, he was in a long line of oligarchs who had run Russia forever. The crimes of the Romanov’s, which had lasted 400 years, were not much different then the Bourbons of France and the other royal dynasties that disappeared in Austria and Spain. As Napoleon sagely said, “The victors write the history.” In the same sense, that the Soviets and the Russian people, after hundreds of years of oppression, turned to another system and, for better or worse, supported it.

Roosevelt and Church, their Political and Military Legacies

With regards to Winston Churchill, the political role of the American system is much different then Britain. Churchill never had to really stand for election as leader and was never really trusted with “domestic” responsibilities. He was much more of a “loose cannon” and never really felt comfortable working with others. He was certainly a fabulous talent, but had too many inner doubts to be completely confident with himself. His “black” moods and depression limited his ability to have the confidence to “rule.” He had too many opinions that limited his ability to make political alliances. He was a man of action and not a calculating “planner.” He never understood the need to build organizations of political support. He was basically a talented loner.

His forte was more foreign policy and the Empire. He had cabinet level domestic responsibilities early in his career, but his name and fortune was linked with the navy when he was First Lord of the Admiralty. Of course because Britain was primarily a naval power since the time of Drake, and through Nelson, and had dominated the seas, the post of First Lord of the Admiralty had great cachet.

He was not willing to sublimate himself to the will of others, and never could pose, or participate as a team player. Later on, after the WWII victory, he wasn’t prepared for the 1945 elections that swamped him and his government. His campaign was terrible and he did not have a “clue” what the public was thinking about its needs. On one hand, he was still a captive of the upper classes that dominated British life. He seemed unaware and unconcerned, regarding how the MacDonald-Baldwin-Chamberlain governments ignored the working classes that suffered throughout the Depression.

Of course, British politics were divided between the “plutocrats” and the “aristocrats” and Churchill never seemed to know where he fit. He was not keen on real reform that would have worked to restructure the critically unbalanced British economic and social landscape along with its infrastructure.  He never understood the moribund future of colonialism, and his attitude towards India was foolish and archaic. His political philosophy was inconstant and vacillating. Both sides of the British ideological divide constantly mistrusted him. He was not able to dominate either party and was perceived by the public as a political outsider with no place to “hang his hat.” His strategy as First Lord of the Admiralty, in the First World War, was badly criticized after the disaster of Gallipoli. His “snafu” was actuated more by logistical insanity then strategic miscalculation. All in all, it was a costly failure in blood and material, and therefore his career suffered terribly. With regards to WW II his strategy was basically no better then Chamberlain’s. Under his watch the British experienced disasters with the navy in Norway, the 8th Army in North Africa and its collapse at Tobruk, the insane and huge defeat and disaster in Singapore, (the worst and most costly British defeat in history), the disaster at Dunkerque, the catastrophic losses of the HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales off Hainan Island, near the Chinese mainland, the abandonment of Greece and Crete, the ill-fated attack at Dieppe, the alienation of the French and the subsequent defection of the French fleet, causing the need for it to be crippled by British naval action along with many others. He was lucky that the Nazis re-directed the Luftwaffe to bomb British cities and not go after their radar early warning stations, their aerodromes, and the British fighter defense. A smartly delivered strategy against these targets would have reduced the British to a position where their air cover became hopeless.

Basically, US Lend-Lease, the US Navy and the convoy system, the undeclared US naval war in the North Atlantic against the Nazi submarine wolf packs, and the attacks by Germany on Yugoslavia and Greece, culminating with the postponed late spring, early summer invasion of Russia helped Britain survive. Churchill’s strong vocal leadership rallied Britain and the free world, but without Roosevelt and the power that he formulated by creating the “Arsenal of Democracy,” Britain would have eventually been beaten despite the flawed Hitlerian strategy. If the US had not helped Britain with our fleet, the fifty-destroyer exchange and Lend-Lease for Russia, the Soviets probably would have been neutralized and the further European resistance would have ceased. Greece and Yugoslavia were basically beaten, and the rest of the Eastern Europe, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania were German allies. Turkey was in Germany’s camp and would have remained an associated “player” looking to reclaim their former Ottoman Empire.

Churchill did have many successes aside from American help. Their victory at Taranto that devastated the Italian fleet, the sinking of the Graf Spee, the hunting down of the Bismarck, the destruction of the 10 German destroyers off Norway, his policy supporting Orde Wingate and the Chindits in Burma, his mobilizing massive bombing raids over Germany, the destruction of the French dry docks at Saint Nazaire, and his selection of Montgomery to head the British 8th along with his subsequent victory at El Alemain were strong plusses. But even with the entrance of America into the war, later British strategy with Churchill’s blessing and interference led to the huge loses in Holland with the ill-fated Market-Garden assault on the Dutch bridges. Montgomery, Churchill’s greatest choice for leadership squandered his opportunity to cross the Rhine and was trumped by the American capture of the Ludendorf Bridge at Remagen.

That single event of intrepid work by American forces dealt a huge blow to German resistance on the Western front. While Montgomery was accumulating landing craft, the US Army was surging over the Rhine with men and armor, creating an unassailable bridgehead, and trapping German forces on the wrong side of the River.

FDR, on the other hand mobilized the American economy in an unprecedented way, fought an effective two ocean war, selected and appointed excellent overall leadership with his Joint Chiefs lead by Admiral William D. Leahy, who coordinated the activities of Generals Marshall and Arnold along with Admiral King. FDR’s selections, in all of the theaters of his responsibility, of MacArthur, Nimitz, Eisenhower, reflected excellent carefully thought out judgment. Their choices of subordinates that included Bedell-Smith, Clark, Bradley, Patton, Hodges, Simpson, Eaker, Doolittle, Stillwell, Halsey, Spruance, Vandergrift, Smith, Lemay and many others, spelled eventual success. FDR also chose Republicans Henry L. Stimson and Frank Knox to head the War and Navy Departments, along with William “Wild Bill” Donovan,” a Republican, who ran against Herbert Lehman for Governor of New York, as his personal envoy,  his chief information gatherer, without portfolio, and eventually the head of the OSS, (Office of Strategic Services.) It was this spy and espionage agency which became the forerunner of the CIA.

FDR’s greatest skill was balancing the needs, egos, and innate rivalries of these ambitious, talented men. He also had to balance the political necessities involving the Executive Branch regarding State, the War and Navy Departments, and the needs and desires of Congress. With the leadership of the skilled, non-partisan Marshall and the politically astute Stimson and Knox, American wartime policy was able to balance the different needs expressed by Cordell Hull, the American Secretary of State and FDR’s friend and upstate NY, neighbor, Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., who did a masterful job in financing the massive spending required during WWII.

His speeches, and cool leadership gave the people confidence after Pearl Harbor and the loss of the Philippines. FDR’s leadership of the wartime conferences at Argentia Bay, Quebec, Casablanca, Teheran and Yalta were the driving force behind victory and the post-war dominance of the West. His sponsoring of the Bretton Woods Conference had the most lasting effect on the future world’s economies vis-à-vis monetary stability. All in all FDR’s domestic leadership before and during the war were unprecedented. The late President, the architect of victory, won a hard earned election in 1944, with excellent majorities in Congress, even with his health suffering from advance heart disease and arterial sclerosis. He was able to maintain his majorities in Congress all through his tenure in office, and even though the Democrats narrowly lost Congress in 1946, they quickly recovered their majorities until the Eisenhower landslide of 1952. But from 1954 until the 1980’s the FDR-New Deal coalition of Democrats maintained Congressional hegemony.

Aside from this top-notch staff which built the largest army we had ever had, they built the largest navies and air forces the world had ever seen. From total forces that numbered in the hundreds of thousands, these men, with the guidance of FDR created a force able to win victories in the Pacific and put together the incredible multi-service and national forces that successfully invaded Europe and prosecuted the European War from North Africa, to Sicily, to Italy, and then on to Normandy and Marseilles, before it moved on to the Rhine River and into the heart of Nazi Germany.

FDR’s greatest skill was balancing the needs, egos, and innate rivalries of these ambitious, talented men. He also had to balance the political necessities involving the Executive Branch regarding State, the War and Navy Departments, and the needs and desires of Congress. With the leadership of the skilled, non-partisan Marshall and politically astute Stimson and Knox, American wartime policy was able to balance the different needs expressed by Cordell Hull, the American Secretary of State and FDR’s friend and upstate NY, neighbor, Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., who did a masterful job in financing the massive spending required during WWII.

Churchill, as a man, was bold, talented and basically remarkable. He was a brilliant speaker, a marvelous writer, a brave soldier, a reporter, a painter, a magnificent Parliamentarian, a cabinet official, a Prime Minister, and most importantly a beloved wartime leader. He embodied what was great about Britain. But he was a failure as a politician, lacked excellent judgment went it came to strategy and suffered from great insecurities. His terrible childhood and education plagued him with self-doubts, depression and lack of direction. Churchill spent a lifetime comparing himself to his father Randolph who had a meteoric political career but eventually became a miserable failure. Churchill, like Roosevelt, became much more a product of his mother. Overall he was able to overcome all of those limitations. Churchill was still, at heart, part of the “ruling class” that dominated Britain. He was still part of the Imperialist mindset, and he was still sadly lacking, with regards, to what the average “Brit” needed. He never built a political base, and when the post-war choices were made he was cast aside with little regret from the British people. His return to office in 1951 was no great success and he was too, too old to be a major factor in re-shaping Britain after years of war and social reform.

FDR was not the writer that Churchill was, but as an orator he was certainly in his league. He was determined and self-confident. His childhood was one of nurtured success and happiness. He was beloved by his adoring parents.  He was self-educated to age fourteen and went on to the best schools where he achieved moderate success. In a dissimilar way, FDR’s father, whom he adored and respected, died when he was eighteen while he was a freshman at Harvard.

Unlike Churchill’s father who was much younger, James Roosevelt was intimately interested in his second son. His first son, a product of his earlier marriage to Rebecca Howland, who died, was 29 years older and his contact with him was not well known. But even with his loss, FDR had looked up to his father and respected his judgment and memory. James Roosevelt was not a politician like Randolph Churchill, and with his death FDR was able to transform his need for a psychological mentor to his 5th cousin Theodore Roosevelt.

Unlike Churchill, FDR was the single greatest elected politician in modern history and was able to overcome the devastating physical challenge of Polio. He was a vigorous man who overcame a lifetime of sickness. He had wonderful mentors, Theodore Roosevelt, Al Smith, and Woodrow Wilson. He took something from all of them, and was smart enough to avoid the problems they all experienced.

He shaped his own destiny, built the new Democratic Party, reversed the Depression, rallied the public, instilled great respect from the world at large, inspired great enemies and opposition, took on the Fascists when America wanted no part of that fight, created the United Nations, built the “Arsenal of Democracy” and through his actions, at the Atlantic Conference in Argentia Bay, put forth his vision of the world based on the “Four Freedoms.” His vision is the vision of the modern world; his vision is of one of the world community pulling together for the common good. Not unlike Churchill, who was one of the lone voices protesting against “appeasement,” FDR had withstand an “American First” isolationism that cut across almost all social and political barriers and subgroups. FDR had to use his unequalled mastery of the America political landscape to on one hand re-arm America and on the other hand battle the limitations of our Neutrality Laws and the passion of people like Charles Lindbergh, who were his most vocal critics.

In retrospect Churchill really left no governmental legacy. He really never governed. FDR’s legacy was one of not only unprecedented leadership, but of government innovation, reform and restructuring. Both have great-unequaled places in the history of our world and our time.

*Many of the passages in quotation, before the comparison between FDR and Churchill, are taken directly from the Nigel Hamilton’s words.









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A lifelong New Yorker, who now lives full-time in Palm Beach County, Richard was raised in Mount Vernon, New York and he was educated in the Mount Vernon public schools He graduated from Boston University with a BA in American History. After spending a year on Wall Street as a research analyst with Bache & Co., he joined a manufacturing and importing firm, where over the next twenty-five years he rose to the position of chief operating officer. After the sale of that business, Richard entered into the financial services field with Metropolitan Life and is a Registered Representative, who has been associated with Acorn Financial Services which is affiliated with John Hancock Life Insurance Company of Boston, Ma. Today, he is a retired broker who had specialized in long-term care insurance and financial planning. One of Richard’s recent activities was to advise and encourage communities to seek ways to incorporate “sustainability and resiliency” into their future infrastructure planning. After a lifetime in politics, with many years working as a district leader, which involved party organizational work, campaign chair activity and numerous other political tasks, Richard has been involved with numerous civic and social causes. In recent years, Richard served in 2005 as the campaign coordinator of the Re-Elect Paul Feiner Campaign in Greenburgh, NY and he again chaired Supervisor Feiner’s successful landslide victory in 2007. Over the next few years, he advised a number of political candidates. He has served as an appointed Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, with responsibilities regarding the town’s “liaison program.” He was a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board of the Town of Greenburgh, NY. Richard has lectured on FDR, The New Deal and 20th century American history in the Mount Vernon schools, at the Westchester Council of Social Studies annual conference in White Plains, and at many senior citizen groups, which include appearances at the Old Guard of White Plains, the Rotary Clubs of Elmsford and White Plains, and various synagogue groups around Westchester. In the winter of 2006 Richard was the leader of the VOCAL forum, sponsored by the Westchester County Office of Aging, which addresses the concerns of Westchester County’s Intergenerational Advocacy Educational Speak-out forums for senior citizens. Richard has given lectures for the Active Retirement Project, which is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center on the Hudson, the Greenburgh Hebrew Center, and other groups around Westchester County. Richard also is the founder and Chairperson of the Jon Breen Memorial Fund, that judges and grants annual prizes to students at Mount Vernon High School who submit essays on public policy themes. He also sponsors the Henry M. Littlefield History Prize for the leading MVHS history student. Richard serves on the Student College Scholarship Committee of Mount Vernon High School. In past years Richard chaired and moderated the Jon Breen Fund Award’s cablecast program with the Mayor and local and school officials. Richard has been a member of Blythedale Children’s Hospital’s Planned Giving Professional Advisory Board, and was a founding member of the committee to re-new the FDR Birthday Balls of the 1930’s and 1940’s with the March of Dimes’ effort to eliminate birth defects. Their renewal dinner was held at Hyde Park on January 30, 2003. Richard is currently an active contributor to the Roosevelt Institute, which is involved in many pursuits which included the opening of the Henry A. Wallace Center at Hyde Park, and the Eleanor Roosevelt – Val-Kill Foundation. In 2007, he proposed to the City of Mount Vernon an effort to develop an arts, educational, and cultural center as part of a downtown re-development effort. Richard was a team partner with the Infrastructure & Energy Solutions Group. IEFG which has developed innovative strategies for the 21st Century. Richard hosted a weekly program on WVOX-1460 AM radio, called “The Advocates,” which was concerned with “public policy” issues. The show, which was aired from 2007 until May 15, 2013, has had amongst its guests; Representative Charles Rangel, Chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, along with hundreds of others. All the 300 shows are archived at Richard currently gives lectures on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR and the Jewish Community, The New Deal, FDR and Douglas MacArthur, 20th Century American Foreign Policy Resulting in Conflict, and Israel’s Right to Exist. Richard lives in Boynton Beach, Fl, with his wife Linda of 44 years. They have two married children. Their daughter Dana is a Rutgers College graduate, with a MS from Boston University, and is the Assistant Director of Recruitment at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Their son Jon is an electrical engineering graduate of Princeton University and a senior software architect at NY/Mellon Bank in NYC. Richard J. Garfunkel Recent Appearances: KTI Synagogue, Rye Brook, NY- Long Term Care & Estate Conservation- Anshe Shalom Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY- Long Term Care- American Legion Post, Valhalla, NY- Long Term Care and Asset Protection- Doyle Senior Ctr, New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care and Asset Protection- AME Methodist Ministers, New Rochelle, NY, LTC and Charitable Giving- Profession Women in Construction, Elmsford, NY, LTC and Business Benefits- Kol Ami Synagogue- White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Disability - Beth El Men's Club-New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care-Is it Necessary- Greater NY Dental Meeting Javits Ctr, NY, NY- LTC and Disability- IBEW Local #3 , White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Asset Protection, Health Fair -Bethel Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY-LTC and Disability, Heath Fair- Riverdale Mens Club CSAIR- Riverdale, NY- LTC- Life Weight Watchers of Westchester and the Bronx-LTC and Tax Implications Sunrise Assisted Living of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, NY-LTC Sprain Brook Manor of Scarsdale-LTC- November 15, 2001 Sunrise Assisted Living of Stamford, Connecticut, February 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, February, 2002 The Old Guard Society of White Plains, NY, April, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY August, 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, October, 2002 JCC of Scarsdale, Scarsdale, NY, November, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY, January, 2003 The Rotary Club of White Plains, NY January, 2003 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY April, 2003 Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, NY January, 2004 Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, NY March 2004 Kol Ami/JCC of White Plains, NY November, 2004 The Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, January 2005 The Sunrise of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, April, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, November, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, December, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, January, 2005 Rotary Club of Elmsford, April, 2006 Kiwanis Club of Yonkers, June, 2006 Greenburgh Jewish Center, November, 2006 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, February, 2007 Hebrew Institute, White Plains, March, 2007 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, NY, April, 2007 Westchester Meadows. Valhalla, November, 2007 Hebrew Institute. White Plains, November, 2007 Art Zuckerman Radio Show- January, 2008 JCC of the Hudson, Tarrytown, February, 2008 Matt O’Shaughnessy Radio Show, March, 2008 WVOX –Election Night Coverage, November, 2008 WVOX – Inaugural Coverage, January 20, 2009 The Advocates-host of the WVOX Radio Show, 2007- 2010 Rotary Club of Pleasantville, February, 2009 Hebrew Institute of White Plains, May, 2009 JCC Hudson, Tarrytown, December, 2009-10-11-12 Brandeis Club, Yonkers, March 25, 2010

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