ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D. (1882-1945). Thirty-second president of the United States. DS as “Commander-in-Chief.” (“Franklin D. Roosevelt”). 1p. Oblong Small Folio. Washington, January 4, 1945. A Legion of Merit certificate issued to RONALD HUNTER-BLAIR (1894-1961) countersigned by Secretary of the Navy JAMES FORRESTAL (1892-1949, “James Forrestal”).
FDR’s presidency spanned nearly the entirety of the U.S. involvement in WWII, during which time the president crafted a powerful coalition with Great Britain and the Soviet Union. By early 1944, however, Roosevelt was gravely ill, a fact he hid from the press and the American people. Suffering from high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and congestive heart failure, his physician prescribed rest, but on April 12, 1945, fourteen weeks after signing our document, FDR suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage.