Presidents Roosevelt Honored With Posthumous Columbia Degrees
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt received posthumous degrees from Columbia Law School yesterday evening at a ceremony held at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
The two Roosevelts each attended the law school, though neither graduated. Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th American president, began Columbia Law School in 1880 after graduating from Harvard, but left in 1882 to fill a seat in the state Assembly. The 32nd president, Theodore’s fifth cousin, entered Columbia in 1905 and left in 1907 to practice law after passing the New York State bar exam.
As president, FDR appointed the dean of the Columbia Law School, Harlan Fiske Stone, to the Supreme Court.
Both former presidents have been invoked in the presidential campaigns of senators Obama and McCain. In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. McCain called Theodore Roosevelt his “hero.”
Yesterday, at a $1,000-a-person fund-raiser in New York City, Mr. Obama responded to a question about negotiating with Iran: “If FDR can meet with Stalin, and Nixon can meet with Mao, and Kennedy can meet with Khrushchev, and Reagan can meet with Gorbechav, then the notion that we can’t meet with some half-baked dictator is ridiculous,” Time magazine’s Web site reported.
Senator Biden erroneously invoked FDR earlier this week on CBS when he said that during the stock market crash of 1929 “Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, princes of greed.” Herbert Hoover was president in 1929.