Last updated: 11:45 / Tuesday, 5 August 2014
PBS Documentary

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

  • The Roosevelts: An Intimate History chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
  • This seven-part, fourteen hour film follows the Roosevelts for more than a century, from Theodore’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962
  • The film is directed by Ken Burns, written by Geoffrey C. Ward, and funded, among others, by Bank of America

When Panama became an independent nation, the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt had the foresight, conviction and political capital to finance the canal that ultimately connected two oceans, changed the world of shipping, and helped usher in the global economy.

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics.

It is the first time in a major documentary television series that their individual stories have been interwoven into a single narrative.  This seven-part, fourteen hour film follows the Roosevelts for more than a century, from Theodore’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962. Over the course of those years, Theodore would become the 26th President of the United States and his beloved niece, Eleanor, would marry his fifth cousin, Franklin, who became the 32nd President of the United States.

The series encompasses the history the Roosevelts helped to shape: the creation of National Parks, the digging of the Panama Canal, the passage of innovative New Deal programs, the defeat of Hitler, and the postwar struggles for civil rights at home and human rights abroad. It is also an intimate human story about love, betrayal, family loyalty, personal courage and the conquest of fear.

The film is directed by Ken Burns, written by Geoffrey C. Ward, and produced by Paul Barnes, Pam Tubridy Baucom and Ken Burns. The Roosevelts will air from September 14–20 in PBS.

Funding for the documentary was provided by Bank of America; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Public Broadcasting Service; Mr. Jack C. Taylor; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; National Endowment for the Humanities; Rosalind P. Walter and members of The Better Angels Society, including Jessica & John Fullerton; The Pfeil Foundation; Joan Wellhouse Newton; Bonnie & Tom McCloskey; and The Golkin Family.

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