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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (WTHR) – An Indiana journalism professor discovered what may be the first known film footage of President Franklin Roosevelt being pushed in a wheelchair.
Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921 when he was 39 years old, and the illness left him unable to walk without leg braces or other assistance. It’s believed he disliked being photographed in a wheelchair because he didn’t want to be viewed as weak – although that is subject to debate. He preferred to be photographed standing up with the use of a cane or leg braces during his public appearances.
The American public never knew the president had a disability while he was in office.
“I kept running it back and running it back. Wait a minute, I have something here that is pretty darn interesting,” said Franklin College journalism professor Ray Begovich.
Begovich stumbled on the clip while researching for a biography on Indiana native Elmer Davis.