James Roosevelt Roosevelt (1854-1927)
James "Rosey" Roosevelt, of New York City & Hyde Park, Dutchess County
He grew up between New York City and Springwood in Hyde Park. He was the elder half-brother of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. "Rosey" served as Secretary of the U.S. Legation in Vienna and Secretary to the U.S. Embassy in London during the "opulent times" of King Edward VII. Independently wealthy, he became very wealthy on marrying Helen Schermerhorn Astor at Springwood in 1878. After their marriage, Rosey's father gifted them a large part of the northern section of the Springwood estate on which they built their country home. They were as a matter of course members of "the 400" (the social elite as defined by his mother-in-law, Mrs Astor), but they were said to have, "kept everything about their family life quiet and simple". Rosey drove a four-in-hand carriage, he was President of the Coaching Club and he and his wife were regular guests at the Mills Mansion, Staatsburg. He was described in Life Magazine as, "a man of the world, witty, agreeable, intelligent and kind". His first wife by whom he had two children died in 1893. In 1914, he was married again to Elizabeth Riley, "a pretty Englishwoman". He died at Hyde Park in 1927, survived by both children, although he disinherited and then cut contact with his only son, Tadd, over his marriage.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 19/01/2020 and last updated on 21/01/2020.
Image from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum; Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Life and Times by Peter Appleseed; Life Magazine, September 9, 1940.