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PBS Previews: The Roosevelts

Airs Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Credit: Courtesy of Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

Above: President Theodore Roosevelt with his family, 1903.

Hosted by Emmy-winning actress Patricia Clarkson, "PBS Previews: The Roosevelts" will provide a sneak peek lead-in to the broadcast premiere of the seven-part, 14-hour documentary that will air for seven consecutive nights beginning on Sunday, September 14, 2014. The preview program will take viewers inside the making of the epic film that weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Credit: Courtesy of Ken Burns

Give at the $180 membership level and receive THE ROOSEVELTS - AN INTIMATE HISTORY 7-DVD set or 7-Blu-ray set. Or give $204 and receive "The Roosevelt's - An Intimate History" book. Or give $360 and receive a combo package including the DVD or Blu-ray set plus the book. This gift includes a KPBS License Plate Frame (if you're a new member).

Image Gallery

View an amazing collection of photos and images of the Roosevelt family. Select one to see the full image and details.

Contribute To The Roosevelts Map

The Roosevelts are one of the most influential families in history. Their legacy and impact on our nation can still be felt through the generations. If you would like to share your connection to the Roosevelts legacy, tell us by posting a photo or video on the Roosevelts map!

In "PBS Previews: The Roosevelts," viewers will be given first-hand access into the grand estates and intimate cottages of the Roosevelts and visit the studio where Ken Burns recorded the voices of the stars who read the diaries, letters and contemporary accounts of this noteworthy family.

THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY marks the first time the Roosevelts’ individual stories have been woven into a single narrative, following the family’s story 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. Together, they redefined the relationship Americans had with their government and with each other, and redefined, as well, the role of the United States within the wider world.

THE ROOSEVELTS is written by longtime Burns collaborator Geoffrey C. Ward, who is an authority on Franklin Roosevelt. The author of two biographical volumes, "A First-Class Temperament" and "Before the Trumpet," he is also the editor of "Closest Companion," which revealed for the first time Roosevelt’s close friendship with his distant cousin, Daisy Suckley. Ward’s interest in FDR grew in part from the fact that he, like FDR, is a polio survivor.

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

THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, DC. Director: Ken Burns. Writer: Geoffrey C. Ward. Producers: Ken Burns, Paul Barnes and Pam Tubridy-Baucom. Editors: Paul Barnes, Tricia Reidy and Erik Ewers. Cinematographers: Buddy Squires and Alan Moore.

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PBS Previews: The Roosevelts


Ken Burns’s seven-part documentary weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. The 14-hour series marks the first time their individual stories have been woven into a single narrative.


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.

THE ROOSEVELTS: President McKinley Assassinated

Theodore Roosevelt Early Years

As a young man, Theodore Roosevelt was weak, had a poor heart, and was not expected to live a very long life. Yet during his years at Harvard, he rose to popularity among the university's most prestigious clubs, fought for the lightweight boxing championship, was among the top of his class, and even fell in love.

Booker T. Washington at the White House

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Early Years

Hyde Park Roosevelts

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