Lecture on “The Unfinished Portrait of FDR” presented at the Halifax Woman’s Club | Company


Larry Clark was the speaker at the March meeting of the Halifax Woman’s Club.

Its subject, “Unfinished Portrait of FDR”, revealed the backstory of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s death in Warm Springs, Georgia.

A very ill FDR traveled to Georgia to rest after his meeting in Yalta with Stalin and Churchill. His mistress, Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, had arranged for a new portrait to be painted of him while they were there. While posing for the artist, he suffered severe pain and fainted. He never regained consciousness and died later that day on April 12, 1945.

When the artist and Rutherfurd left Warm Springs, Eleanor, his wife, arrived and the process of sending his body to Washington, DC began. The funeral train passed through many cities and towns before arriving in Washington where his body lay in the East Room of the White House for his funeral before proceeding to Hyde Park, New York for interment.

The portrait begun in Warm Springs was never finished, but the artist made another from memory.

As usual, Clark kept his audience spellbound as he recounted the ins and outs of the conflict between Lucy and Eleanor, between Eleanor and her cousins ​​who knew about the affair, between Eleanor and her daughter who had arranged for FDR to meet Lucy at varying times. , etc.

Following his presentation, the audience reviewed several FDR-related items from Clark’s extensive World War II collection.

A native of Columbus, Indiana, Clark came to Halifax County in 1966 to teach history and serve as a high school guidance counselor. He became assistant principal, then high school principal before moving to the school board office as assistant superintendent. He retired in 2011.

He is currently the CEO of the Halifax County Public Schools Education Foundation. He is married to Pam and they have two sons and six grandchildren.

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