From the Museum

Tarpon caught by FDR (L 2007.779)

President Roosevelt was an avid, lifelong fisherman. After his mobility became limited when he contracted polio in 1921, FDR spent a great deal of his leisure time either sailing or fishing.

Dr. Ross McIntire, Roosevelt’s personal physician when he was President, advised Roosevelt to go on as many vacations as possible to improve his health. McIntire later recounted, “Despite our bargain about regular vacations, I doubt, however, if he would have kept the agreement except for his love of the water and fishing.”

On one such trip in May 1937, FDR and his son, Elliott, traveled to Port Aransas, Texas, to fish for tarpon. It was a very successful outing for both father and son. The fish seen above is one of the tarpons caught by FDR during the excursion. To see a video of this trip in which Roosevelt reels in a large catch, visit our YouTube page: