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APRIL 4

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a great statesman and, apparently, an irrepressible flirt. When his sixth cousin, the never-married Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, died in 1991 at age 99, historians pored over her diaries and letters, which disclosed her status as FDR’s confidante. Editor/annotator Geoffrey C. Ward, who won a National Book Critics Circle Award for A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, compiles Suckley’s correspondence and personal notes in Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship Between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley (whose publication is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of FDR’s death, April 12). There are even 38 letters from the president himself, which Suckley stealthily obtained from the Secret Service after his death. Most entries convey Suckley’s excitement at her access to the White House and FDR himself, but romance fans will come away unsated; the strongest evidence of FDR’s trust in his cousin is not a steamy scene, but two photos Suckley took of the president in his wheelchair. Ward discusses Closest Companion at 1 p.m. at the National Archives Theater, 7th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 501-5000. (Nathalie op de Beeck)