With his legs paralyzed from the effects of polio, Franklin Delano Roosevelt could not have relaunched his political career without appearing to walk. His physiotherapist, Kathleen Lake (although one could argue she was an occupational therapist) devised a method where he could swing his heavily braced legs from side to side through the movement of his hips, while holding his son’s arm and a cane with his other hand. The effect was to give the impression of a casual stroll and conversation. Only two brief video clips of this exist, as journalists were careful not to reveal the true depth of his mobility issues to a public that would never have elected someone in a wheelchair. When the President met actor Orson Welles, he referred to the actor and himself as the two greatest performers in America.
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