In June of 1918, Boss Murphy asked FDR to run for governor of New York with his support, but FDR declined. He decided it would reflect badly on him if he left his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to pursue his own ambitions when the nation was in a time of crisis. Roosevelt instead went to the front in Europe to conduct inspections of the Navy. He was shocked at the horrors of war, but so inspired to fight for his country that he sent a letter to Wilson asking his permission to resign and serve as a soldier. It was too late, however, as the war ended and FDR sailed back from Europe very ill with pneumonia. Eleanor gathered his possessions from the ship and found among them a letter from Lucy Mercer, with whom FDR had been having an affair since their time in Washington. Eleanor's greatest insecurities about herself, that she was unattractive and
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