Franklin Delano Roosevelt left the U.S. a number of things, first and foremost of them being Social Security. He established Social Security as part of the New Deal. This reform act, though faulty, provided federal payment to people who desperately needed it, like the elderly, the needy blind, the disabled, and minors, by taxing the rich heavily; In other words, rob the rich to aid the needy. And these people were extremely needy: When the Depression hit, the banks closed, hereby taking the life-savings of the elderly with them. And the blind or the otherwise disabled were the first to be cut from work when there was a position shortage. Children could not work, and needed food to grow healthy, so FDR arranged it for the parents to receive a certain amount of money to be able to at least feed their kids, if not clothe them.
Another reform act FDR passed was the Wagner Act. This act set up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which guaranteed the average citizen a fair share when bargaining with management. For many this was a good thing, because up till now, there was no guarantee that one would get paid a consistent amount, or paid fairly, for doing work. (The NLRB had another advantage as well: the labor movement swelled in the years after it was established.) The guarantee that one will be fairly paid for their efforts still remains today.
And last but not least, there was the welfare movement, which was set up by the president as an alternative to Social Security. The welfare movement aided those who were not able to get decent work and did not fall under the Social Security benefit categories. These included people of all races, and those who did not hear well but were not deaf enough to qualify, or those who did not see well but who likewise were not blind enough to qualify. It also included those who were sick or pregnant women who could not get work because of the state of their health. Welfare was a valuable addition to our government policies, as it made sure (and still does) that even the poorest eat.
Naturally, FDR made great contributions to this country, but the greatest legacy he left us is something that each of us takes for granted every day. He gave his greatest gift to America when he decided to do something to restore prosperity to an environment desperately lacking it. He did not just give us Social Security or a Welfare system: He fought hard to give us a future that, had it not have been for him, we might not have enjoyed.