Roosevelt, now an adult, attended Harvard University from 1900 to 1904. His grades there were not a great improvement from those at Groton School. However, thanks to Groton's excellent preparatory program, he was able to gain his B.A. degree in 1903, after only three years, a monumental achievement for one so disinclined to schoolwork. Because he showed such disinterest in his studies, he was not accepted to Porcellian, Harvard's most reputable social club, and he was not among the best in athletics. He did, however, serve as editor to the school newspaper throughout all of 1904. At this point, he met Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, his fifth cousin twice removed, and fell in love. He married her on March 17, 1905. Her uncle, Theodore Roosevelt, then President of the U.S., gave her away.

The marriage was happy enough on the surface. The couple seemed to love each other deeply. But it was not entirely so; Eleanor, a loyal wife who firmly understood her duties, lived near and took care of Franklin's widowed, domineering mother. Although the couple never lacked money and moved in the highest circles of society, Eleanor was often stranded at home while her husband leisurely passed time with his friends elsewhere. And having strong morals, she was heartbroken to find out later, during World War II, that he was having an affair with his young, pretty secretary from Virginia, Lucy Mercer..But, despite it all, she remained a pillar of strength during all of the forty years of their marriage, carrying her husband through everything life hurled their way.

During the first five years of their marriage, the Roosevelts had lived in large and ornate houses in New York, as befitting their station. Franklin had attended law school at Columbia until 1907. Presently a lawyer, he was employed by the Wall Street law firm of Carter, Ledyard, and Milburn, where he worked until 1910, at which point boredom settled in, bringing with it a sense of restlessness. So, at the age of twenty-eight, thoroughly sick of his job, FDR found respite in politics.