On November 7, 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term as President. Now we know that Presidents may not seek more than two terms, so what let FDR serve for thirteen years before he died in office in 1945?
President George Washington famously refused to seek a third term in office. His Farewell Address states it was because of his age, but his successors saw it as a necessary defense against monarchy. However, there were no formal laws written about term limits, and thus when WWII broke out in Europe, Roosevelt agreed to run for a third and then fourth term. His race in 1944 earned him 53% of the vote and he carried 36 states.
Toward the end of the 1944 presidential race, New York Governor Thomas Dewey said “Four terms, or sixteen years, is the most dangerous threat to our freedom ever proposed,” and supported the passage of an amendment that would limit future Presidents to two terms. The 22nd Amendment was passed in 1947, and ratified in 1951.