When van Loon’s doctor arrived, he could do no more than sign the death certificate and notify the undertaker. Jimmie then called Hank in Dorset, Vermont, who arrived that afternoon with Janet. She sent telegrams to the White House and the Netherlands embassy in Washington. FDR immediately replied, “Am shocked and saddened by the news that Hendrik’s life came so suddenly to its close. He was my true and trusted friend. Please accept this assurance of heartfelt sympathy for yourself and for all who mourn with you.” Eleanor Roosevelt was away on a three-week tour of the U.S. bases in the Caribbean and South America, so, she only heard the news upon returning to Washington. She then wrote Jimmie, “I have just heard the sad news of Mr. van Loon’s passing and feel I have lost a good friend. I always enjoyed meeting him and reading what he wrote and I am grateful for his many contributions to this period.”1
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