Some 65 years ago, as World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific, the American people faced an unprecedented constitutional crisis of which they were completely unaware — and which has remained a secret ever since.
It has long been known that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the last year of his life, was gravely ill with serious cardiac problems: He'd been diagnosed with acute heart failure in March 1944 and suffered from astronomically high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis.
But what the public did not know was that four years earlier, while still in the second of his four terms as president, FDR had been diagnosed with a deadly skin cancer, melanoma, in a lesion over his left eyebrow.
This disease would metastasize to Roosevelt's abdomen and his brain, causing a tumor that eventually killed him on April 12, 1945.
Which means the cerebral hemorrhage that struck him down shortly before V-E Day was not "a bolt out of the blue," as his doctors contended — and as historians have long believed — but the inevitable result of a catastrophic illness, compounded by heart problems.