President Roosevelt was a staunch supporter of the March of Dimes program to fight polio, a disease that he himself was afflicted with. When Roosevelt died, it was only fitting that the dime denomination would carry his likeness.
Designed by the talented United States Mint Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock, the obverse of the coin features a left-facing portrait of Roosevelt. The reverse depicts a lighted torch in the center, flanked by an olive branch on the left and an oak branch on the right.
Though originally struck in 90% fine silver, by 1964 the rising price of the precious metal forced the Mint to alter the dime's composition. Starting in 1965, the U.S. Mint began issuing dimes made from a clad material containing only copper and nickel.