I have previously posted a photograph from LIFE magazine, published in 1937, with a caption that stated FDR had been avoiding photographers for four days for a "sty" that in his eye that I subquently found to be his left eye, raising the question as to when they really knew of the malignant potential of the lesion. There is now some further evidence to report.
In my recent conversations with Dr. Pack's close confidante, Dr. Oropeza, he told me that Pack told him that they were following the lesion for "about ten years" and that it was a "Hutchinson's Freckle" that eventually turned malignant. As you can read in my paper with Dr. Ackerman, that was exactly the thinking in the 1930's.
Re-reading Dr. Harry Goldsmith's book, which is full of stories collected in the early 1980's akin to the ones I am getting now, he recounts on page 70-71 his conversation with Dr. Harry Ungerleider, a retired physician who had examined FDR in 1935 and found a "medical problem" during an insurance exam, after which, because he refused to release the information to government agents, he was hounded by the FBI and IRS to the point that he personally burned the file.
Are Doctors Oropeza and Goldsmith making this up? I think not.
Connecting Dr. Oropeza's story with that of Dr. Ungerleider, there is a suggestion that what the latter physician noted was the pigmented lesion above FDR's left eye.
This is all admittedly incredibly speculative and circumstantial but, if true, dates the problem prior to the second term, during the time when Cary Grayson was still alive (and probably calling the medical shots).
I could never assert with any reasonable probability that the lesion was diagnosed this early, but, knowing the case as I do, my gut feeling tells me that it was.