Welcome to American National Biography Online

  • Over 19,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures from American history written by prominent scholars – discover highlights from the April 2018 update
  • Life of the day now available as an email to your inbox or by RSS feed
  • Have questions about how to use the redesigned website? Check out our Help page for a video demo and detailed instructions or read through our FAQs.

Learn more

Letter from Susan Ware, Editor

Evelyn Hooker

Evelyn Hooker (1907–1996) was born in North Platte, Nebraska. Hooker’s research on homosexuality began when she applied for a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Hooker became the chair of the NIMH task force on homosexuality, which concluded that homosexuality should be decriminalized and lesbians and gay men should be protected by law.

Thomas Kirkbride

Thomas Kirkbride (1809–1883) was born on a farm in eastern Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Kirkbride helped to found what is now known as the American Psychiatric Association, the first medical specialty organization in the United States. Kirkbride also gained fame for the elaborate program of patient education and entertainment offered at the hospital.