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The life of a nation is told by the lives of its people



  • Over 19,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures from American history written by prominent scholars
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Letter from Susan Ware, Editor

What's New February 2019

This update includes four new essays, with a focus on astronauts. Highlights include Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, and who later served in the U.S. Senate; and two of Glenn’s fellow members of the Mercury Seven: Scott Carpenter and Wally Schirra. In addition, we have unlocked the many astronaut biographies already included in the ANB.

Sally Ride

Sally Ride (1951-2012) made history in 1983 by becoming the first American woman in space. After her second voyage the following year, she took a lead role in NASA, investigating the 1986 Challenger explosion, suggesting policy agendas, and serving on the board investigating the Columbia explosion in 2003. An American icon, she also founded Sally Ride Science to inspire young girls to follow her footsteps into science and technological fields.




FEBRUARY 28, 2019

What's new: February 2019?

Discover new essays on the the men and women who pioneered space exploration.

NOVEMBER 29, 2018

What's new: November 2018

Explore new biographies from the intersecting histories of writers and poets. 

OCTOBER 25, 2018

What's new: October 2018

Discover significant figures from the world of sports.