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Terence J. O’Grady

Joplin, Janis (19 January 1943–04 October 1970), rock singer, was born Janis Lyn Joplin in Port Arthur, Texas, the daughter of Seth Joplin, an engineer, and Dorothy East, a businesswoman. A quiet and studious child, during her years at Thomas Jefferson High School Joplin began showing signs of the defiant and iconoclastic personality for which she later became famous. Overweight and uncomfortable with the conventions of feminine behavior for young southern ladies, Joplin increasingly adopted a coarseness of demeanor in an attempt to win the acceptance of her male cohorts. These efforts achieved limited success, and she was ostracized by the majority of her classmates. Withdrawing from their society, Joplin took refuge in painting (with which she had some modest success), poetry, and singing, having become enamored with the popular folk music that swept the nation in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Joplin’s favorite artists were ...