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Welcome to American National Biography Online

An exploration of American history through the lives of the men & women who shaped the nation.

John Berryman, by Louis Safer, NPG Smithsonian

Biography of the Day

Monroe, James (28 Apr. 1758-4 July 1831),
Secretaries of State, (3363) words

fifth president of the United States, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the son of Spence Monroe and Elizabeth Jones, owners of a modest 600-acre plantation. He entered William and Mary College in 1774 but left two years later ...

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What's New

April 2016 Update: Our latest update adds 51 new lives to the ANB, including diplomat and historian George Kennan, singer Whitney Houston, poet and activist Adrienne Rich, economist Milton Friedman, and many more...

Connect: Follow the new American History Twitter Feed (@OUPAmHistory) from Oxford University Press for the latest news, anniversaries, and historical trivia across Oxford’s publishing—keep an eye out for links to ANB!

News: General Editor Susan Ware reflects on the notable figures from the April 2016 update, including a wealth of new biographies on accomplished men and women.

You can also watch a short video with General Editor Susan Ware on the future of ANB online and its value in private and public libraries. Over on the OUP Blog, ANB contributor Mark Carnes shares his experiences of his time as Co-General Editor of the ANB.

The American National Biography also has a digital brochure available to view with details of new biographies in the April 2016 update. You can find out more about the new lives on the highlights page.

Meet the Editorial Board: Editors & Advisors to the American National Biography