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The life of a nation is told by the lives of its people
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The September 2023 update features five new biographies, including concert artist and opera singer Jessye Norman; New York Times columnist William Safire; California architect E. Stewart Williams; Nobel Prize-winning physician E. Donnall Thomas; and Hollywood star Arlene Dahl.
Jessye Norman (1945–2019) was one of the most high-profile opera singers and recording artists of her time. The size of her voice, opulence of her sound, and insight of her musicianship thrilled audiences in the United States and in Europe. Norman’s wide range of repertoire spanned the classical, popular, and sacred genres and transcended the boundaries of style, race, and nationality. An African American performer, Norman incorporated the blues, gospel, jazz, R&B, soul, and hip-hop expressions of the African diaspora to her work in concert halls and on opera stages.