Welcome to American National Biography Online
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
- Life of the day now available as an email to your inbox or by RSS feed
- Learn about our editors and the Letter from the General Editor Susan Ware.
What's new: May 2023
This update features six new biographies including Herman Badillo, the first person born in Puerto Rico elected to Congress outside of Puerto Rico; David Koch, billionaire who shaped right wing politics; Janet Malcolm, New Yorker writer and author of several books, including The Journalist and the Murderer; flamboyant country music singer Porter Wagoner; Ernest Bormann, communications scholar who created the Symbolic Convergence Theory; and Karen Thronson, a nineteenth-century emigrant from Norway.
Herman Badillo (1929-2014) blazed a trail in both local and national government as the first Puerto Rican to serve as a New York borough president and the first Puerto Rican to win election as a voting member of Congress. He also ran for New York City mayor several times. Badillo’s politics and alliances shifted during his three-decade career, but one constant remained: his lifelong commitment to the city that took him in.