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
- Have questions about how to use the redesigned website? Check out our Help page for a video demo and detailed instructions or read through our FAQs.
This update features ten new biographies of figures who played important roles in defining laws and rights during the twentieth century, ranging from civil rights activists, members of Congress, journalists, and lawyers. It includes the towering academic and activist John Hope Franklin; LULAC activists Pete Tijerina and Alice Dickerson Montemayor; the suffragist Mabel Vernon; and Cherokee activist and educator Ruth Muskrat Bronson.
John Hope Franklin (1915-2009) was one of the most important scholars of the twentieth century. His most important book, From Slavery to Freedom (1947), a survey of African American history, catapulted Franklin to prominence, while making it possible for African American history to be taught outside of historically black colleges and universities. Franklin was often “the first” black person to hold chairs, positions, and organizational presidencies, paving the way for many future scholars of color in all academic fields. His activism and work alongside the work of figures including Martin Luther King and Thurgood Marshall also helped to advance the broader civil rights struggle.