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.

Learn more

Letter from Susan Ware, Editor

What's new: October 2019

This update features six new biographies, including spies Theodore Hall and David Greenglass; outlaw and Bonnie-and-Clyde associate Blanche Barrow; child psychologist Roger Barker; bacteriologist Pearl Kendrick; and Tarzan cartoonist Burne Hogarth.

David Greenglass

David Greenglass (1922–2014) was a Cold War-era atomic spy for the Soviet Union. His false testimony in 1951 played a key role in the conviction and death sentences of his sister, Ethel Rosenberg, and her husband, Julius Rosenberg. He later admitted that he lied in order to spare his wife Ruth, who had written out David’s bomb notes by hand. In 2001 he told New York Times reporter Sam Roberts that he wanted to be remembered as “a good father. A good husband. A good son. A good brother. Born in a time which tore people’s souls.”

 

 

News

OCTOBER 24, 2019

What's new: October 2019

This month's update features six eclectic new biographies, including spies Theodore Hall and David Greenglass.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

What's new: September 2019

This update features eight new biographies, focused on both musicians and those who made their recordings possible.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2019

Hispanic American heritage in the arts

To celebrate the achievements of Hispanic Americans from history during Hispanic Heritage Month, discover the lives of six key figures from across the arts.