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The life of a nation is told by the lives of its people

 

 

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Letter from Susan Ware, Editor

What's new: August 2020

August 26, 2020 marks the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment, which states that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of sex, represented the culmination of a struggle that began in the 1830s and 1840s, engaged the energy and passion of at least three generations of American women, and resulted in the largest one-time ever increase in voters in this country’s history. The August 2020 update features twenty-eight new suffragist biographies. In honor of the centennial anniversary, these suffrage profiles shift the focus away from the national leadership to the states and localities, providing a wider geographical sweep as well as documenting the contributions of rank-and-file activists. They also represent our commitment to documenting the contributions of African American women to the suffrage movement.

Harriet May Mills

Harriet May Mills (1857–1935) was a key organizer in the push for women’s suffrage. She arranged meetings across New York state for nationally prominent speakers, organized political equality clubs, and earned a reputation as a rousing speaker at farm picnics, in private parlors, and at state legislative meetings. Her activism did not end with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, however. Mills ran unsuccessfully on the Democratic ticket for secretary of state in New York in 1920. Three years later she was appointed the first female State Hospital Commissioner and advocated for the mentally ill. At the age of seventy-five, as an Electoral College delegate, Mills helped send Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the White House in 1933. Her long career as an activist linked the abolitionist roots of women’s rights with the emergence of the woman citizen in the postsuffrage era.

 

 

News

AUGUST 27, 2020

What's new: August 2020

Turn to our August release to read the entries of 28 additional suffragists that were specifically commissioned to honor the centennial, with a second batch set to be released in the coming months. These suffrage profiles shift the focus away from the national leadership to the states and localities, providing a wider geographical sweep as well as documenting the contributions of rank-and-file activists. See what Grace Wilbur Trout was doing in Illinois, Ellen Clark Sargent in California, Susan Walker Fitzgerald in Massachusetts, Edna Fischel Gellhorn in Missouri, and Cora Smith Eaton King in Washington. They also represent our commitment to documenting the contributions of African American women to the suffrage movement. Women like Lethia Cousins Fleming, Hester Jeffrey, and Gertrude Bustill Mosell demonstrate how advocacy for the vote was always part of a larger agenda of improving conditions for the African American community at large.

JULY 23, 2020

What's new: July 2020

The July 2020 update features seven new biographies. The history of American sports is represented by pathbreaking golfer and golf course designer Alice Dye; longtime sportscaster Dick Enberg; Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian; and pro football hall of famer Y. A. Tittle. The update also includes radio and television broadcaster Ben Grauer; film producer Harriet Parsons; and actor and playwright Sam Shepard.

 

Stay tuned for a special update celebrating the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Ratified August 26, 1920, the Amendment prohibited denying women the right to vote based on their sex. The update, which goes live on August 27, features new biographies of more than twenty overlooked suffragists.

JUNE 25, 2020

What's new: June 2020

This update features six new biographies of significant figures from the world of popular entertainment. Highlights include barrier-breaking television star Mary Tyler Moore; Art Linkletter, the host of radio and television programs like House Party and People are Funny; Bob Elliott of the long-running comedy team Bob and Ray; and Don Rickles, the noted actor and insult comic.