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Bryant, Louise Frances Stevens (19 September 1885–29 August 1959), social statistician and medical editor, was born in Paris, France, the daughter of Charles E. Stevens, a civil engineer, and Miriam Collins Nicholson. She spent her first three years touring Europe with her mother and sister while her father led government-sponsored prospecting operations in South America. In 1888 he died, leaving a sizable inheritance, and they settled in New York City. The inheritance dissipated in unfortunate investments, and in 1910 she moved with her family to Rahway, New Jersey. After attending Hunter College and the Normal College of the City of New York for a year, she matriculated in 1904 at Smith College, where she studied philosophy and zoology and received her B.A. in 1908. Later that year she married Arthur A. Bryant; they had no children....

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Clampitt, Amy Kathleen (15 June 1920–10 September 1994), poet and editor, was born in New Providence, Iowa, the daughter of Roy Justin Clampitt and Lutie Pauline Felt, farmers. As a child, Clampitt did not want to become a writer, but instead she wanted to become a painter. But, as a result of her grandfather’s influence, Clampitt read avidly and majored in English at Grinnell College in Iowa. She graduated in 1941. That same year Clampitt was awarded a fellowship to Columbia University, but she was disappointed by academic work and left without finishing her degree. Rather than return to Iowa, Clampitt stayed in New York City as a secretary for Oxford University Press. She subsequently served as promotion director for college textbooks until 1951....

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Cooper, Susan Augusta Fenimore (17 April 1813–31 December 1894), writer, was born at Heathcote Hill in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, New York, the daughter of the novelist James Fenimore Cooper and Susan Augusta DeLancey. The Cooper family members were devoted to one another, and the parents saw to it that each child received a fine education. Susan had tutors, attended private schools, spoke and read four languages, and studied American and English literature and history, as well as zoology and botany. She was also skillful in music, drawing, and dancing. She once danced in a great Parisian house to waltzes played by Chopin and Liszt while the hired musicians were eating their dinner....

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Deutsch, Babette (22 September 1895–13 November 1982), writer, editor, and translator, was born in New York City, the daughter of Michael Deutsch and Melanie Fisher. She grew up in New York, was a student at the Ethical Culture school, and attended Barnard College, graduating in 1917. She worked briefly for ...

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Kirkus, Virginia (07 December 1893–10 September 1980), editor, book reviewer, and author, was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Frederick Maurice Kirkus, a clergyman, and Isabella Clark. When Kirkus was eight years old, she told her father that when she grew up, she wanted to “make books.” The world of books became part of who she was....

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Massee, May (01 May 1881–24 December 1966), editor and producer of children's books, editor and producer of children’s books, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Charlotte Maria Bull and Francis Spink Massee. When she was five, Massee’s family moved to Milwaukee, a German colony at the time. She did well in high school and before age eighteen completed a teaching program at the Milwaukee Normal School (later named the State Teacher’s College); she had to lie about her age to receive her certificate. Between 1901 and 1902 she taught elementary school, then worked at a library in White Water, Wisconsin. In 1904 she enrolled at the Wisconsin Library School in Madison....

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Miller, Olive Beaupré (11 September 1883–25 March 1968), author, editor, and publisher of books for children, was born in Aurora, Illinois, the daughter of William Beaupré, a banker, and Julia Brady. Miller liked to describe herself as “born with pencil in hand.” Before she learned to write, she recorded her first stories in picture form. By the age of seven, she was filling homemade notebooks with stories. Following a comfortable and carefree childhood, she went to Smith College, where she studied French and German, sharpened her writing skills, and contributed to college publications. After her graduation in 1904, she returned home and for several years taught English at the local high school. On 2 October 1907 she married Harry Edward Miller, a successful, self-made salesman, first of textbooks, then of commodities....

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Moore, Milcah Martha (1740–1827), editor and compiler of eighteenth-century women's poetry, editor and compiler of eighteenth-century women’s poetry, was born Milcah Martha Hill on the Atlantic island of Madeira, the daughter of Quaker parents Richard Hill, a doctor and merchant, and Deborah Moore. Leaving six of their nine children in the care of their eldest daughter and her husband in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Richard and Deborah Hill settled at Funchal, the port town where Milcah Martha was born. Deborah Hill died in 1751, and in 1752 Milcah Martha returned to Philadelphia to be raised by her sister and brother-in-law, Hannah and Samuel Preston Moore. Richard Hill died in 1757. Despite these losses, throughout her life Milcah Martha enjoyed the company of an extensive kinship network in the Delaware Valley, including several sisters and their spouses and many of the most prominent eighteenth-century Quaker families....

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Nordstrom, Ursula (1 Feb. 1910–11 Oct. 1988), writer, editor, and children’s book publisher, was born in New York City. She was the only daughter of Henry E. Dixey, a well-known actor, and Marie Ursula Nordstrom, a younger actress who met Dixey when she was nineteen years old. The couple got married shortly before Ursula’s birth and divorced when she was seven years old. In the years that followed she rarely saw her father and was educated at the Winnwood School, a boarding school in Long Island, New York, and later the Northfield Seminary in East Northfield, Massachusetts. While Nordstrom harbored some notion of being a writer, her mother and stepfather imagined a different future for her. Marie had by then married businessman Elliot Robinson Brown, and the couple decided to enroll Nordstrom in secretarial courses, a decision with which she dutifully complied....

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Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-25815 DLC).

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Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy (28 July 1929–19 May 1994), First Lady and cultural icon, was born in East Hampton, Long Island, New York, the daughter of John “Black Jack” Bouvier, an independently wealthy stock speculator, and Janet Lee. Jacqueline’s father was a scion of the wealthy and respected Bouvier family. A notorious playboy, he lost most of his inherited wealth in the Great Depression, shortly after Jacqueline’s birth. In 1936 the combination of his infidelities and financial irresponsibility resulted in his separation and later divorce from Jacqueline’s mother....

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Porter, Charlotte Endymion (06 January 1857–16 January 1942), editor and publisher, dramatist, and translator, was born Helen Charlotte Porter in Towanda, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Henry Clinton Porter and Elisa (or Eliza) Eleanor Betts. She graduated from Wells College (Aurora, N.Y.) in 1875 and then studied Shakespeare and French drama at the Sorbonne in France. In 1883 Porter settled in Philadelphia and became editor of ...

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Sawyer, Caroline M. (10 December 1812–19 May 1894), author and editor, was born Caroline Mehitable Fisher in Newton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jesse Fisher and Anna Kenrick. Her father, of whom little is known, died sometime during her childhood. Sawyer was educated at home by her maternal uncle, Enoch Kenrick, for ten years; her education exceeded that of most women of her time. She learned to recite from the Bible, to read Shakespeare and Plutarch, and to compose poetry, all before she reached her teens. She also acquired proficiency in French and German. After her father’s death, she was raised in the home of her grandfather, John Kenrick, a prominent member of his community and an abolitionist....

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Singer, Isidore (10 November 1859–20 February 1939), managing editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia, managing editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia, was born in Mährisch-Weisskirchen, Moravia, the son of Joseph Singer and Charlotte Eysler, merchants. Singer studied history, philosophy, and ancient languages at the Universities of Vienna and Berlin, earning his Ph.D. from the former in 1884. He also studied at the rabbinical seminary in Vienna and at the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin. During these years, Singer became deeply cognizant of the seriousness of rising anti-Semitism in Europe. He tried to combat it through education, writing several pieces on anti-Semitism. While living in Paris in 1893, Singer responded to Edouard Drumont’s anti-Semitic ...

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Zolotow, Charlotte (26 June 1915–19 Nov. 2013), author and children’s book editor, was born Charlotte Gertrude Shapiro in Norfolk, Virginia, the younger daughter of Louis J. Shapiro, an attorney and businessman, and Ella Bernstein Shapiro, a social activist. Louis Shapiro’s various business ventures caused the family, who were Jewish, to move frequently, and they often experienced financial difficulties. Charlotte grew up a shy child, wearing a brace to correct scoliosis, and took refuge in reading. After living in a series of cities, including Detroit and Boston, the Shapiros settled in New York City when Charlotte was still in elementary school. When she failed to thrive in the public school system, her parents had her educated privately....