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Fitzgerald, Ellalocked

(25 April 1917–15 June 1996)
  • Linda Dahl

Extract

Fitzgerald, Ella (25 April 1917–15 June 1996), singer, was born Ella Jane Fitzgerald in Newport News, Virginia, the illegitimate daughter of William Fitzgerald and Temperance (Tempie) Williams. The common-law marriage ended soon after her birth, and when Fitzgerald was three she moved with her mother to the mill town of Yonkers, New York, where they settled in a neighborhood composed of European immigrants and African Americans. In 1923, her mother began living with Joseph Da Silva, a Portuguese immigrant, with whom she had another daughter, Frances Da Silva. Ella Fitzgerald remained close to her half-sister, her only sibling, all of her life—one of her few enduring intimate relationships. Although she never divulged the facts publicly, it is known that Fitzgerald suffered some form of abuse from Da Silva, her stepfather, during the years when the girls were growing up in Yonkers....

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