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  • Alonzo Chappel

    1828 - 1887

    Alonzo Chappel (1828 - 1887)

    Artist. Son of William P and Maria (Howes) Chappel. His artistic talent was recognized very early  when at nine he entered a portrait into the American Institute Fair. By the time he was twelve, he was charging $25 for each portrait he painted. He also was strongly influenced by the history of the United States […]

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  • Alonzo Wright

    1898 - 1976

    Alonzo Wright (1898 - 1976)

    First African-American to have a gas staion franchise (Standard Oil).  By 1930’s had 11 stations, and by the 1940’s, employed more African-Americans than anyone in the U.S.  Also made a plan for African-Americans to work their way through college, one of which was Jesse Owens. (bio by: Ginny M)

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  • Aloysius Bertrand

    1807 - 1841

    Aloysius Bertrand (1807 - 1841)

    Poet. Born Louis-Jacques-Napoléon Bertrand, he was instrumental in the introduction of the prose poem into French literature with his poetic collection entitled “Gaspard of the Night”, published posthumously in 1842. Settling in Dijon, France in 1815, Bertrand found little success during his lifetime and spent most of his career publishing his works in the newspaper […]

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  • Alphonse Balat

    1818 - 1895

    Alphonse Balat (1818 - 1895)

    Balat was born in Gochenée. He studied at the Academie of Namur and obtained his degree in architecture from the Academy of Antwerp in 1838. In 1839 he stayed in Paris for a year but returned after his father’s death. He was soon discovered by the Walloon nobility for which he built or renovated a […]

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  • Alphonse Bertillon

    1853 - 1914

    Alphonse Bertillon (1853 - 1914)

    Criminologist. Bertillon began his career as a records clerk in the Parisian police department. He was the son of medicial professor Louis Bertillon. His obsessive love of order led him to develop his own methods of identifying  suspects. Bertillon identified individuals by measurements of the head and body, shape formations of the ear, eyebrow, mouth, […]

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  • Alphonse Boudard

    1925 - 2000

    Alphonse Boudard (1925 - 2000)

    Author. After waffling between sides in World War II for some time, he eventually became a member of the French Resistance. While fighting to oust the Germans from France, he was wounded and subsequently awarded a French military medal. He wrote about 30 novels and 22 screenplays, mostly depicting the common/everyday life of French people. […]

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  • Alphonse Marie Adolphe de Neuville

    1835 - 1885

    Alphonse Marie Adolphe de Neuville (1835 - 1885)

    Artist. A French Academic painter, he is remembered for his battle scenes from the Crimean War, the Franco-Prussian War, and the Anglo-Zulu War. Born into a wealthy family, after earning his Bachelor of Letters he entered the naval school at Lorient, in Brittany, France in 1856. While there, he became interested in painting and worked […]

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  • Alvah Bessie

    1904 - 1985

    Alvah Bessie (1904 - 1985)

    Alvah Bessie became initially known for his translations of avant-garde French literature, including Songs of Bilitis by Pierre Louÿs  and The Torture Garden by Octave Mirbeau. During the 1930s, Bessie became alarmed at the rise of fascism, and began working for the anti-fascist cause. No stranger to soldiering, through 1938 Bessie fought as a volunteer in the […]

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  • Alvah Curtis Roebuck

    1864 - 1948

    Alvah Curtis Roebuck (1864 - 1948)

    Businessman. Co-founder of Sears and Roebuck Company. Born in Lafayette, Indiana, he began working as a self-taught watchmaker in Hammond Indiana at the age of 22. He answered a classified ad for a watchmaker placed by Richard W. Sears in the Chicago Daily News in 1887. Their association grew into one of the world’s best […]

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  • Alvaro Mutis

    1923 - 2013

    Alvaro Mutis (1923 - 2013)

    Mutis was born in Bogotá and lived in Brussels from the age of two until eleven, where his father, Santiago Mutis Dávila, held a post as a diplomat. They would return to Colombia by ship for summer holidays. During this time Mutis’ family stayed at his grandfather’s coffee and sugar cane plantation, Coello. For Álvaro […]

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  • Alvin Adams Dewey, II

    1912 - 1987

    Alvin Adams Dewey, II (1912 - 1987)

    Law Officer. He was the Kansas Bureau of Investigations Special Agent who tracked down Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, who had murdered the Clutter Family in Holcomb, Kansas on November 15, 1959. The story around the Clutter murders and subsequent trial of their killers was made famous when they were depicted in writer Truman Capote’s […]

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  • Alvin Ailey Jr

    1931 - 1989

    Alvin Ailey Jr (1931 - 1989)

    Alvin Ailey Jr Ailey was born to his 17-year-old mother, Lula Elizabeth Ailey, in Rogers, Texas. His father, also named Alvin, abandoned the family when Alvin was only six months old. Like many African Americans living in Texas during the Great Depression, Ailey and his mother moved often and had a hard time finding work. […]

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  • Alvin Ailey, Jr

    1931 - 1989

    Alvin Ailey, Jr (1931 - 1989)

    Dancer, Choreographer. Born in Rogers, Texas, he was the founder of the renown dance company the “Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater”.  Starting in 1949, he studied with influential choreographer Lester Horton in Los Angeles, California. When Horton died in 1953, Alvin Ailey took over the Lester Horton Dance Theater and became the director and resident […]

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  • Alvin C. Copeland

    1944 - 2008

    Alvin C. Copeland (1944 - 2008)

    Entrepreneur. At age 18, he sold his car to open a one-man doughnut shop and had ten successful years in the doughnut business. Inspired by Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, he used his doughnut profits to open the restaurant, Chicken on the Run in New Orleans, in 1971. He founded Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits in 1976, […]

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  • Alvin Childress

    1907 - 1986

    Alvin Childress (1907 - 1986)

    Alvin Childress was born in Meridian, Mississippi. He was educated at Rust College, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. When he initially entered college, Childress intended to become a doctor, enrolling in typical pre-med courses. He had no thoughts of becoming involved in acting, but became involved in theater outside […]

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  • Alvin Gittins

    1922 - 1981

    Alvin Gittins (1922 - 1981)

    Artist. He is best remembered for being the chairman of the Art Department at the University of Utah, and was the artist-in-residence.  He was an early leader in the recently emerging trend of realism in artwork.  Born in Kidderminster, Worcester, England, he came to the United States in 1946 to study, and graduated with a […]

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  • Alvin Neelley

    1953 - 2005

    Alvin Neelley (1953 - 2005)

    Alvin Neelley was born in 1953 in Georgia, where he was a car thief during his teenage years. He met his second wife, Judith Ann Adams, when he was 26 years old and she was 15. Alvin divorced his first wife shortly before eloping with Judith Adams (1980). Lisa Ann Millican, a 13-year-old girl from Cedartown, […]

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  • Alvy Moore

    1921 - 1997

    Alvy Moore (1921 - 1997)

    Alvy Moore was born in Vincennes, Indiana, the son of Indiana natives Roy and Elice Moore. When Alvy was young, the family moved with his parents to Terre Haute, where Roy was a grocery store manager. He was the president of the senior class at Wiley High School in 1940-1941. He then attended Indiana State […]

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  • Alyce McCormick

    1904 - 1932

    Alyce McCormick (1904 - 1932)

    Actress/Singer. She began her career as a singer on the streets of Omaha, Nebraska, with her parents. She won a 1923 Nebraska contest and joined the Ziegfeld Follies. During her time with the Follies she was confused with actress Alice McCormick who was named in a divorce suit aginst Florenz Ziegfeld, so she changed her […]

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  • Alysheba

    1984 - 2009

    Alysheba (1984 - 2009)

    Race Horse. He was the winner of both the 1987 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron. He fell short for his bid of a Triple Crown with a fourth place finish at the Belmont Stakes. His other notable highlights include 1988 Horse of the Year honors and 1988 […]

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  • Amadeo Jacques

    1813 - 1865

    Amadeo Jacques (1813 - 1865)

    Professor and philosopher. Between 1863 and his death, he was Director of the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires. One of his pupils, Miguel Cané, years later remembered him in his book. (bio by: 380W)  Family links:  Children:  Francisca Jacques (1859 – 1948)* *Calculated relationship

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  • Amador Bendayán

    1920 - 1989

    Amador Bendayán (1920 - 1989)

    Entertainer. In the 1950´s he gained popularity for his radio comedies “El Bachiller y Bartolo” and “La Bodega de la Esquina.” He participated in several movies at Venezuela and Mexico. After his actor career Bendayán was the most popular Venezuelan television. figure thanks to the show “Sábado Sensacional” (1972 to 1989). (bio by: 380W)

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  • Amalia Perez Diaz

    1923 - 2003

    Amalia Perez Diaz (1923 - 2003)

    Actress. Considered one of the greatest Venezuelan actresses. She appeared in movies like “Topocho,” “Bárbara,” “El Contador de Cuentos,” “Disparen a Matar,” “Pandemonium” (1997) and “La señora de Cárdenas” (2003, her last), as well as the following soap operas: “Estefanía” (1979), “La señorita Perdomo” (1982), “Marta y Javier” (1983), “Bienvenida Esperanza” (1983), “Marisela” (1983), “Acusada” […]

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  • Amanda Blake

    1929 - 1989

    Amanda Blake (1929 - 1989)

    Amanda Blake Actress. She was born in Buffalo, New York as Beverly Louise Neill an only Child. She arrived in Claremont, California during a move with her family. While working as a telephone operator she began doing bit parts for MGM which landed her a contract. After a few menial movie appearances, she landed the […]

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  • Amanda Peterson

    1971 - 2015

    Amanda Peterson (1971 - 2015)

    Peterson was born Phyllis Amanda Peterson to Dr. James and Sylvia Peterson. A native of Greeley, Colorado, she was the youngest of three children; her older siblings are sister, Anne Marie, and her brother, James Jr. Eventually, Peterson became known professionally as Amanda Peterson and was called “Mandy” by friends and family.  While living in […]

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  • Amanda Randolph

    1896 - 1967

    Amanda Randolph (1896 - 1967)

    Actress. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, she began her career in black musical revues in the 1920s. In 1949, she become a comedy favorite on television appearing on “Amanda” the first network-televised series to feature an African-American performer in a regular role. She became a regular on the top early black TV shows “Amos ‘n’ Andy” […]

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  • Ambrós “Miguel” Ambrosio Zaragoza

    1912 - 1992

    Ambrós “Miguel” Ambrosio Zaragoza (1912 - 1992)

    Illustrator. He was born in Albuixech, Valencia. He is fondly remembered for all a generation of childrens for his character “El Capitán Trueno,” created along with the writer Víctor Mora. He also illustrated the comics “El Caballero Fantasma” and “El Corsario de Hierro.” In 1989, he was awarded with the prestigious Saló del Comic de […]

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  • Ambrose Bierce

    1842 - 1970

    Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1970)

    Author, Journalist. Best known for his classic Civil War story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (1890) and the satirical lexicon “The Devil’s Dictionary” (1911). Bierce vanished without a trace in late 1913, allegedly in Mexico while covering the exploits of Pancho Villa. His disappearance is one of literature’s great mysteries.  Family links:  Parents:  Marcus […]

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  • Amedeo Nazzari

    1907 - 1979

    Amedeo Nazzari (1907 - 1979)

    Amedeo Nazzari was born as Amedeo Carlo Leone Buffa in Cagliari, Sardinia in 1907 and he later adopted as his professional name the name of his maternal grandfather, Amedeo Nazzari, a person who had been the President of the Court of Appeal of Vicenza in Venetia and later took the same position in Cagliari. Although […]

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  • Amedeo Voltejo Obici

    1877 - 1947

    Amedeo Voltejo Obici (1877 - 1947)

    Founder of Planters. Started his career as a bellhop and fruit stand vendor in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Later, Obici moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and opened his own fruit stand and invested in a peanut roaster. Here he linked his life’s fortune with the peanut. In a few years, Obici turned peddler, using a horse and wagon, […]

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