Adam Mickiewicz Biography

Ironically, this Polish national hero never set foot in the Polish capital of Warsaw or in most other parts of the modern-day country of Poland. Mickiewicz (pronounced "Mits-KYEV-itch") was born in or near the town of Nowogrodek, now Navahrudak, Belarus, on December 24, 1798.

Muhammad Ali Pasha Biography

The reforms undertaken by Muhammad Ali as he centralized his power brought the foundations of modern statehood to Egypt. He put in place a vast military and economic apparatus financed by efficient tax collections, and his armies of drafted conscripts vanquished and then permanently replaced the feuding warlord groups that had ruled much of the Middle East.

Anne Murray Biography

Born Morna Anne Murray on June 20, 1945, singer Anne Murray is the only daughter of James Carson Murray, a doctor, and Marion (Burke) Murray, a registered nurse and homemaker. The Murray family lived in Springhill, Nova Scotia, a town of only a few thousand people centered around the coal mining industry.

Arthur Murray Biography

Once a shy, uneasy teenager, Murray believed that social dancing was the key to an improved self-image, and his business strategy often targeted those in need of a little encouragement. His schools, staffed by well-trained instructors, also featured easy-to-learn methods for a wide array of touch-dancing—the term for two-person dance floor couplings such as the waltz and the polka—at a time when dancing was a obligatory part of nearly all social interaction for teens and adults.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal Biography

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (pronounced UJ-uh-roo nu-NUH-kl) was born Kathleen Jean Mary Ruska on November 3, 1920, in Minjerriba, also known as North Stradbroke Island. Stradbroke, unlike other Aboriginal areas, managed to maintain an unusually high level of tribal culture.

Indra K. Nooyi Biography

Nooyi was also one of the few foreign-born executives of either gender in top U.S. corporate ranks.

Michael Babatunde Olatunji Biography

Drums of Passion, in the words of Olatunji's autobiography collaborator Robert Atkinson, "introduced hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Americans to African drumming." And Olatunji's influence extended into other realms as well. His African drum ensembles were important adjuncts to the meetings and public events that shaped the civil rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s.

Mark Oliphant Biography

Oliphant was born Markus Laurence Elwin Oliphant on October 8, 1901, in Adelaide, Australia. He was the oldest of five sons.

Buck O'Neil Biography

As a scout, O'Neil was responsible for recruiting such Hall of Fame players as Lou Brock and Ernie Banks, and a tireless spokesman for the history of Negro League baseball. For all his efforts, O'Neil came to be considered an "architect" of the game, as Brock described him in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Donny Osmond and Marie Biography

Donald Clark Osmond was born December 9, 1957, in Ogden, Utah, and his sister Olive Marie Osmond followed on October 13, 1959, in the same location. They were the fifth and eighth of George and Olive Osmond's nine children.

John Peel Biography

Even more important than the specific musicians Peel championed over the years, however, were the curiosity and free spirit he brought to broadcasting and to the exploration of new music. Some 90 percent of the music he played was new to radio broadcasts, whether those of the BBC or anyone else.

Grigory Perelman Biography

Almost as distinctive as the quality of Perelman's achievement were the eccentricities of his interactions with the outside world. Perelman worked alone, living a spartan life in his birthplace of St.

Molly Picon Biography

At the height of Picon's fame, Murray Schumach of the New York Times noted that "[s]he was idolized in Jewish neighborhoods, where children and clubs were named after her during her heyday in the 1920s." Picon had various talents. She sang, danced, wrote songs, and excelled in the conventional English-language roles she took on from time to time.

Anna Politkovskaya Biography

Politkovskaya was the daughter of two diplomats of Ukrainian heritage whose loyalty to Soviet Russia and the Communist Party was deemed secure enough to give them a highly coveted foreign mission in the West. In the strict, one-party authoritarian rule back in the Soviet era, only party members who did not appear to be candidates for defection were granted permission to travel or live in the West.

MartĂ­n Porres Biography

Always a famous figure within Latin American Catholicism, MartĂ­n began to receive renewed attention in the later years of the twentieth century. Partly this was due to his mixed-race background; he was one of a comparatively small number of Catholic saints who could be classified as black, and he ministered without distinction to Spanish nobles and to slaves recently brought from Africa.

Jacques Prévert Biography

Prévert was born on Feburary 4, 1900, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, near Paris. He grew up in a middle class family, the middle of three sons, and enjoyed a mostly happy childhood.

Mae Questel Biography

Questel, a singer, comedienne, and character actress, paved the way for such modern day voice actors as June Foray, Tress MacNeill, and Nancy Cartwright. Never exactly a household name, the diminutive actress consistently made a solid living in vaudeville, on network radio, television, playing memorable character parts in films, and on the Broadway stage.

Queen of Madagascar Ranavalona I Biography

The true story of Ranavalona's reign has been difficult to establish. She was illiterate, and accounts of her activities have been told throughout history from people who either mistrusted her or were her outright enemies—Christian missionaries whom she persecuted and exiled, the few Europeans whom she allowed to remain on the island as she consolidated her power, and travelers and traders who viewed her as bloodthirsty and at various times plotted to destabilize her regime.

Shloyme Zanul Rappoport Biography

Ansky wrote more than just that single play, however. His works, in Yiddish and Russian, included plays, fiction, folklore monographs, personal memoirs, and a harrowing account of his experiences traveling among Jewish communities in Eastern Europe during World War I.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen Biography

Acharismatic figure who led his center-right party to its first victory over Denmark's left-leaning Social Democrats in many years, Rasmussen was emblematic of a new breed of conservatives coming to power in Western Europe. He hoped to slash the size of Denmark's large social welfare bureaucracy without eliminating the basic protections it offered, and he implemented restrictions on immigration while offering as few concessions as possible to far-right nationalist groups.

James Earl Ray Biography

Ray was born into poverty on March 10, 1928, in Alton, Illinois. He was the eldest child of Lucille and George Ellis Ray, who briefly moved the family to Bowling Green, Missouri, when Ray was two.

Dennis Ritchie Biography

Ritchie was born on September 9, 1941, in Bronx-ville, New York. He was born to Alistair Ritchie, a switching systems engineer for Bell Laboratories, and Jean McGee Ritchie, a homemaker.

Edward W. Said Biography

Controversial in his work, Said had both admirers and detractors. Few statements beyond the bare facts of his life would meet with universal agreement from observers, and even those bare facts were sometimes in dispute.

Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Saint-George Biography

Saint-George is known today as one of the major early contributors of African descent in the tradition of European classical music. He gained fame as a violinist, conductor, and composer; some of Europe's top composers created violin works with Saint-George in mind as the soloist, and he led the premieres of some of Franz Joseph Haydn's greatest symphonies.

Samoset Biography

The Abenaki chief Samoset from what is today Maine learned to speak English from fishermen who visited his coastal territory. So it was a surprise to the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation when he entered their settlement and announced, "Welcome, Englishmen!" The first Indian to greet the Pilgrims, Samoset fostered goodwill and trade with the Europeans.

Artur Schnabel Biography

Ashort man with a large moustache, Schnabel had little charisma. Indeed, he mistrusted the cult of personality that surrounded the world of classical piano, and according to his biographer, Cesar Saerchinger, he felt that the great traditions of piano playing amounted to little more than "a collection of bad habits." For Schnabel, by contrast, the intentions of the composer were paramount, and it was Beethoven who challenged him above all other composers.

Mary Seacole Biography

Seacole was born Mary Jane Grant in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1805. Her mother was creole, or a person of mixed race, and Seacole's father was white and a native of Scotland.

William Joseph Seymour Biography

Seymour was one of the most influential African-American religious leaders of his time, and his impact can be felt even today. Seymour was largely responsible for the establishment of the modern Pentecostal movement.

William Sheppard Biography

William Henry Sheppard was born on March 8, 1865, in Waynesboro, Virginia, in the state's southwestern corner. Although Waynesboro was still part of the Confederacy (Robert E.

Edward Soriano Biography

Soriano was born on November 12, 1946, in Alcala, Pangasinan, Philippines, to natives of Ilocos Sur. Alcala is a small city some hundred miles north of Manila.