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

By Gemma Barratt


America has a rich and diverse history which shows itself in its music, politics, film, and culture. The power of biography helps to illuminate larger questions of war, peace, and justice and in exploring the lives of the figures that helped shape America’s history we can discover more about our past.

The American National Biography Online (ANB Online) allows you to discover the lives of over 18,700 men and women who have helped to shape American history. This April, 41 new lives have been added to the resource including radical feminist Andrea Dworkin, chess genius Bobby Fischer, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and singer and actress Peggy Lee. We are also delighted to announce a new partnership between the ANB Online and the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution to allow National Portrait Gallery images to be used alongside ANB Online biographies.

Browse through the portraits and discover the famous and, not so famous, lives of some of the key figures who have been added this April.



Gemma Barratt is an Associate Marketing Manager for Oxford University Press.

The landmark American National Biography (ANB Online) offers portraits of more than 18,700 men & women — from all eras and walks of life — whose lives have shaped the nation. The wealth of biographies are supplemented with over 900 articles from The Oxford Companion to United States History and over 2,500 illustrations and photographs providing depth and context to the portraits. It is updated twice a year with new biographies, illustrations, and articles. Find out more about the latest update by visiting the Highlights page. American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) sponsors the American National Biography (ANB Online), which is published by Oxford University Press.

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