​Browse the library's collection of biographies and memoirs below, or search for all biographies in the library catalog​.

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TitleMargaret Mead:A Life
AuthorJane Howard
PublisherSimon and Schuster, 1984
Margaret Mead was one of the twentieth century’s great adventurers, one of its most accomplished women, certainly its most renowned anthropologist.
TitleMary Leakey:Disclosing the Past
AuthorMary Leakey
PublisherDoubleday, 1984
   Mary's outstanding ability to draw stone implements brought about her meeting with Louis Leakey, and heralded the second phase of her life. In 1935 she visited Kenya and Tanzania with him, and in 1936 they married and moved to East Africa where they formed a brilliant partnership spanning more than thirty years.
TitleOne Life:Richard E. Leakey
AuthorRichard E. Leakey
PublisherSalem House, 1984
  Richard Leakey learned from both his parents, Louis and Mary, about prehistoric Africa, and he relates how he finally became involved in the study of human ancestry. This involvement ultimately led to his leadership of Kenya's museums; and these, together with his development of laboratories in Nairobi, have made Kenya one of the world's major centers for the study of evolution and human origins.
TitleDorthea Lange:A Photographer's Life
AuthorMilton Meltzer
PublisherFarrar, Straus, Giroux, 1978
  Dorothea Lange is best known as the graphic chronicler of rural Americans who were victims of the Depression of the Thirties. Milton Meltzer has used Lange's letters and journals, the interviews recorded in her last years, and hundred of personal connections to document a painful as well as triumphant life.
TitleAnsel Adams:An Autobiography
AuthorAnsel Adams
PublisherLittle, Brown & Co., 1985
  This autobiography was completed shortly before his death. Photographer, Ansel Adams, discusses his life, career, friendships and concerns.
TitleDreaming with His Eyes Open:A life of Diego Rivera
AuthorPatrick Marnham
PublisherBloomsbury, 1998
  Patrick Marnham brings the art, the politics and the complexity of the man into vivid focus. His beautifully demonstrates that just as Rivera mythologized himself, the artist also endowed the Mexican people with a national myth, melding a troubled revolutionary history and an Indian culture obsessed with death into something bold and visionary.
TitleEdvard Munch:Behind the Scream
AuthorSue Prideaux
PublisherYale University Press, 2005
Although almost everyone recognizes Edward Munch's famous painting The Scream, hardly anyone knows much about the man. What kind of person could have created this universal image, one that so vividly expressed all the uncertainties of the twentieth century? What kind of experiences did he have?
AuthorEdward Osborne Wilson
PublisherIsland Press, 1994
In Naturalist, Wilson describes for the first time both his growth as a scientist and the evolution of the science he helped define…..an eloquent champion of biodiversity.
TitleA. Philip Randolph:A Biographical Portrait
AuthorJervis Anderson
PublisherHarcourt, 1972
This is a book about the transforming difference the dignity and persistence of one man has made to the cause of social justice and black liberation in America.
TitleFor Freedom's Sake:The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer
AuthorChana Kai Lee
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press, 2000
    For Freedom's Sake documents Fannie Lou Hamer's lifelong crusade to empower the poor through collective action, her rise to national prominence as a civil rights activist, and the personal costs of her ongoing struggle to win a political voice and economic self-sufficiency for blacks in the segregated South.
TitleIda B. Wells:Mother of the Civil Rights Movement
AuthorDennis Brindell Fradin
PublisherClarion Books, 2000
 Born a slave in 1862, Ida B. Wells went on to become one of our nation's earliest civil rights leaders. She helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and fought for women's voting rights.
TitleKing:A critical biography
AuthorDavid Lewis
PublisherPraeger, 1970
     A biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
TitleReady for Revolution:The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael
AuthorStokely Carmichael with Ekwueme Michael Thelwell
PublisherScribner, 2003
 .....chronicles the legendary civil rights leader's work as chairman of SNCC, patriarch of Black Power, Pan-African activist, and social revolutionary.  He recounts the course of his own experience and struggles, ranging from the prison farms and lynch mobs of Mississippi through the firefights and political intrigue of the African liberation wars to Black Power and Pan-Africanism.
TitleThe Rest of the Dream
AuthorWade Hall
PublisherUniversity Press of Kentucky, 1988
    The life of Lyman Johnson, a grassroots civil rights leader. Born in 1906, his grandparents were slaves yet his father was a college graduate. This book is an account of his fight for racial justice.
TitleRoger Baldwin:Founder of the American Civil Liberties Union
AuthorPeggy Lamson
PublisherHoughton Mifflin, 1976
    Roger Baldwin “established the Civil Liberties Bureau during World War I to protect the rights of conscientious objectors. He himself spent ten months in prison as a C.O.  After the war, the Bureau was reorganized, largely through his efforts, to become the ACLU, with the purpose of safeguarding the constitutional rights of every American citizen.
TitleGo Down Together:The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde
AuthorJeff Guinn
PublisherSimon & Schuster, 2009
In the minds of the public, Bonnie and Clyde, were cool calculating bandits who robbed banks and killed cops with equal impunity. Nothing could be further from the truth, Clyde and Bonnie were perhaps the most inept crooks ever, and their two-year crime spree was as much a reign of error as it was of terror.
TitleBalletmaster:A Dancer's View of George Balanchine
AuthorMoira Shearer
PublisherSidgwick & Jackson, 1986
  George Balanchine, who died in 1983, was a father of modern ballet and one of the greatest choreographers of all time. Moira Shearer was one of the leading ballerinas of her generation and as a young dancer she danced for Balanchine in London.
TitleMartha:The Life and work of Martha Graham
AuthorAgnes De Mille
PublisherRandom House, 1991
  Graham was the choreographer and dancer who single-handedly invented a revolutionary new dance language and stage aesthetic. She was also a tempestuous innovator and an unrelenting taskmaster, who would sacrifice everything - love, friendship, money- for the sake of her art.
TitleThe Sugarless Plum:A Ballerina's Triumph Over Diabetes
AuthorZippora Karz
PublisherHarlequin, 2009
Ballerina, Zippora Karz, writes a memoir concerning her struggle with diabetes.
TitleTed Shawn:Father of American Dance
AuthorTerry Walter
PublisherDial Press, 1976
   Using exclusive materials (oral, written, photographic), America's most important dance critic explores Shawn's enormous influence on the entire spectrum of the dance. It was Ted Shawn who brought the concept of virility to male dancing in American and made it thereby (especially through his later all-male dance groups) both exciting as theater and respectable as a career.
TitleThe Best Seat in the House:How I Woke Up One Tuesday and was Paralyzed for Life
AuthorAllen Rucker
PublisherHarperCollins, 2007
For writer Allen Rucker -- baby boomer, husband, father of two, aging Hollywood also-ran -- life started over that Tuesday when, at the age of fifty-one, he was struck by a rare disorder, transverse myelitis, that left him paralyzed from the waist down. In a style that is at once funny and moving, The Best Seat in the House offers an unpretentious and unapologetic account of learning to live with paralysis.
TitleBorn on a Blue Day
AuthorDaniel Tammet
PublisherFree Press, 2006
The probability of someone having both synesthesia and autism is incredibly small -- about 1 in 10,000. Are Daniel's talents the result of his two rare syndromes coming together in one person? His synesthesia gives him a richly textured, multi-sensory form of memory, and his autism gives him the narrow focus on number and syntactic patterns. The resulting book is a story of a life that is both remarkable and inspiring.
TitleA Different Life
AuthorQuinn Bradlee and Jeff Himmelman
PublisherPublic Affairs, 2009
  Quinn tells his own story about growing up with learning disabilities.
TitleI Was Number 87:A Deaf Woman's Ordeal of Misdiagnosis, Institutionalization, and Abuse
AuthorAnne M. Bolander and Adair N. Renning
PublisherGallaudet University Press, 2002
I was six years old, alone and terrified, and no one knew that I was deaf. So began Anne Bolander's ordeal at the Stoutamyre School of Special Education, a boarding facility for retarded and unwanted children.
TitleLegacy of the Blue Heron:Living with Learning Disabilities
AuthorHarry Sylvester
PublisherOxton House Publishers, 2002
Harry Sylvester tells the remarkable story of the decades when he struggled with the faceless dragon of Learning Disabilities...It is a story of victories and losses, triumphs and defeats, hope and despair, a story experienced by every person with a learning disability...and one that should be heard by every parent and teacher who strives to understand.
TitleThe Short Bus:A Journey Beyond Normal
AuthorJonathan Mooney
PublisherHenry Holt, 2007
Labeled dyslexic and profoundly learning disable, Jonathan Mooney was a short-bus rider-- a derogatory term used for kids in special education. To learn how others had moved beyond labels, he bought his own short bus and set out cross-country, looking for kids who had dreamed up magical, beautiful ways to overcome the obstacles that separated them from the so-called normal world.
TitleBarbie and Ruth:The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her
AuthorRobin Gerber
PublisherCollins Business, 2009
"Barbie and Ruth is the entwined story of two exceptional women. There's Barbie: the diminutive yet arrestingly voluptuous doll unveiled at the 1959 Toy Fair and Ruth Handler, Barbie's creator. Ruth Handler was the tenth child of Polish Jewish immigrants, a passionately competitive and creative business pioneer, and a mother and wife who wanted it all. After a business scandal that forced Ruth out of Mattel, the company she founded, she drew on her experience as a breast cancer survivor to start a business that changed women's lives. She was ultimately honored as a pioneer, humanitarian and masterful entrepreneur."
TitleFrederick W. Taylor, the father of scientific management
AuthorCharles D. Wredge
PublisherBusiness One Irwin, 1991
    Frederick Taylor, the controversial industrial reformer, developed the methods of scientific management, and transformed the industrial revolution by analyzing work.
TitleThe Flamboyant Mr. Colt and his Six-shooter
AuthorBern Keating
PublisherDoubleday and Co., 1978
    When Sam Colt perfected the six-shooter, the firepower it unleashed drove the Mexicans from Texas and the Indians from the Plains. It revolutionized warfare world wide.
TitleMother Jones:The Miners' Angel
AuthorDale Fetherling
PublisherSo. Illinois Univ. Press, 1974
    Mother Jones was a labor agitator. Her life has been ignored largely because she was not important to the labor movement in an institutional or intellectual sense. She did not shape organizations or fashion movements or create new concepts. Her skill was the invaluable but incalculable one of tending to men's spirits, or buoying them, of goading them to fight even though the battle seemed hopeless.
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