Betty Friedan, Norman Mailer among new biographies added to the American National Biography Online





Oxford University Press is pleased to announce that 70 new lives will be added to the American National Biography Online (ANB). In addition, 90 portraits will be added through a partnership with the National Portrait Gallery. 

This update will include the biographies of men and women who recently died and who had a significant impact on American society and American culture during their lifetime. These newly added biographies will be freely accessible to global readers until the October 2014 update.

“We have been busy,” said Susan Ware, General Editor of the American National Biography. “The seventy entries included in this update represent a significant increase over recent postings, and set a high standard for the future.  As I survey the names of the authors who contributed the essays, I am reminded of how much a biographical reference work like the American National Biography relies on the good will and support of a broad range of historians, writers, and graduate students.  We literally could not do it without them.”

The lives added include a wide range of household names like General William C. Westmoreland and author Norman Mailer. Also included are many whose names are not as well known, but who nevertheless had a significant impact on the lives of Americans; Gordon L. Cooper Jr., the last American to fly solo in space, Walter E. Diemer, who discovered the “elusive formula” for the perfect bubble gum, and A’Lelia Walker, the woman who Langston Hughes described as “the joy goddess of Harlem's 1920s”.

Also in this release: the lives of an astronaut, a Cosmetic Industry leader, a soul singer, an Olympic medalist, a mountaineer, a sculptor, and a US Secretary of Defense. These biographies will join an ever-growing collection of nearly 19,000 biographies already online.




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