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Biography

Celebrate National Aviation Day

In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt designated Orville Wright's birthday as National Aviation Day. This celebration of aviation occurs each year on August 19. You can share in the celebration by reading about some of the pilots in our collection. Click on the titles to see availability and location.

Amelia Earhart: the legend of the lost aviator by Shelley Tanaka ; illustrated by David Craig


Fly high!: the story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger ; illustrated by Teresa Flavin


World War I: Biographies

In memory of the 100th anniversary of the Great War check out one of these biographies of the people who lived through it:

Ace of aces: the life of captain Eddie Rickenbacker by H. Paul Jeffers


Suddenly we didn't want to die: memoirs of a World War I marine by Elton E. Mackin ; with an introduction and annotation by George B. Clark ; foreword by Victor H. Krulak


Archduke of Sarajevo: The romance and tragedy of Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Gordon Brook-Shepherd


Femme fatale: love, lies, and the unknown life of Mata Hari by Pat Shipman


Hero: the life and legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda


Richthofen: beyond the legend of the Red Baron by Peter Kilduff

Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracies: fact or fiction? Some are believable, others stretch the outer limits of credulity. Which are which? You, the reader, decide.

Collected Conspiracies

The new hate: a history of fear and loathing on the populist right by Arthur Goldwag

Among the truthers: a journey through America's growing conspiracist underground by Jonathan K

63 documents the government doesn't want you to read by Jesse Ventura, with Dick Russ

Secret societies [videodisc]: the dark mysteries of power revealed by produced by Content Inc. and Imagen Satelital/Infinito Channel

Circle of intrigue: the hidden inner circle of the global Illuminati conspiracy by Texe Marrs

Michigan Biography

The emperor of all maladies : a biography of cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer-from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with-and perished from-for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out "war against cancer." The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

Michigan Born!

michigan: michiganMichigan is the birth place of many illustrious figures in all walks of life. The state can claim innumerable artists, actors, authors, sportsmen, scientists, musicians, innovators as native sons and daughters. Here are just a few!

Literary Biographies for Tweens

Ever wonder about the authors and illustrators behind your favorite stories? These biographies tell of fascinating lives and in some cases, the real-life inspiration behind classic works of literature.

Michigan Biographies For Kids

Young Jerry Ford: athlete and citizen by Hendrik Booraem, V


Little Stevie Wonder by Quincy Troupe ; illustrated by Lisa Cohen


Henry Ford by Steven Roberts ; [illustrations, Planman Technologies]


Rosa Parks by Gillian Gosman




Artists in the Real World

Into art? Here are some of our newest true stories of famous artists from around the world. Looking for more? Find other artists in our JBIO section by looking under their last name.

The scraps book: notes from a colorful life by Lois Ehlert

Leaving China: an artist paints his World War II childhood by James McMullan

The noisy paint box: the colors and sounds of Kandinsky's abstract art by Barb Rosenstock ; illustrated by Mary GrandPre

Mo Willems by Abby Colich

Francisco Goya by Alix Wood

More Michigan Biographies for Kids

True stories about people with a connection to Michigan. For more fascinating stories about real people, look in our JBIO collection.

 

Tim Allen by Terri Dougherty

Driven: a photobiography of Henry Ford by Don Mitchell ; foreword by Lee Iacocca

Malcolm Little: the boy who grew up to become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz ; illustrated by AG Ford

All aboard!: Elijah McCoy's steam engine by Monica Kulling ; illustrated by Bill Slavin

Real Life Performers

Be inspired by the lives of these real life performers.

Skit-scat raggedy cat: Ella Fitzgerald by written by Roxane Orgill ; illustrated by Sean Qualls

Footwork: the story of Fred and Adele Astaire by Roxane Orgill ; illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch

Louis Armstrong: jazz legend by Terry Collins ; illustrated by Richie Pope

The Beatles were fab (and they were funny) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer ; illustrated by Stacy Innerst

Harlem's little blackbird by Renée Watson ; illustrated by Christian Robinson

Maya Angelou, 1928-2014

Maya Angelou, writer, poet, and activist, died today at the age of 86.  
Angelou was most well known for her autobiographical works, particularly I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Her books spoke honestly and openly about traumas and abuse, race, gender, and identity using writing techniques common in fiction writing. She received many awards and honorary degrees throughout her life, including the National Medal of Arts in 2000 and the National Medal of Freedom in 2010, the highest civilian honor awarded in the U.S. 

Made in Michigan

Michigan Week (May 17-24) is a good time to remember the state's celebrated natives from all walks of life. Communities across Michigan can lay claim to renowned authors, artists, musicians, actors, athletes, politicians, inventors and more. Film makers Francis Ford Coppola, Sam Raimi, Michael Moore, and Paul Schrader were all born in Michigan. Just some of the world famous musicians born here include Stevie Wonder, Kenny Burrell, Betty Carter, Earl Klugh, Bog Seger, Glen Frey, Madonna, and Iggy Pop. Actors born in the state include Bruce Campbell, Tom Selleck, Lily Tomlin, Ellen Burstyn, Kristen Bell, Julie Harris, George Peppard, George C. Scott, Danny Thomas, and Marlo Thomas — the list goes on. Noteworthy authors such as Edna Ferber, Terry McMillan, Judith Guest and Marguerite De Angeli are also Michigan natives. Famous Michigan born athletes include baseball players Charlie Gehringer, Jim Abbott and Hal Newhouser. Find out more about our state's notable heritage by checking out some of the following items from the Library's collection.

Alden B. Dow: midwestern modern by Diane Maddex — Architect

The Dodge brothers: the men, the motor cars, and the legacy by Charles K. Hyde — Automobile engineers

It Happened in May!

Read about some of the many history-making events occurred in the month of May:

National Poetry Month Biographies

Celebrate National Poetry Month by getting to know more about the lives of some of our greatest poets:

Longfellow: a rediscovered life by Charles C. Calhoun


Yeats's ghosts: the secret life of W.B. Yeats by Brenda Maddox


Dylan Thomas: a new life by Andrew Lycett


From noon to starry night: a life of Walt Whitman by Philip Callow


Rough magic: a biography of Sylvia Plath by Paul Alexander


Dante by R.W.B. Lewis