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Biography

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

Look What's In Large Print: April 2014

Agatha Christie's mysteries are being re-released in large print. Anna Quindlen's latest is a fictional story of about a 60 something photographer coming to terms with her life.  Extremely private throughout his career, the new Johnny Carson biography by Harry Bushkin, Carson's lawyer from 1970-1988, reveals the complexity of Mr. Carson. Elo's first novel links the commercial fishing industry, the perfume industry, and conservation in a hunt for justice. The Cold War was warming up and President Truman saw the need to recruit European scientists to America.  He specifically stated no Nazi scientists should be recruited, Operation Paperclip tells what really happened.

Still life with bread crumbs [Large print]: a novel by Anna Quindlen

The regatta mystery, and other stories [large print] by Agatha Christie

Johnny Carson [large print] by Henry Bushkin

North of Boston [Large print] by Elisabeth Elo

Great Michigan Read 2013-2014: Annie's Ghosts

A Hospital Called Eloise.  As the Great Michigan Read 2013-2014 draws to a close Jo Johnson, an expert in the history of Eloise Hospital and the stories behind the walls will speak on Friday, June 6, 2014 at the Straight Farm House in Garden City from 6:00-8:00 PM.  A portion of the $25 fee will be donated to the Eloise Museum.  Reservations can be made by calling Party Animals at 734-525-9777. 

Hooray for Old Hollywood!

Long before Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were big names in the movies, actors such as Chaplin, Dietrich, Bogart, and Gable were considered the ultimate in star power. Read about some of the great actors and actresses who may be gone, but will certainly not be forgotten.

Robert Mitchum: "baby, I don't care" by Lee Server

Dark lover: the life and death of Rudolph Valentino by Emily W. Leider

Bogart by A.M. Sperber and Eric Lax

Man on the flying trapeze: the life and times of W.C. Fields by Simon Louvish