Special Collections

Who Was? A Series of Biographies for Kids

Description: This series tells the incredible stories of trailblazers, legends, innovators, and creators. Explore this non-fiction collection of biographies written especially for children. #kids #series


Showing 26 through 50 of 138 results

Who Was Susan B. Anthony?

by Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison and Pamela D. Pollack and Mike Lacey

Susan B. Anthony may be an international icon but her campaign for women's rights had personal roots. Working as a school teacher in New York, Anthony refused to settle for less pay than her male colleagues which ignited her lifelong devotion to women's equality. Anthony toured the United States and Europe giving speeches and publishing articles as one of the most important advocates of women's rights. Learn more about the woman behind the movement in Who Was Susan B. Anthony?

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Robert E. Lee?

by John O'Brien and Nancy Harrison and Bonnie Bader

Robert E. Lee seemed destined for greatness. His father was a Revolutionary War hero and at West Point he graduated second in his class! In 1861, when the Southern states seceded from the Union, Lee was offered the opportunity to command the Union forces. However, even though he was against the war, his loyalty to his home state of Virginia wouldn't let him fight for the North. He fought against the United States for the Confederacy. He lost.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Stan Lee?

by Geoff Edgers and Nancy Harrison and John Hinderliter

Stanley Lieber was just seventeen when he got his first job at Timely Comics in 1939. Since then, the man now known as Stan Lee has launched a comic book empire, made Marvel Comics a household name, and created iconic superheroes such as Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. Stan Lee is still dreaming up caped crusaders and masked vigilantes in his nineties. Who Is Stan Lee? tells the story of a New York City kid with a superhero-sized imagination.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Muhammad Ali?

by Nancy Harrison and Stephen Marchesi and James Buckley

Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. won the world heavyweight championship at the age of 22, the same year he joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. He would go on to become the first and only three-time (in succession) World Heavyweight Champion. Nicknamed "The Greatest," Ali was as well known for his unique boxing style, consisting of the Ali Shuffle and the rope-a-dope, as he was for the catchphrase "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." He was an uncompromising athlete who brought beauty and grace to a very rough sport and became one of the world's most famous cultural icons. Read Who Is Muhammad Ali? and discover "The Greatest."

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Gloria Steinem?

by Nancy Harrison and Max Hergenrother and Sarah Fabiny

As a field reporter in the 1960s, Gloria Steinem worked hard to dig up important stories. She went undercover to expose the grim realities of gender inequality in America. As her message continued to grow, she became the spokeswoman of the women's liberation movement and created the feminist publication, Ms. magazine. Steinem continues to speak and write about women and women's roles in media and politics.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Dolly Parton?

by True Kelley and Nancy Harrison and Stephen Marchesi

Born in a little cabin in Tennessee, Dolly Parton always dreamed big, and she was right to! She wrote her first song at age five and became a country music star by the time she was in her early twenties. Of course, her success didn't stop there. Dolly Parton is also an actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist whose "Imagination Library" reading initiative reaches children throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. There is simply no one like Dolly Parton!

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Woodrow Wilson?

by Andrew Thomson and Margaret Frith and Nancy Harrison

First he was known as Tommy, then Woodrow, and eventually, Mr. President. Born on December 28, 1856, in Staunton, Virginia, Thomas Woodrow Wilson was a born leader. He was the president of Princeton University, served as governor of New Jersey after that, and was then elected president of the United States. But not everything was so easy for Wilson. He was ahead of his time in wanting a League of Nations after World War I to help prevent another war like it, but his hopes were dashed when the United States refused to join. Margaret Frith offers a fascinating look at how this magnificent and tragic figure handled debilitating illness, heartbreak, and "the war to end all wars."

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was J. R. R. Tolkien?

by Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison and Pamela D. Pollack and Jonathan Moore

Best known for his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien was born in British-occupied South Africa. His early life was full of action and adventure.

Tolkien spent his childhood roaming the British countryside with his family and could read and write by age four. He was naturally gifted with languages and used this skill as a signals officers in World War II as well as in his fantasy writing. By creating alternate universes and inventing languages in his work he demonstrated that imaginary realms were not just for children. Fondly remembered as the "Father of High Fantasy," Tolkien's books have inspired blockbuster movies and legions of fans.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Harriet Beecher Stowe?

by Nancy Harrison and Dana Meachen Rau and Gregory Copeland

Born in Connecticut in 1811, Harriet Beecher Stowe was an abolitionist, author, and playwright. Slavery was a major industry in the American South, and Stowe worked with the Underground Railroad to help escaped slaves head north towards freedom. The publication of her book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, a scathing anti-slavery novel, fanned the flames that started the Civil War. The book's emotional portrayal of the impact of slavery captured the nation's attention. A best-seller in its time, Uncle Tom's Cabin sealed Harriet Beecher Stowe's reputations as one of the most influential anti-slavery voices in US history.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was George Washington Carver?

by Nancy Harrison and Stephen Marchesi and Jim Gigliotti

Born in 1860s Missouri, nobody expected George Washingtoni Carver to succeed. Slaves were not allowed to be educated. After the Civil War, Carver enrolled in classes and proved to be a star student. He became the first black student at Iowa State Agricultural College and later its first black professor. He went on to the Tuskegee Institute where he specialized in botany (the study of plants) and developed techniques to grow crops better. His work with vegetables, especially peanuts, made him famous and changed agriculture forever. He went on to develop nearly 100 household products and over 100 recipes using peanuts.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Frank Lloyd Wright?

by Nancy Harrison and Gregory Copeland and Ellen Labrecque

Born in Wisconsin in 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright became obsessed with a set of building blocks his mother had given to him on his ninth birthday. He grew up to become the father of organic architecture and the greatest American architect of all time, having designed more than 1,100 buildings during his lifetime. These included private homes - such as the stunning Fallingwater, churches, temples, a hotel, and the world-famous Guggenheim Museum in New York City. When asked how he could create so many designs, he answered, "I can't get them out fast enough." Frank Lloyd Wright was a man ahead of his time who could barely keep up with his own ideas!

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Edgar Allan Poe?

by Nancy Harrison and Jim Gigliotti and Tim Foley

Filled with broken hearts and black ravens, Edgar Allan Poe's ghastly tales have delighted readers for centuries. Born in Boston in 1809, Poe was orphaned at age two. He was soon adopted by a Virginia family who worked as tombstone merchants. In 1827 he enlisted in the Army and subsequently failed out of West Point. His first published story, The Raven, was a huge success, but his joy was overshadowed by the death of his wife. Poe devoted his life to writing and his tragic life often inspired his work. He is considered to be the inventor of detective fiction and the father of American mystery writers. His work continues to influence popular culture through films, music, literature, and television.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Wayne Gretzky?

by Gail Herman and Nancy Harrison and Ted Hammond

After breaking or tying more than sixty records in hockey, it's no wonder that Wayne Gretzky is known as "The Great One." Born in Brantford, Ontario, on January 26, 1961, in a nation obsessed with the sport, he threw himself into the game practically from the time he first laced up a pair of skates. When he retired from the NHL in 1999, he had led several teams to Stanley Cup victories, competed in the Olympics, and changed the way hockey was played forever. Known for his love for family and as a truly decent human being, Wayne Gretzky is revealed as more than a sports legend in this easy-to-read biography.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Joan of Arc?

by Andrew Thomson and Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso and Nancy Harrison

Joan of Arc was born in a small French village during the worst period of the Hundred Years' War. For generations, France had been besieged by the British. At age 11, Joan began to see religious visions telling her to join forces with the King of France. By the time she was a teenager, she was leading troops into battle in the name of her country. Though she was captured and executed for her beliefs, Joan of Arc became a Catholic saint and has since captured the world's imagination.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Hillary Clinton?

by Heather Alexander and Nancy Harrison and Dede Putra

Who Is Hillary Clinton? Readers of our New York Times best-selling series can find out now!At age fourteen, Hillary Clinton thought it would be thrilling to become an astronaut, so she sent an application to NASA. The reply was a flat out rejection: the space program didn't take women. It was a critical moment for the young girl, one that made her realize the world she lived in needed changing and that she had better try to make those changes happen. Clinton's life has been a thrilling series of firsts--First Lady of the US, then first First Lady to become a US Senator, Secretary of State, and possibly the first woman to run as the Democratic candidate for President. This easy-to-read biography gives readers a firm grounding not only in Clinton's life history but the history of the times in which she's lived. It comes out as she makes her historic run for the White House.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Elton John?

by Nancy Harrison and Kirsten Anderson and Joseph J. Qiu

How does a little boy from the London suburbs named Reginald Kenneth Dwight grow up to become one of the biggest pop stars of all time? A lot of talent and a lot of personality! Elton John, as he would later call himself, started playing piano at the age of three. Although he was trained to play classical music, Elton's real love was rock and roll. He cut his first album in 1969 and has dominated the airwaves ever since with songs like "Your Song," "Crocodile Rock" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." Known for his outlandish stage costumes and giant glasses, Elton John continues to write songs for Broadway musicals, Hollywood soundtracks, and Top-40 hits.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Coretta Scott King?

by Gail Herman and Gregory Copeland and Who Hq

The wife of Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King was a civil rights leader in her own right, playing a prominent role in the African American struggle for racial equality in the 1960s.Here's a gripping portrait of a smart, remarkable woman. Growing up in Alabama, Coretta Scott King graduated valedictorian from her high school before becoming one of the first African American students at Antioch College in Ohio. It was there that she became politically active, joining the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). After her marriage to Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta took part in the Civil Rights Movement. Following her husband's assassination in 1968, she assumed leadership of the movement. Later in life she was an advocate for the Women's Rights Movement, LGBT rights, and she worked to end apartheid in South Africa.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Alexander Hamilton?

by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso and Dede Putra

Read the story of the Founding Father who inspired the smash Broadway musical.Born in the British West Indies and orphaned as a child, Alexander Hamilton made his way to the American Colonies and studied to become a lawyer. He joined a local militia during the American Revolution, rose to the rank of Major General, and became the chief aide to General George Washington. After the war, he became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. He founded the Bank of New York and The New York Post newspaper. He served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and is also celebrated as a co-author of The Federalist Papers, a series of essays that are still used today to interpret the U.S. Constitution.The end of his life became a national scandal when he was shot and killed in a duel with then-Vice President Aaron Burr.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Sonia Sotomayor?

by Megan Stine and Nancy Harrison and Dede Putra

The truly inspiring story of the first Latina Supreme Court Justice.Outspoken, energetic, and fun, Sonia Sotomayor has managed to turn every struggle in life into a triumph. Born in the Bronx to immigrant parents from Puerto Rico, Sonia found out at age nine that she had diabetes, a serious illness now but an even more dangerous one fifty years ago. How did young Sonia handle the devastating news? She learned to give herself her daily insulin shots and became determined to make the most out of her life. It was the popular sixties TV show Perry Mason that made Sonia want to become a lawyer. Not only a lawyer, but a judge! Her remarkable career was capped in 2009 when President Barack Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court, only the third woman and first Hispanic justice in the court's history. Stories of Sotomayor's career are hardly dry legal stuff—she once hopped on a motorcycle to chase down counterfeiters and was the judge whose ruling ended the Major League baseball strike in 1995.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Ralph Lauren?

by Jane O'Connor and Stephen Marchesi and Who Hq

The polo player with the raised mallet—everyone knows the Ralph Lauren logo. Learn the amazing story of the man who is a true American fashion icon.Born in the Bronx, even as a teenager Ralph Lauren was known for his distinctive fashion sense, having a taste for both classic preppy clothes and vintage looks like beat-up leather jackets. He got his start in the fashion business by selling ties that he designed. From ties he went on to create a global fashion empire. In this easy-to-read biography, best-selling author and Who Was? creator Jane O'Connor explains exactly how a fashion line is created—from first drawings to models strutting on the runway.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Pope Francis?

by Stephanie Spinner and Dede Putra

Follow the amazing journey of Pope Francis, whose warmth and humility have made him beloved around the world.Jorge Mario Bergoglio, aka Pope Francis, from Argentina, is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. Since being elected pope he has shown a humbler, less formal approach to his office than his predecessors: a warm style that has been referred to as "no frills." His common touch and accessibility, as well as his insistence that the church be more open and welcoming, has quickly endeared him not only to Roman Catholics but to millions of others around the world.This title in the New York Times best-selling series includes eighty illustrations that help bring Pope Francis's amazing story to life.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Henry VIII?

by Ellen Labrecque and Who Hq and Jake Murray

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Travel to the age of the Renaissance and learn why Henry VIII is one of the most famous kings in English history.Mainly remembered for his six marriages and his self-appointment as the "Supreme Head of the Church of England," Henry VIII was also attractive, educated, and athletic. When Henry Tudor ascended to the English thrown at the age of 17, his reign looked promising. But by the time of his death in 1547, King Henry VIII was characterized as an extremely egotistical, harsh, and insecure king. Though Henry VIII's legacy isn't free from scandal, his monarchy thrived due to the achievements of his daughter Queen Elizabeth I.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Chuck Jones?

by John Hinderliter and Jim Gigliotti and Who Hq

"What's Up, Doc?" Find out in this lively biography of the most celebrated director in animation history!Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of many classic animated cartoon shorts. They starred Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Pepé Le Pew, Porky Pig and a slew of other Warner Brothers characters. When he moved on to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, his work includes a series of Tom and Jerry shorts as well as the television adaptation of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jones was nominated for eight Academy Awards, won three, and received an honorary Oscar for his work in the animation industry. His career spanned almost seventy years, during which he made over 250 animated films, including What's Opera, Doc?, a classic Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd short that is considered to be one of the greatest cartoons of all time.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Was Booker T. Washington?

by James Buckley and Who Hq and Jake Murray

Learn how a slave became one of the leading influential African American intellectuals of the late 19th century.African American educator, author, speaker, and advisor to presidents of the United States, Booker Taliaferro Washington was the leading voice of former slaves and their descendants during the late 1800s. As part of the last generation of leaders born into slavery, Booker believed that blacks could better progress in society through education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to directly challenge the Jim Crow segregation. After hearing the Emancipation Proclamation and realizing he was free, young Booker decided to make learning his life. He taught himself to read and write, pursued a formal education, and went on to found the Tuskegee Institute--a black school in Alabama--with the goal of building the community's economic strength and pride. The institute still exists and is home to famous alumnae like scientist George Washington Carver.

Date Added: 02/22/2018


Who Is Malala Yousafzai?

by Andrew Thomson and Dinah Brown

Malala Yousafzai was a girl who loved to learn but was told that girls would no longer be allowed to go to school. She wrote a blog that called attention to what was happening in her beautiful corner of Pakistan and realized that words can bring about change. She has continued to speak out for the right of all children to have an education. In 2014 she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Date Added: 12/04/2018



Showing 26 through 50 of 138 results