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Abbott, Grace, (1878-1939), social worker. She moved into Hull House in 1908, heading the new Immigrant's Protective League. Later served as administrator of the first federal child labor act and headed the Illinois Immigrants Commission and the Federal Children's Bureau, returning to Chicago in 1934 to teach at University of Chicago.

Abbott, Robert, C. (1868-1940), founder and publisher of Chicago Daily Defender.

Addams, Jane, (1860-1935), social reformer. One of the first generation of women college graduates, Addams founded Hull House settlement in 1889 in an immigrant neighborhood in Chicago, developing working class education and cultural programs along with political action and social science research. With her colleagues, Addams challenged boss rule in local politics, advocated women's suffrage, and promoted legislation to abolish child labor, limit hours of working women, recognize labor unions, and make school attendance compulsory. Wrote Twenty Years at Hull House (1910), and after 1915 became a leading anti-war activist.

Anderson, Margaret C. (1886-1973), author. Editor and publisher of The Little Review, 1914-29, a literary magazine promoting new writing. Four issues containing excerpts from James Joyce's Ulysses were seized and burned by post office as obscene; Anderson was convicted and fined for obscenity in 1920. She moved to Europe in 1923.

Anderson, Sherwood (1876-1941), novelist, short story writer. Abandoned his family and successful advertising career to move to Chicago and become a writer. His novels include Marching Men (1917), exploring the plight of working men in industrial society, and his best-known work, Winesburg, Ohio (1919) chronicling the loneliness and frustration of small-town life.

Armstrong, Louis "Satchmo" (1900-1971), musician. A trumpet virtuoso and pioneering jazz singer, he became the most popular jazz figure ever. He learned to play cornet in a New Orleans orphanage; played on Mississippi riverboats; joined King Oliver's band in Chicago in 1922; a series of small group recordings in the late '20s established him as the first great jazz instrumental soloist. Led large orchestras in '30s, with numerous international tours; returned to small band in '40s; appearances in Broadway shows, movies and TV made him a national star.

Armour, J. Ogden (1863-1927) industrialist. Son of Philip D. Armour (1832-1901), one of the earliest Chicago meatpackers, he took over Armour and Co. in 1901, expanding operations by building packing plants throughout the U.S.

Bellows, George (1882-1925), artist. Born Columbus, Ohio, studied painting in NYC but never visited Europe. Uninfluenced by world artistic trends, he developed a strong, direct style of realism, and also helped revived artistic lithography in the U.S.

Breasted, James H. (1865-1935), archeologist. First teacher of Egyptology in the U.S.; founder of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago (1919). See...

Brooks, Gwendolyn (1917- ), poet. Born in Topeka, Kansas, raised in Chicago. First African-American woman awarded Pulitzer Prize, in 1950, for Annie Allen, a collection of poetry, she has also written fiction and autobiography.

Burnham, Daniel (1846-1912), architect, city planner. In partnership with Daniel Root built several early Chicago skyscrapers and supervised planning and construction of World's Columbian Exposition, 1893. Chaired 1901 commission for development of Washington, which marked the beginning of modern city-planning movement. Made city plans for Cleveland, San Francisco, and Manila, Phillipines. His Chicago Plan (1909) expanded the system of parks and boulevards, proposed bi-level roads downtown, and beautified the city's lakefront.

Capone, Al (1899-1947), gangster, organized crime figure. Born in Naples, brought up in NYC, he moved to Chicago in 1920, became a mob lieutenant, establishing numerous speakeasies; taking control of territory by eliminating rivals, he controlled gambling and prostitution in Chicago through the 1920s. Sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion in 1931, he was released in 1939, physically and mentally shattered by syphilis.

Carnegie, Andrew (1835-1919), industrialist, philanthropist. Born in Scotland, emigrated to U.S. in 1848, worked in cotton mill, as telegrapher, and as railroad supervisor. Began investing in iron manufacturing in 1864, acquiring other firms to create Carnegie Steel Co., which by 1900 was producing one-fourth of all steel in the U.S., controlling iron mines, coke ovens, and railroads. Banking magnate J. P. Morgan formed U.S. Steel Corp. in 1901 to buy out Carnegie; he retired to Scotland.

Caruso, Enrico (1873-1921), operatic tenor. Born in Naples, one of the greatest singers in the history of opera, a reigning favorite at the Metropolitan Opera in New York after 1903, also touring the U.S., Europe, Latin America; phonographic recordings made possible his unprecedented popularity.

Cohan, George M. (1878-1942), showman. A child performer in vaudeville, Cohan wrote the book (script), music and lyrics for 20 musicals, often also producing and directing, and most often starring. Best remembered for patriotic songs such as "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There."

Comiskey, Charles (1859-1931), see extended biographical document

Curtis, Cyrus (1850-1933), publisher. Founded his first periodical in Boston, 1872; the women's column of his Philadelphia Tribune became so popular that in 1883 he turned it into the Ladies' Home Journal. Founded Curtis Publishing Co. in 1890, purchased the Saturday Evening Post in 1897, and later developed a string of newspapers.

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Darrow, Clarence (1857-1938), labor and criminal lawyer. An eloquent and impassioned speaker, prolific writer, with a wide-ranging intellect and deeply held radical libertarian philosophy, Darrow left a corporate law position to defend Pullman strike leaders in 1895, and over the next 20 years became nationally prominent as a labor lawyer. Elected in 1902 to one term in the state legislature as an independent advocating public ownership of streetcar lines. Other major cases included his 1924 defense of Leopold and Loeb in their sensational murder case, where he pioneered the use of psychiatric testimony and argued successfully against the death penalty; the Scopes trial, his 1925 of a Tennessee teacher indicted for teaching evolutionary theory; his defense of Blacks opposing racist violence in the Sweet trial of 1925-26.

De Valera, Eamon (1882-1975), Irish statesman. Born NYC, moved to Ireland at age 3, became a professor of mathematics. Military leader in 1916 Easter rebellion of Irish nationalists against English colonial status, imprisoned 1917-19, elected to parliament and as leader of Sinn Fein independence party. Rearrested 1918, he escaped the next year, traveling in disguise to U.S. where he raised funds and promoted Irish independence. Leading advocate of complete Irish independence and unity, he served as Prime Minister of Irish Republic off and on between 1932 and 1959, and as President of Ireland from 1959 to 1973.

Debs, Eugene V. (1855-1926), labor and political leader. The leading socialist figure in U.S. history, Debs became active in unions as a railroad worker in his teens, becoming National Secretary of the Brotherhood of Locomotion Firemen in 1880; elected to Indiana State Legislature as a Democrat in 1884; in 1893 he launched an industrial union, the American Railway Union, a pioneering effort to include all workers in a single industry in one union, rather than breaking them up by crafts. ARU carried out a massive national strike on behalf of Pullman workers in 1894, but this unsuccessful campaign severely weakened the union. Debs served 6 months in prison for violating court injunction against Pullman strike; readings while in prison led him to adopt socialism. He helped form the Social Democratic Party in 1898 (renamed Socialist Party in 1901), and was its presidential candidate in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912. Imprisoned in 1919 for opposing World War I as an imperialist conflict, Debs while in prison received almost 1 million votes in 1920 presidential election. Released 1921 by order of President Harding, his health was broken and his movement largely destroyed by post-World War I repression.

Dempster, Arthur J. (1886-1950), physicist. Built first mass spectograph, an instrument which separates molecules. Joined University of Chicago faculty in 1919. During World War II participated in Manhattan Project for developing atom bomb.

DePriest, Oscar (1871-1951), politician. Born in Alabama, he settled in Chicago in the 1890s, working as a house painter and entering politics as a Republican in the 1900s. Elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners, he later became the first Black alderman in Chicago (1915-1919), and the first Black from a northern state in Congress (1928-34). In the City Council he unsuccessfully proposed a civil rights ordinance; in Congress, a national anti-lynching law.

Dickson, Leonard E. (1874-1954), mathematician. Received the first PhD awarded by the University of Chicago in mathematics in 1896; taught at U. of C. starting 1900. He conducted significant research in many areas of mathematics, making his mark during a period of great advances in the field.

DuBois, W. E. B. (1868-1963), scholar, activist. Considered by many the foremost African-American intellectual of the 20th Century. A pioneer in the field of sociology; also a founder and later officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), organized to counter the "accomodationist" teaching of Booker T. Washington, and organizer of five international Pan-African Congresses from 1919 to 1945. Indicted as a Soviet agent in 1951, for chairing the Peace Information Center; later acquitted. In 1961 he joined the Communist Party and took citizenship in newly-independent Ghana. His major books include The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and Black Reconstruction (1935).

Dunne, Finley Peter (1867-1936), journalist. Born in an Irish neighborhood on the Near West Side of Chicago, Dunne worked as copy boy, police reporter, sports writer, and political reporter before starting a weekly satirical column in 1893 featuring Mr. Dooley, a fictitious bartender speaking in Irish dialect on a range of social topics. Nationally syndicated in 1900, Dunne was the most famous columnist in the country by World War I.

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Ferber, Edna (1887-1968), author of novels and plays which vividly depict the colorful, diverse panorama of life in America including Chicago. Among them, she received a Pulitzer Prize for So Big in 1924, and wrote Show Boat in 1926.

Fitzpatrick, John (1870-1946), labor leader. Born in Ireland, orphaned at age 10, came to Chicago two years later and began working in the stockyards, joining Horseshoers Union in 1886. Served in various union offices, and as union delegate helped form Chicago Federation of Labor in 1896, serving as CFL president from 1899-1901 and 1905 to his death. His aggressive leadership -- particularly in organizing mass production workers, in promoting racial unity in the labor movement, and in initiating independent political action for the labor movement -- made him unique as a local labor council leader with a national profile. Chaired the Stockyards Labor Council in 1917 and National Committee for Organizing Iron and Steel Workers, 1918-1919, the two early highpoints of efforts to organize unskilled workers. In 1918 began effort to start a labor party in Chicago, running for mayor the next year and for U.S. Senate in 1920 on a Farmer-Labor Party ticket.

Ford, Henry (1863-1947), auto manufacturer. Ford built his first automobile in 1892, founded the Ford Motor Co. in 1903, and soon became the largest auto producer in the world, exploiting the efficiencies of the assembly line to make an inexpensive, standardized car (the Model T sold 15 million between 1908 and 1928). The leading proponent of the gospel of mass production, Ford was also a staunch isolationist (who made millions from military production in two world wars), a brutal opponent of trade unionism (Ford remained nonunion until 1941), and an anti-Semite.

Foster, William Z., (1881-1961), labor organizer, Communist Party leader. Began working at age 10, and for 26 years traveled from job to job, in steel, printing, lumber, sailing, agriculture, mines, and Chicago railyards, moving also through several radical groups. Initiated Chicago Federation of Labor drive to organize meatpackers in 1917, served as Secretary of the Stockyards Labor Council; campaign won 8-hour day and other benefits. In 1918 began steelworker organizing drive, with 100,000 members within one year, but strike was broken. Joined American Communist Party in 1921, and by late '20s was its best-known public figure. CP presidential candidate in 1924, 1928, and 1932, winning 102,000 votes that year. Communist Party leader until retirement in 1957.

Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (1869-1948), Indian leader. Born in India when it was a colony of England, he trained in England as a lawyer, went to South Africa in 1893 where he led successful campaigns fighting discrimination against Indians there. He returned to India in 1915, and became a leader of the independence movement, advocating a free, united India, opposing the caste system; and teaching a philosophy of nonviolent resistance to injustice. A leading figure in the Indian National Congress in the 1920s, he was imprisoned 1930-31 following his civil disobedience drive against the salt tax. A major figure in post-war negotiations which led to Indian independence, he worked in his last years against religious intolerance, and was assassinated by a Hindu religious fanatic angered by his plea for peace with Muslims.

Garvey, Marcus (1887-1940), black nationalist leader. After founding the Universal Negro Improvement Association in his native Jamaica in 1914, he moved to New York in 1916 and built the organization into the largest African American civic group of its day, with up to one million members. The Black Star Shipping Line founded in 1919 was part of a program of Black economic independence. Targeted as dangerous by the FBI, Garvey was indicted for mail fraud in 1923, imprisoned in 1925, and deported to Jamaica in 1927.

Gary, Elbert H. (1846-1927), corporation lawyer, financier. Born outside Chicago, moved to New York City in 1898 as president of Federal Steel Company. Installed as Chairman of the Board of U.S. Steel Corp. by founder J. P. Morgan in 1903, when U.S. Steel was the largest corporate enterprise in the world. Gary, Ind., is named for him.

Goldman, Emma (1869-1940), Russianborn American revolutionary who believed in a "perfect, unrestrained freedom for everyone." With a close friend Alexander Berkman, she published an anarchist magazine Mother Earth from 1906-1917. Emma Goldman was a political activist who struggled for the rights of women and working people. Often called "the most dangerous woman in America", she was deported in 1919. She wrote her autobiography, titled Living My Life in 1931.

Gompers, Samuel (1850-1924), American labor leader who helped build the foundations of the American labor movement. He was the first president of the American Federation of Labor in 1886. Except for one term in 1895, he was the AFL president until his death on December 13, 1924.

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Hale, George Ellery (1868-1938), astronomer. Taught at University of Chicago, 1892-1904, where he built the Yerkes observatory. Later built Mount Wilson observatory, Pasadena. Discovered magnetic fields in sun spots.

Hecht, Ben (1894-1964), writer. Born in NYC, grew up in Wisconsin, began working for Chicago newspapers in his teens, became involved in Chicago literary movement, founded the Chicago Literary Times in 1923. He wrote novels, stories, plays, and films, of which his irreverent drama of newspaper life, The Front Page (1924, co-written with Charles MacArthur) is best known.

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), Vietnamese political leader. Left his country (then a colony of France) in 1911 as cabin boy on a French ship; settled in Paris after World War I, working for Indochinese independence. A founding member of French Communist Party in 1920, he founded the Indochinese Communist Party in the '20s and established a resistance movement to fight Japanese occupiers during World War II. Declared independent republic of Vietnam in 1945, but had to fight French effort to reoccupy its colony till 1954, when he became first president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). U.S. and South Vietnam refused to hold election for reunification in 1956, believing Ho Chi Minh would win. Led nation in war against U.S. invasion, 1965 till death.

Hoover, Herbert (1874-1969), 31st U.S. President. Mining engineer, 1895-1913; administered U.S. war relief programs in Europe, 1914-1921; U.S. Secretary of Commerce, 1921-28; President, 1929-33.

Hoover, J. Edgar (1895-1972), Appointed to head General Intelligence Division of Justice Department in 1919, he directed the monitoring of radicals and the execution of Attorney General Palmer's deportation raids. In 1924 he became Director of the Bureau (later the Federal Bureau) of Investigation, a post he held until his death.

Jenny, William Le Baron (1832-1907), architect who pioneered metal-framework construction in 1884, earning him a reputation as "father of the modern skyscraper."

Johnson, James Weldon (1871-1938), writer, civil rights leader. His novel, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) and poetry collection, God's Trombones (1927), are considered classics. With his brother he wrote the Negro National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. He began working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as southern organizer in 1916, and served as field secretary from 1920 to 1931, investigating lynchings, peonage, and race riots.

Johnson, Charles S. (1893-1956), scholar. While a student of sociology at University of Chicago, 1916-1918, served as director of research and records for the Chicago Urban League. In 1919 became executive director of the Chicago Council on Race Relations, and in 1921, director of research for the National Urban League. Chairman of Social Science at Fisk University starting in 1928, he became the first African American president of Fisk in 1946.

Kelley, Florence (1859-1932), social worker. Associated with Hull House 1891-99, her investigations of sweatshop conditions led to the first child labor law in Illinois. Reform Gov. J.P. Altgeld appointed Kelley chief factory inspector of Illinois (1893-97). She left Chicago in 1899 to become executive secretary of the National Consumers League, a post she held until her death. There she lobbied for protective legislation for women and children, and initiated the drive for a minimum wage.

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Lowden, Frank (1861-1943), politician. Member U.S. House of Representatives, 1906-11; governor of Illinois, 1917-21, noted for his reorganization of state government. Unsuccessful candidate for Republican nomination for president, 1920.

Marconi, Guglielmo (1847-1937), inventor or radiotelegraphy. After working on new radio technology for years, in 1901 Marconi succeeded in transmitting radio signals across the Atlantic ocean, the grounding-breaking event which signaled the new era of radio and television broadcasting. In later years developed short wave radio.

McDowell, Mary E. (1854-1936), social worker. Director and head resident of the University of Chicago Settlement house at 47th and Ashland in the Back of the Yards neighborhood from 1894 till 1929 (when she retired at age 75). Known as the "Angel of the Stockyards" she campaigned for sanitation, supported organized labor, and promoted racial harmony.

Monroe, Harriet (1860-1936), poet, editor. Born in Chicago, she founded the magazine Poetry in 1912, introducing new poets including Carl Sandburg and Robert Frost. Wrote several volumes of poetry, ,essays, an autobiography (A Poet's Life, 1938) and an anthology (The New Poetry, 1917).

Nestor, Agnes (1880-1948), labor leader. She began working in a Chicago glove factory as a teenager; at age 22 led a successful 10-day strike in her factory, and became president of Local 2 of the International Glove Workers Union. Working with Women's Trade Union League, she won state legislation (over bitter opposition from manufacturers) for a 10-day workday for women. Secretary-treasurer of ILGWU, 1906-1913, and president after 1915, she remained a prominent labor leader, publishing her autobiography in 1948.

Oliver, Joseph "King" (1885-1938), musician. Began playing trumpet in brass bands in 1904 in New Orleans, moved to Chicago in 1918, where he led the Creole Jazz Band, 1920-23, the greatest exponent of New Orleans or "Dixieland" jazz.

Palmer, A. Mitchell (1872-1936), lawyer. Democrat elected to Congress (1909-15); U.S. Attorney General, 1919-21, best known for the "Palmer Raids," raids by federal officers on the private homes of radicals, and the deportation of hundreds of immigrants solely due to their political beliefs. His attempt to capitalize on this activity to promote his candidacy for President in 1920 backfired as the abuses of federal agents were denounced.

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Randolph, A. Phillip (1889-1979), labor and civil rights leader. After working as a magazine editor and union organizer in New York, became general organizer, later president, of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925, leading them through a protracted campaign until a contract with the railroads was won in 1937. As the leading Black figure in the labor movement, his call for a March on Washington in 1941 won a presidential executive order banning racial discrimination in defense industries. In 1963 he originated the call for the March on Washington which 200,000 attended, where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his speech, "I Have a Dream."

Riis, Jacob (1849-1914), journalist, reformer. Born in Denmark, emigrated to New York City in 1870, became newspaper writer. His writings, particularly his book, How the Other Half Lives (1890), vividly depicted the poverty of tenement communities and led to major reforms in housing.

Ruth, George Herman "Babe" (1895-1948), athlete. Considered the greatest of all baseball players. Pitched for Boston Red Sox 1914-19, amassing one of the best pitching records in major league baseball; he moved to outfield so his hitting prowess could be better exploited. Joined New York Yankees in 1920, established numerous home run records, led Yankees to seven pennants; highest paid athlete of his era.

Sandburg, Carl (1878-1967), poet. Born in Illinois, served in Army in Spanish-American War, served as Socialist Party organizer in Wisconsin, 1907-1912, wrote for Chicago newspapers, published Chicago Poems in 1916 and The People, Yes! in 1936. His poetry was noted for finding beauty and dignity in the lives of common people. Collected and performed folk songs, wrote a 6-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln (1926-39). Probably the most popular poet of his time.

Sinclair, Upton (1878-1968), novelist, political activist. Wrote more than 80 books, including novels, social and economic studies. Joining the Socialist Party in 1902, he was a Socialist Party candidate for Congress in New Jersey, 1906, and in '20s and '30s, for Senate and Governor in California. In 1905 spent 7 weeks living in Chicago to research lives of packinghouse workers and unsanitary conditions in meatpacking industry. His resulting novel, The Jungle (1906), an immediate best-seller, had wide impact, leading to passage of the Pure Food Act, and converting countless readers to socialism.

Steffens, Lincoln (1866-1936), journalist, reformer. A leading "muckraker" of the Gilded Age, his articles exposed corruption in big-city political machines.

Sullivan, Louis H. (1856-1924), architect. Became prominent in partnership with Dankmar Adler, building the Auditorium Theatre and Carson, Pirie Scott, among other buildings. His modernist injunction that "form follows function" was combined with a rich style of ornamentation. His practice foundered after his split with Adler in 1895, but the strong vision expressed in his designs and his later writings survived, and he is considered the founder of the "Chicago School" of architecture.

Swift, Gustavus (1873-1903), founded Swift & Co., 1870s, saving freight costs by slaughtering cattle in Chicago and shipping dressed beef rather than live cattle. He pioneered use of railroad refrigerator cars and the use of animal by-products in manufacturing.

Tarbell, Ida (1857-1944), journalist. Editor of major "muckraking" magazines: McClure's (1894-1906) and American magazine (1906-15); author of numerous books on social and economic subjects.

Taylor, Frederick W. (1865-1915), pioneered the principles of "scientific management", or the time and motion study in business and industry. Educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and then at Harvard Law. However, he had to give up his law career due to his poor eyesight. He was then apprenticed as a pattern maker, machinist and an engineer. He had over 100 patents for industrial machinery parts at the time of his death.

Thompson, William Hale (1867-1944), Mayor of Chicago 1915-1923 and 1927-31, a charismatic and flamboyant politician with broad appeal, noted for his close relation with gangsters (he promised to open 10,000 saloons -- in violation of Prohibition -- in his 1927 campaign), for his major public works programs, and for his isolationism and opposition to World War I. Though he openly courted Black votes, his slowness in calling state troops allowed 1919 race riot to explode. Defeated in 1931 and under attack for his criminal connections, he continued unsuccessful political campaigns through the next decade.

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Ward, A. Montgomery (1843-1913), mail order merchant, began selling dry goods by mail in Chicago in 1872; by 1876 annual sales were $40 million, and in 1890 the companies store at Michigan and Madison was opened. Fought in court to preserve Chicago lakefront from commercial development.

Washington, Booker T. (1856-1915), educator. Founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1881, an industrial and teacher training school for African Americans, he also developed a national political network supporting his teaching of racial uplift through hard work rather than protest, and became an adviser to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. His autobiography, Up From Slavery, was published in 1901.

Wells, Ida B. (1862-1931), journalist, civil rights activist. Born in Mississippi, she began teaching there at age 14, moving later to teach in Memphis, where she was dismissed after criticizing segregation in the schools in 1891. In 1884 she was forcibly removed from a railroad after refusing to move to smoking car; suing the railroad, she won a settlement of $500. As publisher of the Memphis Free Speech, she began an anti-lynching campaign in 1892, moving to New York City after her newspaper office was burned down, and lecturing across the country and in Great Britain against racism and lynchings. She settled in Chicago in 1894, where she married a local lawyer who published The Conservator, the city's first African-American newspaper, to which she contributed, continuing her anti-lynching work. In 1910 she founded the Negro Fellowship League, a social welfare agency for immigrants from the South. A strong proponent of integration, she criticized both Booker Washington and the NAACP as too moderate.

Williams, Daniel Hale (1858-1931), physician. Founder of Provident Hospital; first surgeon to conduct open-heart surgery. See...

Wilson, Woodrow (1856-1924), 28th U.S. President, 1912-20. A political scientist, Wilson became president of Princeton University in 1902 and Governor of New Jersey in 1910, supporting reform legislation. Elected President as Democratic candidate in 1912, his administration saw passage of anti-trust, child labor, and workers' compensation laws. Led U.S. in World War I but was unable to win Senate passage of his proposal for a League of Nations in war's aftermath.

Wright, Frank Lloyd (1867-1959), architect. After apprenticing with Sullivan and Adler, Wright opened his own practice in Oak Park in 1893, developing a distinctive "Prairie" style of design emphasizing natural colors and textures.

Wright, Richard (1908-60), writer. Born in Mississippi, he moved to Chicago in the 1930s, writing for federal arts projects and becoming involved for a time with the Communist Party. In Chicago he wrote his collection of stories, Uncle Tom's Children (1938) and his greatest novel, Native Son (1940). Moved to Europe after World War II and continued writing.

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