Malcolm X (1925)
Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, he saw his childhood home in Lansing, Michigan burned by the Ku Klux Klan. Shortly afterwards, his father was murdered and his mother was placed in a mental institution. He spent much of his childhood in juvenile detention homes. In 1946, while serving time in prison for burglary, he converted to the Black Muslim faith, and when he was released, went to work with the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad. At that time, he changed his name to Malcolm X using the "X" to signify his belief that his last name had been chosen for him by white slaveholders. Malcolm X quickly became a leader in the radical black power movement, calling for black separatism, and supporting the use of violence when necessary to accomplish the movement's goals. However, after a trip to Mecca in 1964, Malcolm X began to moderate his views, and eventually left the Nation of Islam and converted to orthodox Islam. He was murdered by a group of Black Muslims in 1965.
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This page presents short biographies of more than 200 famous Americans drawn from our unit, "The 50 States." These personalities are arranged by theme.
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|Gutzon Borglum||Walt Disney||Jabez Gorham|
|Matt Groening||William Hanna||Marsden Hartley|
|Winslow Homer||Peter Hurd||Hank Ketcham|
|Bill Mauldin||Jackson Pollock||Howard Pyle|
|Norman Rockwell||Charles Schulz||Gilbert Stuart|
|Frank Lloyd Wright||Andrew Wyeth|
|Phineas Taylor "P.T." Barnum||Clyde Barrow||John Wilkes Booth|
|Butch Cassidy||William "Buffalo Bill" Cody||Davy Crockett|
|Jesse James||Evel Knievel||Harland David "Colonel" Sanders|
|Jefferson R. "Soapy" Smith|
|Benny Benson||Sitting Bull||Cesar Chavez|
|John Dewey||Geronimo||Crazy Horse|
|Jesse Jackson||Chief Joseph||Martin Luther King, Jr.|
|Queen Lydia Liliuokalani||Russell Means||Osceola|
|Elizabeth Peratrovich||Sacagawea||Chief Washakie|
|Booker T. Washington||Jack Wilson Wovoka|
Pioneers and "Firsts":
Politicians & Activists:
|Hank Aaron||Andre Agassi||Danny Ainge|
|Johnny Bench||Yogi Berra||Paul "Bear" Bryant|
|Dale Earnhart||Lou Gehrig||Eric Heiden|
|Michael Jordan||Evel Knievel||Phil Knight|
|Joe Reddington||Mary Lou Retton||Picabo Street|
|Jesse Ventura||Jerry West|
Writers & Poets: