Famous People of the 1920s

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Zelda Sayre (Fitzgerald)

American novelist; iconic figure in the 1920s; first famous flapper (per her husband's accord)

F. Scott Fitzgerald

A novelist and chronicler of the jazz age. his wife, Zelda and he were the "couple" of the decade but hit bottom during the depression. his novel THE GREAT GATSBY is considered a masterpiece about a gangster's pursuit of an unattainable rich girl.

Coco Chanel

First designer to make pants for women. popularized boyish style for women. Forefront of France fashion after WWI. Thanks to her, tans suddenly became associated with the leisure activities of the rich and famous such as long cruises, island vacations, and other sunny pursuits.

Charles Lindbergh

Known as "Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle," was an American pilot famous for the first solo, non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927 in the Spirit of St. Louis. In the ensuing deluge of notoriety, he became the world's best-known aviator.

Al Capone

A leader of organized crime in Chicago in the late 1920s, involved in gambling, the illegal sale of alcohol, and prostitution. He was sent to prison in the 1930s for income tax evasion.

Babe Ruth

The greatest baseball player of the 1920's. He set a record for hitting 60 home runs in one season.

Albert Einstein

German born theoretical physicist. Best known for his theory of relativity and his theory of energy equivalence. Received Nobel Prize in 1921 for physics.

Duke Ellington

Born in Chicago middle class. moved to Harlem in 1923 and began playing at the cotton club. Composer, pianist and band leader. Most influential figures in jazz.

Bessie Smith

Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s.Along with Louis Armstrong, she had a major influence on subsequent jazz vocalists.

Woodrow Wilson

28th president of the United States, known for World War I leadership, created Federal Reserve, Federal Trade Commission, Clayton Antitrust Act, progressive income tax, lower tariffs, women's suffrage (reluctantly), Treaty of Versailles, sought 14 points post-war plan, League of Nations (but failed to win U.S. ratification), won Nobel Peace Prize.

Nicola Sacco

United States anarchist (born in Italy) who with Bartolomeo Vanzetti was convicted of murder and in spite of world-wide protest was executed (1891-1927). Was said to have robbed a shoe factory and murder a clerk and another worker.

Marcus Garvey

African American leader during the 1920s who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and advocated mass migration of African Americans back to Africa. Was deported to Jamaica in 1927.

Warren G. Harding

Senator from Ohio chosen by the Republicans to be a candidate after WW1, The teapot dome scandal in which his staff members took bribes in exchange for oil land leases. in the 1920 presidential campaign his slogan was "return to normalcy"

Calvin Coolidge

Became president when Harding died. Tried to clean up scandals by Harding. Business prospered and people's wealth increased. 1923-1929

Herbert Hoover

He became the President in 1928, a man from Iowa, that promised to keep government intervention out of the nation's current economic problems.

Henry Ford

American businessman, founder of Ford Motor Company, father of modern assembly lines, and inventor credited with 161 patents.

George Washington Carver

African American farmer and food scientist. His research improved farming in the South by developing new products using peanuts; taught and researched at the Tuskegee Institute

David Sarnoff

Russian immigrant and pioneer who developed NBC. Had a vision of a "radio music box" for home use that might also pick up the news. Head of RCA.

Jeanette Rankin

First woman to serve in Congress. Suffragist and pacifist, voted against US involvement in WWI and WWII.

Margret Sanger

American leader of the movement to legalize birth control during the early 1900's. As a nurse in the poor sections of New York City, she had seen the suffering caused by unwanted pregnancy. Founded the first birth control clinic in the U.S. and the American Birth Control League, which later became Planned Parenthood.

Alice Paul

head of the National Woman's party that campaigned for an equal rights amendment to the Constitution. She opposed legislation protecting women workers because such laws implied women's inferiority. Most condemned her way of thinking.

Langston Hughes

African American poet who described the rich culture of African American life using rhythms influenced by jazz music. He wrote of African American hope and defiance, as well as the culture of Harlem and also had a major impact on the Harlem Renaissance.

Georgia O'Keefe

Chiefly known for paintings in which she synthesized abstraction and representation in paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones and landscapes. Her paintings present crisply contoured forms that are replete with subtle tonal transitions of varying colors. She often transformed her subject matter into powerful abstract images.

Norman Rockwell

A twentieth-century American artist and illustrator, known for his warm-hearted paintings of rural and small-town life in the united States. Many of his paintings appeared cover illustrations for the magazine The Saturday Evening Post.

Amy Semple McPherson

Used modern methods to get a traditional idea across. Came out of Pentecostal tradition and set up church in L.A. Developed flamboyant style, used radio.
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William Jennings Bryan

United States lawyer and politician who advocated free silver and prosecuted John Scopes (1925) for teaching evolution in a Tennessee high school (1860-1925).

Clarence Darrow

A famed criminal defense lawyer for Scopes, who supported evolution. He caused William Jennings Bryan to appear foolish when Darrow questioned Bryan about the Bible.

J. Edgar Hoover

The first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States. He founded the present form of the agency, and remained director for 48 years until his death. During his life, Hoover was highly regarded by much of the U.S. public. Hoover's leadership spanned eight presidential administrations, encompassed Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. During this time, the United States moved from being a rural nation with strong isolationist tendencies to an urbanized superpower.

Walt Disney

Film maker, cartoonist, visionary. He opened small animation studio in 1923 and created a worldwide media empire, brought families and countries together. He developed many famous characters as well as amusement theme parks.

Ernst Hemingway

Writer known for his simplistic stylist with great impact. A wounded WW1 veteran and member of the Lost Generation. Author of The Sun Also Rises and a Farewell to Arms, among others.

Zora Neal Hurston

An important Harlem Renaissance writer whose masterpiece was Their Eyes Were Watching God. Her writing was very regional and closely followed the speech patterns of central Florida., A playwright during the Harlem Renaissance, she wrote "Color Struck".

Al Jolson

A Jewish Lithuanian Immigrant and Vaudeville Performer: He was the star of the first motion picture with sound, "The Jazz Singer."

Eugene V. Debs

Labor leader arrested during the Pullman Strike (1894); a convert to socialism, Debs ran for president five times between 1900 and 1920. In 1920, he campaigned from prison where he was being held for opposition to American involvement in World War I.

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