African Americans Pioneers Artists Business Characters Cultural Figures Inventors Politicians Scientists Sports Women Writers

Mahalia Jackson (1912)close

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mahalia Jackson recorded the first million-selling gospel record. She also played a role in the Civil Rights movement, using her voice to raise money for the cause. She sang just prior to Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, and he remarked that a voice like hers comes around only "once in a millennium."

Click on any of the names below to find out more...

Looking for a famous American?

This page presents short biographies of more than 200 famous Americans drawn from our unit, "The 50 States." These personalities are arranged by theme.

Just click a theme at the top of the page to view a selection list for that theme.