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Biographies for Children

Biographies of people who made a difference and shaped our world. Feature length profiles for children on men and women who changed our world with path breaking ideas and actions. Personalities include statesmen, leaders, political thinkers, inventors, scientists, artists, writers, actors, sports persons and achievers.

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Nikola Tesla – Unsung Prophet of Electrical Age

Nikola Tesla – Unsung Prophet of Electrical Age

If you ask anyone or check up in the encyclopaedia, who invented the radio or X-rays, chances are you will never come across the name of Nikola Tesla there. Look up fluorescent bulb, neon lights, car ignition system, electron microscope, microwave oven and many others – you can search page after page but your search will turn up zilch on Tesla in any normal reference book. In fact very few have heard of Nikola Tesla, a brilliant scientist who lived at the turn of the century. Those who have, considered him an eccentric, or even half-baked. He was never given the credit he deserved due to some unfortunate circumstances.

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Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was one of the world’s most celebrated aviators. She broke records and charted new skies in the course of her short life. She disappeared while she was on a flight around the world. Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. She was the elder of Edwin Stanton and Amy Otis Earhart’s two daughters. Childhood was not happy for the two bright sisters. Their father was an alcoholic and lost jobs often. The family travelled a great deal. The girls often recited poetry while doing their chores but also loved sports, including basketball and tennis. Their parents encouraged them to try new things.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. goes down in history as one of the principal leader of the civil rights movement in the United States and a prominent advocate of nonviolent protest. King’s challenges to segregation and racial discrimination helped convince many white Americans to support the cause of civil rights in the United States. King was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and was ordained as a Baptist minister at age 18. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 and from Crozer Theological Seminary in 1951. In 1955 he earned a doctoral degree in systematic theology from Boston University. While in Boston, King met Coretta Scott, whom he married in 1953.

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Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

All of us are very familiar with the mustachioed Little Tramp with the bowler hat and cane _ Charlie Chaplin. But behind this little fellow lurked an extremely creative film maker who scripted, directed and starred in some of the best films of the century. Charlie Chaplin was born Charles Spencer Chaplin in London, England on 16 April 1889. His parents Charles Chaplin Sr and Hannah Hill were Music Hall entertainers but separated shortly after Charlie was born, leaving Hannah to provide for her children. In 1896 when Hannah was no longer able to care for her children, Charlie and his brother were admitted to Lambeth Workhouse and later Hanwell School for orphans and destitute children. He made his debut at the age of five in Music Hall when his mother was taken unwell.

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Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi was born on June 19, 1945 as the daughter of national leader General Aung San (assassinated July 19, 1947) and Daw Khin Kyi. She was educated in Rangoon, Burma until she was 15 years old. In 1960 she accompanied her mother to Delhi, India on her appointment as Burmese ambassador to India and Nepal. Kyi studied politics at Delhi University. She earned a BA in philosophy, politics and economics from St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University. She worked abroad for the next several years during which time she was married to Dr. Michael Aris and had two children.

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Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

Thinker, statesman and nationalist leader, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi not only led his own country to independence but also influenced political activists of many persuasions throughout the world with his methods and philosophy of nonviolent confrontation, or civil disobedience. Born in Porbandar in Gujarat on October 2, 1869, his actions inspired the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore to call him “Mahatma” (“great soul”). For him, the universe was regulated by a Supreme Intelligence or Principle, which he preferred to call satya (Truth) and, as a concession to convention, God.

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Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

German-American physicist Albert Einstein contributed more than any other scientist to the 20th-century vision of physical reality. In the wake of World War I, Einstein’s theories, especially his theory of relativity, seemed to many people to point to a pure quality of human thought, one far removed from the war and its aftermath. Seldom has a scientist received such public attention for having cultivated the fruit of pure learning. Born in Ulm in Germany on March 14, 1879, Einstein’s parents were nonobservant Jews who moved from Ulm to Munich when Einstein was an infant. The family moved yet again to Milan in Italy in 1894, when the family business of manufacturing electrical apparatus failed.

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Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, the youngest of three children of an Albanian builder, on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. She felt that August 27, 1910, the day of her baptism, was her true birthday. At the age of 18 she joined the Order of the Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto in Ireland. She trained in Dublin, where the motherhouse of the Loreto Sisters was located. She chose the name of Sister Teresa, in memory of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. In December 1928 she began her journey to India and continued to Darjeeling, at the base of the Himalayan Mountains, where she would continue her training towards her religious vows. Soon after, on January 6, 1929 she arrived in Calcutta, the capital of Bengal, India to teach at a school for girls. While in Calcutta, she was moved by the presence of the sick and dying on the city’s streets. On September 10, 1946, on the long train ride to Darjeeling where she was to go on a retreat and to recover from suspected tuberculosis, something happened. Mother Teresa recalls:

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