Armstrong, Louis Daniel ("Satchmo")

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African-American musician

Armstrong's parents separated about the time he was born and he was raised in great poverty, first by his grandmother and then by his mother, with his sister. His education ended in the fifth grade (age 11). He spent several years in a "colored waifs home" after firing a rifle into the air on New Year's Eve when he was 12. After this he went to live with his father, and then returned to his mother and sister. He was "discovered" and befriended by Joe "King" Oliver, the cornetist, who gave him his first break.


Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97
Pinfold, Mike. Louis Armstrong: His Life & Times. (New York: Universe Books; Tunbridge Wells: Spellmount, 1987)
Bergreen, Laurence. Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life. (New York: HarperCollins, 1997)
Tanenhaus, Sam. Louis Armstrong. (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989) (Black Americans of Achievement)
New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie. 20 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1980)
"Trumpet Player of the Month: Louie [sic] Armstrong." [Includes portrait]. Available at:
"Louis Armstrong." [Includes portrait]. Formerly available at:


20th Century
Music and Dance
Poor Educational Opportunities, Self-taught
Anti-social or Disruptive Behavior, Adhd
School-age Years, Adolescence
Child Removed from Home by Social Services
Child Committed Criminal Offenses
Temporary Care
Institutional Care
Parents Separated or Divorced
Birth Sibling(s) Remained With or Returned to Birth Family
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