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Angelou, Maya

Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in California. Her parents divorced when she was a young child and she and her brother were sent by their father to live with his mother i... [more]

Brakhage, Stan

Brakhage was born Robert Sanders in Kansas City and adopted at two weeks old by Ludwig and Clara Brakhage. He started college at Dartmouth, but dropped out in his first year to make films. ... [more]

Brodkey, Harold

Brodkey was born Aaron Weintraub. His mother died when he was two years old and he was adopted by his father's cousin's family, but his new parents also soon died. He was sexually abused by... [more]

Cullen, Eric Robertson

Cullen was adopted and had achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism. (He was adopted at birth because his mother was unmarried and unable to care for him; his achondroplasia was not diagnosed unt... [more]

Glazier, Sidney

Tom Glazer and Sidney Glazier (they spelled their last names differently) were two of the three sons born in Philadelphia to Jewish immigrants from Minsk. Their father died i... [more]

Grant, Julia

Grant was born George Roberts, the eldest of eight children. His mother was an alcoholic and his father a fisherman who was seldom home.  From about the age of 12 he looked after his brothe... [more]

Iwasaki, Mineko (under Geisha)

Geisha are professional entertainers in Japan, with their main centers in Tokyo and Kyoto. The tradition is centuries old and continues today, although the heyday of the geisha was before W... [more]

Lear, Frances

Lear was born to an unmarried teenager and relinquished for adoption. Her adoptive mother was cold and cruel and her father, whom she loved, died when she was 10. Her step-father sexually a... [more]

Monroe, Marilyn

Born Norma Jean Baker to an unmarried woman, Monroe was fostered from babyhood until about the age of seven, because her mother was working and not well enough to care for her as well. Duri... [more]

Whitbread, Fatima

Whitbread was abandoned in an apartment as a baby and raised in children's homes until she was 14. There was some parental contact but it was unsatisfactory and she was also sexually abused... [more]

Winfrey, Oprah

Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, and raised by her grandmother on a farm for the first six years of her life, then spent some years with her mother, during which time she was sex... [more]

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