Dictionary of American Biography
The Dictionary of American Biography was published in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 by Charles Scribner's Sons
Charles Scribner's Sons
Charles Scribner's Sons, or simply Scribner, is an American publisher based in New York City, known for publishing a number of American authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Wolfe, George Santayana, John Clellon...

 under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies
American Council of Learned Societies
The American Council of Learned Societies , founded in 1919, is a private nonprofit federation of seventy scholarly organizations.ACLS is best known as a funder of humanities research through fellowships and grants awards. ACLS Fellowships are designed to permit scholars holding the Ph.D...

. The first edition was published in 20 volumes from 1928 to 1936. These 20 volumes contained 15,000 biographies. In 1946, the 20 volumes were released as a ten-volume set, with each of the ten volumes divided into two parts (Part 1 and Part 2) corresponding to two volumes of the first edition combined into one, the page numbering of the first edition being retained.

In addition, ten supplementary volumes were published, the additional biographies covering up through 1980. The supplements were published from 1944 to 1995. The last two supplements were issued under the publisher's responsibility, while the first eight supplements were issued under the responsibility of the American Council of Learned Societies. Noted omissions: Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth was the self-given name, from 1843 onward, of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she...

, Charles Guiteau, Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin was an American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions, and was later dubbed "The King of Ragtime". During his brief career, Joplin wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas...

, Joe Hill
Joe Hill
Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle , and also known as Joseph Hillström was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World...

 and Martha Washington
Martha Washington
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was the wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Although the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington is considered to be the first First Lady of the United States...

 among others.

No biographies of living people were done, and some period of residence in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 was required. Major funding for the project, $500,000, was received from The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

 Corporation, owned by Adolph Ochs. Ochs exercised no editorial control.

The successor of the Dictionary is American National Biography
American National Biography
The American National Biography is a 24 volume biographical encyclopedia set containing approximately 17,400 entries and 20 million words, first published in 1999 by Oxford University Press under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies. A 400-entry supplement appeared in 2002...

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