Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an
American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song,
Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone,
impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like"
improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
After tumultuous teenage years, Fitzgerald found stability in musical
success with the
Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country,
but most often associated with the
Savoy Ballroom in Harlem.
Fitzgerald's rendition of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket"
helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. After taking over the
band when Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start a solo
career that would last effectively the rest of her life.
Signed with manager and Savoy co-founder Moe Gale from early in her
career, she eventually gave managerial control for her performance and
recording career to Norman Granz, who built up the label Verve Records
based in part on Fitzgerald's vocal abilities. With Verve she recorded
some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretation
of the Great American Songbook.
While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular
television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her
musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The
Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo
career. These partnerships produced recognizable songs like "Dream a
Little Dream of Me", "Cheek to Cheek", "Into Each Life Some Rain Must
Fall", and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)". In
1993, Fitzgerald capped off her fifty-nine year career with her last
public performance. Three years later, she died at the age of 79,
following years of decline in her health. After her death,
Fitzgerald's influence lived on through her fourteen
National Medal of Arts, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and tributes in
the form of stamps, music festivals, and theater namesakes.
1 Early life
2 Early career
3 Decca years
4 Verve years
5 Film and television
7 Illness and death
8 Personal life
9 Discography and collections
9.1 Awards, citations and honors
10 Tributes and legacy
12 Further reading
13 External links
Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia, the
daughter of William Fitzgerald and Temperance "Tempie" Fitzgerald
(née Henry). Her parents were unmarried but lived together for at
least two and a half years after she was born. In the early 1920s,
Fitzgerald's mother and her new partner, a Portuguese immigrant named
Joseph Da Silva, moved to the city of Yonkers, in Westchester
County, New York, as part of the first Great Migration of African
Americans. Initially living in a single room, her mother and Da
Silva soon found jobs. Her half-sister, Frances Da Silva, was born in
1923. By 1925, Fitzgerald and her family had moved to nearby School
Street, then a predominantly poor Italian area. She began her
formal education at the age of six and proved to be an outstanding
student, moving through a variety of schools before attending Benjamin
Franklin Junior High School from 1929.
Fitzgerald had been passionate about dancing from third grade, being a
Earl "Snakehips" Tucker in particular, and would perform for
her peers on the way to school and at lunchtime. Fitzgerald and her
Methodists and were active in the Bethany African
Methodist Episcopal Church, and she regularly attended worship
services, Bible study, and Sunday school. The church provided
Fitzgerald with her earliest experiences in formal music making, and
she may also have had a short series of piano lessons during this
During this period Fitzgerald listened to jazz recordings by Louis
Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and The Boswell Sisters. Fitzgerald idolized
the Boswell Sisters' lead singer Connee Boswell, later saying, "My
mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with
it....I tried so hard to sound just like her."
In 1932, her mother died from serious injuries she received in a car
accident when Fitzgerald was 15 years of age. This left her at
first in the care of her stepfather but before the end of April 1933,
she had moved in with her aunt in Harlem. This seemingly swift
change in her circumstances, reinforced by what Fitzgerald biographer
Stuart Nicholson describes as rumors of her stepfather's "ill
treatment" of Fitzgerald, leaves him to speculate that Da Silva might
have abused her.
Following these traumas, Fitzgerald began skipping school and letting
her grades suffer. During this period she worked at times as a lookout
at a bordello and with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner.
Fitzgerald never talked publicly about this time in her life. When
the authorities caught up with her, she was first placed in the
Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale, in the Bronx. However, when
the orphanage proved too crowded, she was moved to the New York
Training School for Girls in Hudson, New York, a state reformatory
located about 120 miles north of New York City. Eventually she escaped
and for a time she was homeless.
A young Fitzgerald, photographed by
Carl Van Vechten
Carl Van Vechten in 1940
While she seems to have survived during 1933 and 1934 in part from
singing on the streets of Harlem, Fitzgerald made her most important
amateur singing debut at age 17 on November 21, 1934, in one of the
earliest of the famous Amateur Nights at the Apollo Theater.
She had originally intended to go on stage and dance, but, intimidated
by a local dance duo called the Edwards Sisters, she opted to sing
instead. Performing in the style of Connee Boswell, she sang
"Judy" and "The Object of My Affection" and won the first prize of
$25.00. In theory, she also won the chance to perform at the
Apollo for a week but, seemingly because of her disheveled appearance,
the theater never gave her that part of her prize.
In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with
Tiny Bradshaw band at the
Harlem Opera House. Around this same
time, she was introduced to the drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, who
had asked his recently signed singer Charlie Linton to help find him a
female singer. Though Webb was "reluctant to sign her....because she
was gawky and unkempt, a 'diamond in the rough,'" he offered her
the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale
Met with approval by both audiences and her fellow musicians,
Fitzgerald was asked to join Webb's orchestra and soon gained acclaim
as part of the group's renowned performances at Harlem's Savoy
Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs with them,
including "Love and Kisses" and "(If You Can't Sing It) You'll Have to
Swing It (Mr. Paganini)". But it was her 1938 version of the
nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", a song she co-wrote, that brought
her wide public acclaim. Later that year Ella recorded her
second hit, "I Found My Yellow Basket".
Webb died of spinal tuberculosis on June 16, 1939, and his band
was renamed Ella and her Famous Orchestra, with Fitzgerald taking on
the role of nominal bandleader. Fitzgerald recorded nearly 150
songs with Webb's orchestra between 1935 and its final end in 1942. In
her New York Times obituary of 1996, Stephen Holder echoed the
conventional critical view of the time in describing "the majority" of
her recordings during this period as "novelties and disposable pop
fluff". In addition to her work with Webb, Fitzgerald performed and
recorded with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. She had her own side
project, too, known as
Ella Fitzgerald and Her Savoy Eight.
Fitzgerald performing with Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson
Timme Rosenkrantz in September 1947, New York
In 1942, Fitzgerald left the band to begin a solo career.
Continuing under contract to the Decca label that she had worked with
while part of Webb's orchestra, she had several popular hits while
recording with such artists as Bill Kenny & the Ink Spots,
Louis Jordan, and the Delta Rhythm Boys.
Milt Gabler as her manager, Fitzgerald began working
regularly for the jazz impresario
Norman Granz and appeared regularly
Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) concerts. Her relationship with
Granz was further cemented when he became her manager, although it
would be nearly a decade before he could record her on one of his many
With the demise of the
Swing era and the decline of the great touring
big bands, a major change in jazz music occurred. The advent of bebop
led to new developments in Fitzgerald's vocal style, influenced by her
work with Dizzy Gillespie's big band. It was in this period that
Fitzgerald started including scat singing as a major part of her
performance repertoire. While singing with Gillespie, Fitzgerald
recalled, "I just tried to do [with my voice] what I heard the horns
in the band doing."
Her 1945 scat recording of "Flying Home" arranged by
Vic Schoen would
later be described by
The New York Times
The New York Times as "one of the most
influential vocal jazz records of the decade....Where other singers,
most notably Louis Armstrong, had tried similar improvisation, no one
before Miss Fitzgerald employed the technique with such dazzling
inventiveness." Her bebop recording of "Oh, Lady Be Good!" (1947)
was similarly popular and increased her reputation as one of the
leading jazz vocalists.
Fitzgerald made her first tour of Australia in July 1954 for the
Australian-based American promoter Lee Gordon. This was the first
of Gordon's famous "Big Show" promotions and the 'package' tour also
included Buddy Rich,
Artie Shaw and comedian Jerry Colonna. Although
the tour was a big hit with audiences and set a new box office record
for Australia, it was marred by an incident of racial discrimination
that caused Fitzgerald to miss the first two concerts in Sydney, and
Gordon had to arrange two later free concerts to compensate ticket
holders. Although the four members of Fitzgerald's entourage –
Fitzgerald, her pianist John Lewis, her assistant (and cousin)
Georgiana Henry, and manager
Norman Granz – all had first-class
tickets on their scheduled
Pan-American Airlines flight from Honolulu
to Sydney, Fitzgerald, Henry and Lewis were ordered to leave the
aircraft after they had already boarded and they were refused
permission to re-board the aircraft to retrieve their luggage and
clothing, and as a result they were stranded in Honolulu for three
days before they could get another flight to Sydney. Although a
contemporary Australian press report quoted an Australian Pan-Am
spokesperson who denied that the incident was racially based,
Fitzgerald, Henry, Lewis and Granz filed a civil suit for racial
discrimination against Pan-Am in December 1954 and in a 1970
television interview Fitzgerald confirmed that they had won the suit
and received what she described as a "nice settlement".
Fitzgerald was still performing at Granz's JATP concerts by 1955. She
left Decca and Granz, now her manager, created
Verve Records around
her. She later described the period as strategically crucial, saying,
"I had gotten to the point where I was only singing be-bop. I thought
be-bop was 'it', and that all I had to do was go some place and sing
bop. But it finally got to the point where I had no place to sing. I
realized then that there was more to music than bop. Norman ... felt
that I should do other things, so he produced
Ella Fitzgerald Sings
the Cole Porter Song
Book with me. It was a turning point in my
On March 15, 1955,
Ella Fitzgerald opened her initial engagement at
Mocambo nightclub in Hollywood, after Marilyn Monroe
lobbied the owner for the booking. The booking was instrumental in
Bonnie Greer dramatized the incident as the
musical drama, Marilyn and Ella, in 2008. It had previously been
widely reported that Fitzgerald was the first black performer to play
the Mocambo, following Monroe's intervention, but this is not true.
African-American singers Herb Jeffries, Eartha Kitt, and Joyce
Bryant all played the
Mocambo in 1952 and 1953, according to
stories published at the time in Jet magazine and Billboard.
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book, released in 1956, was
the first of eight Songbook sets Fitzgerald would record for Verve at
irregular intervals from 1956 to 1964. The composers and lyricists
spotlighted on each set, taken together, represent the greatest part
of the cultural canon known as the Great American Songbook. Her song
selections ranged from standards to rarities and represented an
attempt by Fitzgerald to cross over into a non-jazz audience. The sets
are the most well-known items in her discography.
Fitzgerald in 1968, courtesy of the
Fraser MacPherson estate
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the
Duke Ellington Song
Book was the only
Songbook on which the composer she interpreted played with her. Duke
Ellington and his longtime collaborator
Billy Strayhorn both appeared
on exactly half the set's 38 tracks and wrote two new pieces of music
for the album: "The E and D Blues" and a four-movement musical
portrait of Fitzgerald (the only Songbook track on which Fitzgerald
does not sing). The Songbook series ended up becoming the singer's
most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work, and
probably her most significant offering to American culture. The New
York Times wrote in 1996, "These albums were among the first pop
records to devote such serious attention to individual songwriters,
and they were instrumental in establishing the pop album as a vehicle
for serious musical exploration."
Days after Fitzgerald's death,
The New York Times
The New York Times columnist Frank Rich
wrote that in the Songbook series Fitzgerald "performed a cultural
transaction as extraordinary as Elvis' contemporaneous integration of
African American soul. Here was a black woman popularizing
urban songs often written by immigrant Jews to a national audience of
predominantly white Christians." Frank Sinatra, out of respect for
Capitol Records from re-releasing his own
recordings in separate albums for individual composers in the same
Fitzgerald also recorded albums exclusively devoted to the songs of
Porter and Gershwin in 1972 and 1983; the albums being, respectively,
Ella Loves Cole and Nice Work If You Can Get It. A later collection
devoted to a single composer was released during her time with Pablo
Records, Ella Abraça Jobim, featuring the songs of Antônio Carlos
While recording the Songbooks and the occasional studio album,
Fitzgerald toured 40 to 45 weeks per year in the United States and
internationally, under the tutelage of Norman Granz. Granz helped
solidify her position as one of the leading live jazz performers.
In 1961 Fitzgerald bought a house in the
Klampenborg district of
Copenhagen, Denmark, after she began a relationship with a Danish man.
Though the relationship ended after a year, Fitzgerald regularly
returned to Denmark over the next three years, and even considered
buying a jazz club there. The house was sold in 1963, and Fitzgerald
permanently returned to the United States.
There are several live albums on Verve that are highly regarded by
At the Opera House
At the Opera House shows a typical JATP set from Fitzgerald.
Ella in Rome and
Twelve Nights in Hollywood
Twelve Nights in Hollywood display her vocal jazz
Ella in Berlin is still one of her best-selling albums; it
includes a Grammy-winning performance of "Mack the Knife" in which she
forgets the lyrics but improvises magnificently to compensate.
Verve Records was sold to MGM in 1963 for $3 million and in 1967 MGM
failed to renew Fitzgerald's contract. Over the next five years she
flitted between Atlantic, Capitol and Reprise. Her material at this
time represented a departure from her typical jazz repertoire. For
Capitol she recorded Brighten the Corner, an album of hymns, Ella
Fitzgerald's Christmas, an album of traditional Christmas carols,
Misty Blue, a country and western-influenced album, and 30 by Ella, a
series of six medleys that fulfilled her obligations for the label.
During this period, she had her last US chart single with a cover of
Smokey Robinson's "Get Ready", previously a hit for the Temptations,
and some months later a top-five hit for Rare Earth.
The surprise success of the 1972 album
Jazz at Santa Monica Civic '72
led Granz to found Pablo Records, his first record label since the
sale of Verve. Fitzgerald recorded some 20 albums for the label. Ella
in London recorded live in 1974 with pianist Tommy Flanagan, guitarist
Joe Pass, bassist Keter Betts and drummer Bobby Durham, was considered
by many to be some of her best work. The following year she again
Joe Pass on German television station NDR in Hamburg.
Her years with
Pablo Records also documented the decline in her voice.
"She frequently used shorter, stabbing phrases, and her voice was
harder, with a wider vibrato", one biographer wrote. Plagued by
health problems, Fitzgerald made her last recording in 1991 and her
last public performances in 1993.
Film and television
Fitzgerald shakes hands with President
Ronald Reagan after performing
in the White House, 1981
In her most notable screen role, Fitzgerald played the part of singer
Maggie Jackson in Jack Webb's 1955 jazz film Pete Kelly's Blues.
The film costarred
Janet Leigh and singer Peggy Lee. Even though
she had already worked in the movies (she had sung briefly in the 1942
Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello film Ride 'Em Cowboy), she was "delighted"
Norman Granz negotiated the role for her, and, "at the
time....considered her role in the
Warner Brothers movie the biggest
thing ever to have happened to her." Amid
The New York Times
The New York Times pan
of the film when it opened in August 1955, the reviewer wrote, "About
five minutes (out of ninety-five) suggest the picture this might have
been. Take the ingenious prologue ... [or] take the fleeting scenes
when the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald, allotted a few spoken lines, fills
the screen and sound track with her strong mobile features and
voice." Fitzgerald's race precluded major big-screen success.
After Pete Kelly's Blues, she appeared in sporadic movie cameos, in
Blues (1958), and Let No Man Write My Epitaph
(1960). Much later, she appeared in the 1980s television drama The
She made numerous guest appearances on television shows, singing on
Frank Sinatra Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Pat Boone Chevy
Showroom, and alongside other greats Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Mel
Tormé, and many others. She was also frequently featured on The Ed
Sullivan Show. Perhaps her most unusual and intriguing performance was
of the "Three Little Maids" song from Gilbert and Sullivan's comic
The Mikado alongside
Joan Sutherland and
Dinah Shore on
Shore's weekly variety series in 1963. A performance at Ronnie Scott's
Jazz Club in London was filmed and shown on the BBC. Fitzgerald also
made a one-off appearance alongside
Sarah Vaughan and
Pearl Bailey on
a 1979 television special honoring Bailey. In 1980, she performed a
medley of standards in a duet with
Karen Carpenter on the Carpenters'
television program Music, Music, Music.
Fitzgerald also appeared in TV commercials, her most memorable being
an ad for Memorex. In the commercials, she sang a note that
shattered a glass while being recorded on a
Memorex cassette tape.
The tape was played back and the recording also broke another glass,
asking: "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" She also appeared in a
number of commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken, singing and scatting
to the fast-food chain's longtime slogan, "We do chicken right!"
Her last commercial campaign was for American Express, in which she
was photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
Fitzgerald's most famous collaborations were with the vocal quartet
Bill Kenny & the Ink Spots, trumpeter Louis Armstrong, the
guitarist Joe Pass, and the bandleaders
Count Basie and Duke
From 1943 to 1950, Fitzgerald recorded seven songs with the Ink Spots
featuring Bill Kenny. Out of all seven recordings, four reached the
top of the pop charts including "I'm Making Believe" and "Into Each
Life Some Rain Must Fall" which both reached #1.
Fitzgerald recorded three Verve studio albums with Louis Armstrong,
two albums of standards (1956's
Ella and Louis
Ella and Louis and 1957's Ella and
Louis Again), and a third album featured music from the Gershwin
musical Porgy and Bess. Fitzgerald also recorded a number of sides
with Armstrong for Decca in the early 1950s.
Fitzgerald is sometimes referred to as the quintessential swing
singer, and her meetings with
Count Basie are highly regarded by
critics. Fitzgerald features on one track on Basie's 1957 album One
O'Clock Jump, while her 1963 album
Ella and Basie!
Ella and Basie! is remembered as
one of her greatest recordings. With the 'New Testament' Basie band in
full swing, and arrangements written by a young Quincy Jones, this
album proved a respite from the 'Songbook' recordings and constant
touring that Fitzgerald was engaged in during this period. Fitzgerald
and Basie also collaborated on the 1972 album
Jazz at Santa Monica
Civic '72, and on the 1979 albums Digital III at Montreux, A Classy
Pair and A Perfect Match.
Joe Pass recorded four albums together toward the end
of Fitzgerald's career. She recorded several albums with piano
accompaniment, but a guitar proved the perfect melodic foil for her.
Fitzgerald and Pass appeared together on the albums Take Love Easy
(1973), Easy Living (1986),
Speak Love (1983) and Fitzgerald and
Pass... Again (1976).
Duke Ellington recorded two live albums and two studio
Duke Ellington Songbook placed Ellington firmly in the
canon known as the Great American Songbook, and the 1960s saw
Fitzgerald and the 'Duke' meet on the
Côte d'Azur for the 1966 album
Ella and Duke at the Cote D'Azur, and in
Sweden for The Stockholm
Concert, 1966. Their 1965 album
Ella at Duke's Place
Ella at Duke's Place is also extremely
Fitzgerald had a number of famous jazz musicians and soloists as
sidemen over her long career. The trumpeters
Roy Eldridge and Dizzy
Gillespie, the guitarist Herb Ellis, and the pianists Tommy Flanagan,
Oscar Peterson, Lou Levy, Paul Smith, Jimmy Rowles, and Ellis Larkins
all worked with Ella mostly in live, small group settings.
Possibly Fitzgerald's greatest unrealized collaboration (in terms of
popular music) was a studio or live album with Frank Sinatra. The two
appeared on the same stage only periodically over the years, in
television specials in 1958 and 1959, and again on 1967's A Man and
His Music + Ella + Jobim, a show that also featured Antônio Carlos
Jobim. Pianist Paul Smith has said, "Ella loved working with [Frank].
Sinatra gave her his dressing-room on A Man and His Music and couldn't
do enough for her." When asked,
Norman Granz would cite "complex
contractual reasons" for the fact that the two artists never recorded
together. Fitzgerald's appearance with Sinatra and Count Basie
in June 1974 for a series of concerts at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas,
was seen as an important incentive for Sinatra to return from his
self-imposed retirement of the early 1970s. The shows were a great
success, and September 1975 saw them gross $1,000,000 in two weeks on
Broadway, in a triumvirate with the
Count Basie Orchestra.
Illness and death
Fitzgerald had suffered from diabetes for several years of her later
life, which had led to numerous complications. In 1985, Fitzgerald
was hospitalized briefly for respiratory problems, in 1986 for
congestive heart failure, and in 1990 for exhaustion. In March
1990 she appeared at the
Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall in London, England with the
Count Basie Orchestra for the launch of
Jazz FM, plus a gala dinner at
Grosvenor House Hotel
Grosvenor House Hotel at which she performed. In 1993, she had
to have both of her legs amputated below the knee due to the effects
of diabetes. Her eyesight was affected as well.
In 1996, tired of being in the hospital, she wished to spend her last
days at home. Confined to a wheelchair, she spent her final days in
her backyard of her Beverly Hills mansion on Whittier, with her son
Ray and 12-year-old granddaughter, Alice. "I just want to smell the
air, listen to the birds and hear Alice laugh," she reportedly said.
On her last day, she was wheeled outside one last time, and sat there
for about an hour. When she was taken back in, she looked up with a
soft smile on her face and said, "I'm ready to go now." She died in
her home from a stroke on June 15, 1996 at the age of 79. A few
hours after her death, the Playboy
Jazz Festival was launched at the
Hollywood Bowl. In tribute, the marquee read: "Ella We Will Miss
You." Her funeral was private, and she was buried at Inglewood
Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Fitzgerald married at least twice, and there is evidence that suggests
that she may have married a third time. Her first marriage was in
1941, to Benny Kornegay, a convicted drug dealer and local dockworker.
The marriage was annulled in 1942.
Her second marriage was in December 1947, to the famous bass player
Ray Brown, whom she had met while on tour with Dizzy Gillespie's band
a year earlier. Together they adopted a child born to Fitzgerald's
half-sister, Frances, whom they christened
Ray Brown Jr.
Ray Brown Jr. With
Fitzgerald and Brown often busy touring and recording, the child was
largely raised by his mother's aunt, Virginia. Fitzgerald and Brown
divorced in 1953, bowing to the various career pressures both were
experiencing at the time, though they would continue to perform
In July 1957,
Reuters reported that Fitzgerald had secretly married
Thor Einar Larsen, a young Norwegian, in Oslo. She had even gone as
far as furnishing an apartment in Oslo, but the affair was quickly
forgotten when Larsen was sentenced to five months' hard labor in
Sweden for stealing money from a young woman to whom he had previously
Fitzgerald was notoriously shy.
Trumpet player Mario Bauzá, who
played behind Fitzgerald in her early years with Chick Webb,
remembered that "she didn't hang out much. When she got into the band,
she was dedicated to her music....She was a lonely girl around New
York, just kept herself to herself, for the gig." When, later in
her career, the
Society of Singers named an award after her,
Fitzgerald explained, "I don't want to say the wrong thing, which I
always do but I think I do better when I sing."
From 1949 to 1956, Fitzgerald resided in St. Albans, New York, an
enclave of prosperous African Americans where she counted among her
neighbors, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Lena Horne, and other jazz
Fitzgerald was a civil rights activist; using her talent to break
racial barriers across the nation. She was awarded the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People Equal Justice Award
and the American Black Achievement Award. In 1949, Norman Granz
recruited Fitzgerald for the
Jazz at the Philharmonic tour. The
Jazz at the Philharmonic tour would specifically target segregated
venues. Granz required promoters to ensure that there was no "colored"
or "white" seating. He ensured Fitzgerald was to receive equal pay and
accommodations regardless of her sex, race, and identity. If the
conditions were not met shows were cancelled.
Bill Reed, author of Hot from Harlem: Twelve African American
Entertainers, referred to Fitzgerald as the "Civil Rights Crusader",
facing discrimination throughout her career. In 1954 on her way to
one of her concerts in Australia she was unable to board the Pan
American flight due to racial discrimination. Although she faced
several obstacles and racial barriers, she was recognized as a
"cultural ambassador," receiving the
National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts in 1987
and America's highest non-military honor, the Presidential Medal of
In 1993, Fitzgerald established the
Ella Fitzgerald Charitable
Foundation focusing on charitable grants for four major categories:
academic opportunities for children, music education, basic care needs
for the less fortunate, medical research revolving around diabetes,
heart disease, and vision impaired. Her goals were to give back
and provide opportunities for those "at risk" and less fortunate. In
addition, she supported several nonprofit organizations like the
American Heart Association, City of Hope, and the Retina
Discography and collections
Ella Fitzgerald discography
The primary collections of Fitzgerald's media and memorabilia reside
at and are shared between the
Smithsonian Institution and the US
Library of Congress
Awards, citations and honors
Further information: List of awards received by Ella Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald won thirteen
Grammy Awards, and received the Grammy
Lifetime Achievement Award in 1967.
In 1958 Fitzgerald was the first
African American female to win at the
Other major awards and honors she received during her career were the
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medal of Honor Award, National
Medal of Art, first
Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award,
named "Ella" in her honor, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the
George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement, UCLA
Spring Sing, and the UCLA Medal (1987). Across town at the
University of Southern California, she received the USC "Magnum Opus"
Award which hangs in the office of the
Ella Fitzgerald Charitable
Foundation. In 1990, she received an honorary doctorate of Music from
Tributes and legacy
This section is missing information about the impacts and influences
of Ms Fitzgerald and her music on other artists, on the later history
of music, and on society. Please expand the section to include this
information. Further details may exist on the talk page. (March 2017)
Fitzgerald in 1960 by Erling Mandelmann
The career history and archival material from Fitzgerald's long career
are housed in the Archives Center at the Smithsonian's National Museum
of American History, while her personal music arrangements are at the
Library of Congress. Her extensive cookbook collection was donated to
the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, and her extensive
collection of published sheet music was donated to UCLA.
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia created a week-long music festival
Christopher Newport University
Christopher Newport University to honor Fitzgerald in her birth
Callaway, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and
Patti Austin have all recorded
albums in tribute to Fitzgerald. Callaway's album
To Ella with Love
(1996) features fourteen jazz standards made popular by Fitzgerald,
and the album also features the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
Dear Ella (1997) featured many musicians that were
closely associated with Fitzgerald during her career, including the
pianist Lou Levy, the trumpeter Benny Powell, and Fitzgerald's second
husband, double bassist Ray Brown. Bridgewater's following album, Live
at Yoshi's, was recorded live on April 25, 1998, what would have been
Fitzgerald's 81st birthday.
Austin's album, For Ella (2002) features 11 songs most immediately
associated with Fitzgerald, and a twelfth song, "Hearing Ella Sing" is
Austin's tribute to Fitzgerald. The album was nominated for a Grammy.
In 2007, We All Love Ella, was released, a tribute album recorded for
the 90th anniversary of Fitzgerald's birth. It featured artists such
as Michael Bublé, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Diana
Krall, k.d. lang, Queen Latifah, Ledisi, Dianne Reeves, Linda
Ronstadt, and Lizz Wright, collating songs most readily associated
with the "First Lady of Song". Folk singer Odetta's album To Ella
(1998) is dedicated to Fitzgerald, but features no songs associated
with her. Her accompanist
Tommy Flanagan affectionately remembered
Fitzgerald on his album Lady be Good ... For Ella (1994).
"Ella, elle l'a", a tribute to Fitzgerald written by
Michel Berger and
performed by French singer France Gall, was a hit in Europe in 1987
and 1988. Fitzgerald is also referred to in the 1976 Stevie Wonder
hit "Sir Duke" from his album Songs in the Key of Life, and the song
"I Love Being Here With You", written by
Peggy Lee and Bill Schluger.
Sinatra's 1986 recording of "Mack the Knife" from his album L.A. Is My
Lady (1984) includes a homage to some of the song's previous
performers, including 'Lady Ella' herself. She is also honored in the
song "First Lady" by Canadian artist Nikki Yanofsky.
In 2008, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News named
its brand new 276-seat theater the
Ella Fitzgerald Theater. The
theater is located several blocks away from her birthplace on Marshall
Avenue. The Grand Opening performers ( October 11 and 12, 2008) were
Roberta Flack and Queen Esther Marrow.
Rod Stewart performed a "virtual duet" with Ella Fitzgerald
on his Christmas album Merry Christmas, Baby, and his television
special of the same name.
There is a bronze sculpture of Fitzgerald in Yonkers, the city in
which she grew up, created by American artist Vinnie Bagwell. It is
located southeast of the main entrance to the Amtrak/Metro-North
Railroad station in front of the city's old trolley barn. A bust of
Fitzgerald is on the campus of
Chapman University in Orange,
California. On January 9, 2007, the United States Postal Service
announced that Fitzgerald would be honored with her own postage
stamp. The stamp was released in April 2007 as part of the Postal
Service's Black Heritage series.
In April 2013, she was featured in Google Doodle, depicting her
performing on stage. It celebrated what would have been her 96th
On April 25, 2017, the centenary of her birth, UK's BBC Radio 2
broadcast three programmes as part of an "Ella at 100" celebration:
Ella Fitzgerald Night introduced by Jamie Cullum, Remembering Ella
Leo Green and
Ella Fitzgerald - the First Lady of Song
introduced by Petula Clark.
Savoy Ballroom opens
African American Registry".
Aaregistry.org. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
^ a b c Nicholson 1996, p. 4.
^ a b Nicholson 1996, p. 5.
^ Nicholson 1996, p. 7, 13.
^ a b Nicholson 1996, p. 6.
^ Nicholson 1996, p. 7.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k Holden, Stephen (June 16, 1996). "Ella
Fitzgerald, the Voice of Jazz, Dies at 79". The New York Times.
Retrieved March 23, 2015.
^ "Biography". EllaFitzgerald.com (Official website). Retrieved
February 7, 2018.
^ a b Nicholson 1996, p. 14.
^ a b Rich, Frank (June 19, 1996). "Journal; How High the Moon". The
New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
Ella Fitzgerald is born". History. Retrieved February 7,
^ Bernstein, Nina (June 23, 1996). "Ward of the State; The Gap in Ella
Fitzgerald's Life". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22,
^ a b c d e Fritts, Ron; Vail, Ken (January 1, 2003). Ella Fitzgerald:
Chick Webb Years & Beyond. Scarecrow Press. pp. 4–6.
ISBN 978-0-8108-4881-8. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ a b Horton, James Oliver (March 24, 2005). Landmarks of African
American History. Oxford University Press. p. 143.
ISBN 978-0-19-514118-4. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ Hemming, Roy (December 1, 1992). Discovering Great Singers of
Classic Pop: A New Listener's Guide to the Sounds and Lives of the Top
Performers. Newmarket Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-55704-148-7.
Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ a b c Moret, Jim (June 15, 1996). "'First Lady of Song' passes
peacefully, surrounded by family". CNN. Archived from the original on
November 29, 2006. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
^ Nicholson 1996, p. 19.
^ Hemming, Roy (1991). Discovering Great Singers of Classic Pop: A New
Listener's Guide to the Sounds and Lives of the Top Performers and
Their Recordings, Movies, and Videos. Newmarket Press. p. 97.
ISBN 978-1-55704-072-5. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
^ Robinson, Louie (November 1961). "First Lady of Jazz". Ebony.
Vol. 17 no. 1. Johnson Publishing Company.
pp. 131–132, 139. ISSN 0012-9011. Retrieved October 10,
^ Otfinoski, Steven (2010). African Americans in the Performing Arts.
Infobase Publishing. p. 251. ISBN 978-1-4381-2855-9.
Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ James, Edward T.; James, Janet Wilson; Boyer, Paul S. Notable
American Women: A Biographical Dictionary.
Harvard University Press.
p. 210. ISBN 978-0-674-01488-6. Retrieved February 23,
^ Humphrey, Harold (April 4, 1942). "News Notes". The Billboard.
Vol. 54 no. 14.
Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 67.
ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
^ Goldberg, Marv (1998). More Than Words Can Say:
The Ink Spots
The Ink Spots and
Their Music. Scarecrow Press. p. 125.
^ Tyler, Don (2007). Hit Songs, 1900–1955: American Popular Music of
the Pre-Rock Era. McFarland. p. 304.
^ "Coming Up". The Billboard. December 7, 1946. p. 27.
^ Gioia, Ted (September 27, 2012). The
Jazz Standards: A Guide to the
Repertoire. Oxford University Press. p. 307.
ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
^ Stratton, Jon (August 3, 2007). "'All Rock and Rhythm and Jazz':
Rock 'n' Roll Origin Stories and Race in Australia" (PDF). Continuum.
21 (3): 379–392. doi:10.1080/10304310701460730. Retrieved February
^ "'Stop the music,' said Artie Shaw". The Argus. July 24, 1954.
p. 3. Retrieved February 7, 2018 – via National Library of
Ella Fitzgerald et al v. Pan American, December 23,
1954". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved
February 7, 2018.
Ella Fitzgerald Sues Airline for Discrimination (1970)". CBC News.
Retrieved February 7, 2018.
^ "Talent topics". The Billboard: 24. March 12, 1955.
ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
Ella Fitzgerald a big hit". Jet. 7 (22): 60. April 7, 1955.
ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
^ Nicholson, Stuart (1993). Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First
Lady of Jazz. Da Capo Press. p. 149.
^ Johnson Publishing Company (August 13, 1953). Jet. Johnson
Publishing Company. p. 60. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved August
^ Johnson Publishing Company (December 10, 1953). Jet. Johnson
Publishing Company. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved August 16,
^ Johnson Publishing Company (November 12, 1953). Jet. Johnson
Publishing Company. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved August 16,
^ Nicholson 1996, p. 198.
^ a b c d Nicholson, Stuart (1993). Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of
the First Lady of Jazz. New York: C. Scribner's Sons.
ISBN 0-575-40032-3. For many years Fitzgerald's birthdate was
thought to be on the same date one year later in 1918 – and it is
still listed as such in some sources – but research by Nicholson and
another biographer, Tanya Lee Stone, established 1917 as the correct
year of birth.
^ Davies, Hugh (December 31, 2005). "Sir Johnny up there with the
Count and the Duke". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved March 16,
^ "Movie of the week: Pete Kelly's Blues". Jet. August 25, 1955.
p. 62. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ Capua, Michelangelo (March 8, 2013). Janet Leigh: A Biography.
McFarland. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-7864-7022-8. Retrieved
February 23, 2014.
^ Furia, Philip; Patterson, Laurie (March 10, 2010). The Songs of
Hollywood. Oxford University Press. p. 174.
ISBN 978-0-19-979266-5. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ Dargis, Manohla (August 19, 1955). "Webb Plays the Blues". The New
York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2007.
^ Storb, Ilse (2000).
Jazz Meets the World – The World Meets Jazz
(in German). LIT Verlag Münster. p. 61.
ISBN 978-3-8258-3748-8. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ Croix, St. Sukie de la (July 11, 2012). Chicago Whispers: A History
of LGBT Chicago before Stonewall. University of Wisconsin Press.
p. 213. ISBN 978-0-299-28693-4. Retrieved February 23,
^ "Ella on
Special 1980 Duet with Karen Carpenter". YouTube. December
25, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
^ a b "New stamp honors first lady of song". USA Today. AP. January 9,
2007. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ a b Rosen, Larry (July 18, 2013). "Is It Live or Is It Memorex?".
Psychology Today. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
Ella Fitzgerald For Kentucky Fried Chicken". Rerojunk.com.
Retrieved December 28, 2012.
^ "She puts the famous in focus". St. Petersburg Times. November 22,
2005. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ "On Frank Sinatra's Hair". Retrieved April 26, 2017.
Ella Fitzgerald Hospitalized". The Lewiston Journal. AP. August 13,
1985. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
Ella Fitzgerald Hospitalized". AP News Archive. AP. July 27, 1986.
Retrieved February 22, 2014.
Ella Fitzgerald Hospitalized". Los Angeles Times. July 10,
1990. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
^ "25 years of
Jazz FM. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
Ella Fitzgerald Had Both Legs Amputated". Daily News. Kingsport,
Tennessee. Reuters. April 13, 1994. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
^ Death certificate
^ a b Weinstein, Henry; Brazil, Jeff (June 16, 1996). "Ella
Fitzgerald, Jazz's First Lady of Song, Dies". Los Angeles Times.
pp. 1–3. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
^ Nicholson, Stuart (1995). Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First
Lady of Jazz. New York: Da Capo Press. pp. 67–68.
^ Nicholson, Stuart (1995). Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography of the First
Lady of Jazz. New York: Da Capo Press. pp. 173–175.
^ "This Green and Pleasant Land" by Bryan Greene, in Poverty and Race,
^ "Awards". Ella Fitzgerald. April 7, 2017. Retrieved October 10,
^ Hershorn, Tad (November 1, 2011). Norman Granz: The Man Who Used
Jazz for Justice. University of California Press.
^ a b Jessica Bissett Perea. "Fitzgerald, Ella." Grove Music Online.
Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. October 10, 2017.
^ Bill, Reed (2010). Hot from Harlem: Twelve African American
Entertainers, 1890-1960. McFarland & Co.
^ "Post Civil War: Freedmen and Civil Rights". National Archives.
August 15, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
^ "The Foundation." Ella Fitzgerald, Universal Music Enterprises,
^ Wilson, John S. "A Tribute to Fitzgerald With Heart and Soul." The
New York Times, The New York Times, February 11, 1990,
^ Easterling, Michael. "CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF SONG." Breakthroughs,
City of Hope, April 24, 2017,
^ Bishop, Elizabeth, and Robert Giroux. One Art: Letters. Pimlico,
^ Wong, Hannah. "'First Lady of Song' LC Collection Tells Ella
Fitzgerald Story". LOC. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
^ "Past Winners Search".
Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy.
Retrieved October 6, 2014.
^ Grein, Paul (December 13, 2013). "The GRAMMYs' Biggest Winners: The
'50s And '60s".
Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy. Retrieved
October 6, 2014.
^ "Log in". 0-web.a.ebscohost.com.library.unl.edu. Retrieved October
^ "Calendar & Events: Spring Sing: Gershwin Award". UCLA. Archived
from the original on August 17, 2011.
^ "Partial List of Harvard Honorary Degrees". Harvard University.
Retrieved May 30, 2013.
^ "France Gall". Radio Swizz Jazz. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
^ Graff, Gary (October 30, 2012). "Rod Stewart: I Thought Christmas
Album Was 'Beneath Me'". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
^ "New Stamp Honors First Lady of Song". WHSV News 3. January 9, 2007.
Retrieved December 2, 2009.
^ Batty, David (April 25, 2013). "Google celebrates Ella Fitzgerald
with doodle on 96th birthday". Guardian. Retrieved September 9,
^ Smith, Patrick (April 25, 2013). "
Ella Fitzgerald celebrated in
Google Doodle; 'The Queen of Jazz' Ella Fitzgearld is commemorated
Google Doodle on what would have been her 96th birthday". The
Telegraph Online. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
^ "Ella at 100,
Ella Fitzgerald - The First Lady of Song - BBC Radio
2". bbc.co.uk. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
Gourse, Leslie (1998). The
Ella Fitzgerald Companion. London: Omnibus
Press. ISBN 0-7119-6916-7.
Johnson, J. Wilfred (2001). Ella Fitzgerald: An Annotated Discography.
McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0906-1.
Nicholson, Stuart (1996). Ella Fitzgerald: 1917–1996. London:
Indigo. ISBN 978-0-575-40032-0.
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
By Ella Fitzgerald
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Gourse, Leslie. (1998) The
Ella Fitzgerald Companion: Seven Decades of
Commentary. Music Sales Ltd.; ISBN 0-02-864625-8
Johnson, J. Wilfred. (2001) Ella Fitzgerald: A Complete Annotated
Discography. McFarland & Co Inc.; ISBN 0-7864-0906-1
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ella Fitzgerald.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ella Fitzgerald
Book: Ella Fitzgerald
African American portal
Ella Fitzgerald on IMDb
Ella Fitzgerald at the
Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Ella Fitzgerald at Find a Grave
Ella Fitzgerald at the Library of Congress
'Remembering Ella' by Phillip D. Atteberry
Listen to Big Band Serenade podcast, episode 6 Includes complete NBC
remote broadcast of "
Ella Fitzgerald & her Orchestra" from the
Roseland Ballroom (or download)
Ella Sings Gershwin
Songs in a Mellow Mood
Lullabies of Birdland
For Sentimental Reasons
Ella Fitzgerald & Mr Gordon Jenkins Invite You to Listen and
Sweet and Hot
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book
Ella and Louis
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Song Book
Ella and Louis
Ella and Louis Again
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the
Duke Ellington Song Book
Like Someone in Love
Porgy and Bess
Ella Swings Lightly
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book
Ella Fitzgerald Sings Sweet Songs for Swingers
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from "Let No Man Write My Epitaph"
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Harold Arlen Songbook
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!
Rhythm Is My Business
Ella Swings Brightly with Nelson
Ella Swings Gently with Nelson
Ella Sings Broadway
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Jerome Kern Song Book
Ella and Basie!
These Are the Blues
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Johnny Mercer Song Book
Ella at Duke's Place
Brighten the Corner
Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas
30 by Ella
Things Ain't What They Used to Be (And You Better Believe It)
Ella Loves Cole
Take Love Easy
Fine and Mellow
Ella and Oscar
Fitzgerald and Pass... Again
A Classy Pair
Ella Abraça Jobim
The Best Is Yet to Come
Nice Work If You Can Get It
All That Jazz
At the Opera House
Ella Fitzgerald and
Billie Holiday at Newport
Ella in Rome: The Birthday Concert
Ella Fitzgerald Live at Mister Kelly's
Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife
Ella in Hollywood
Ella Returns to Berlin
Twelve Nights in Hollywood
Ella at Juan-Les-Pins
Ella in Hamburg
Ella and Duke at the Cote D'Azur
Sunshine of Your Love
Jazz Festival: Live at Carnegie Hall
The Stockholm Concert, 1966
Ella in Budapest
Ella à Nice
Jazz at Santa Monica Civic '72
Ella in London
Digital III at Montreux
A Perfect Match
Songs from Pete Kelly's Blues
One O'Clock Jump
Back on the Block
Ella Fitzgerald Song Books
Ella Fitzgerald &
Louis Armstrong on Verve
Jukebox Ella: The Complete Verve Singles, Vol. 1
We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song
Ride 'Em Cowboy
Pete Kelly's Blues
St. Louis Blues
Louis Armstrong collaborations
A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim
Kennedy Center Honorees (1970s)
Inductees to the National Women's Hall of Fame
Susan B. Anthony
Mary McLeod Bethune
Pearl S. Buck
Margaret Chase Smith
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Helen Brooke Taussig
Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias
Juliette Gordon Low
Elizabeth Bayley Seton
Carrie Chapman Catt
Mary "Mother" Harris Jones
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Billie Jean King
Florence B. Seibert
Gertrude Belle Elion
Ethel Percy Andrus
Marian Wright Edelman
Martha Wright Griffiths
Fannie Lou Hamer
Constance Baker Motley
Ellen Swallow Richards
Katherine Siva Saubel
Madam C. J. Walker
Rosalyn S. Yalow
Annie Jump Cannon
Jane Cunningham Croly
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Helen LaKelly Hunt
Zora Neale Hurston
Frances Wisebart Jacobs
Susette La Flesche
Betty Bone Schiess
Elizabeth Hanford Dole
Anne Dallas Dudley
Mary Baker Eddy
Matilda Joslyn Gage
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
Nannerl O. Keohane
Sandra Day O'Connor
Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin
Hannah Greenebaum Solomon
Louisa May Alcott
Charlotte Anne Bunch
Frances Xavier Cabrini
Mary A. Hallaren
Oveta Culp Hobby
Wilhelmina Cole Holladay
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Ernestine Louise Potowski Rose
Lydia Moss Bradley
Mary Steichen Calderone
Mary Ann Shadd
Mary Ann Shadd Cary
Joan Ganz Cooney
Julia Ward Howe
Shirley Ann Jackson
Katharine Dexter McCormick
Rozanne L. Ridgway
Edith Nourse Rogers
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Angelina Grimké Weld
Faye Glenn Abdellah
Emma Smith DeVoe
Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Sylvia A. Earle
Leontine T. Kelly
Frances Oldham Kelsey
Anna Howard Shaw
Wilma L. Vaught
Mary Edwards Walker
Annie Dodge Wauneka
Frances E. Willard
Dorothy H. Andersen
Lydia Maria Child
Marian de Forest
Beatrice A. Hicks
Harriet Williams Russell Strong
Emily Howell Warner
Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Mary Engle Pennington
Mercy Otis Warren
Linda G. Alvarado
Donna de Varona
Martha Matilda Harper
Patricia Roberts Harris
Stephanie L. Kwolek
Mildred Robbins Leet
Patsy Takemoto Mink
Sheila E. Widnall
Florence Ellinwood Allen
Ruth Fulton Benedict
Rita Rossi Colwell
Mother Marianne Cope
Maya Y. Lin
Patricia A. Locke
Blanche Stuart Scott
Mary Burnett Talbert
Eleanor K. Baum
Martha Coffin Pelham Wright
Judith L. Pipher
Catherine Filene Shouse
Allie B. Latimer
Rebecca Talbot Perkins
St. Katharine Drexel
Dorothy Harrison Eustis
Loretta C. Ford
Abby Kelley Foster
Helen Murray Free
Coretta Scott King
Barbara A. Mikulski
Donna E. Shalala
Ina May Gaskin
Mary Joseph Rogers
Carlotta Walls LaNier
Mary Harriman Rumsey
Clare Boothe Luce
Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year
Gertrude Lawrence (1951)
Barbara Bel Geddes
Barbara Bel Geddes (1952)
Mamie Eisenhower (1953)
Shirley Booth (1954)
Debbie Reynolds (1955)
Peggy Ann Garner
Peggy Ann Garner (1956)
Carroll Baker (1957)
Katharine Hepburn (1958)
Joanne Woodward (1959)
Carol Lawrence (1960)
Jane Fonda (1961)
Piper Laurie (1962)
Shirley MacLaine (1963)
Rosalind Russell (1964)
Lee Remick (1965)
Ethel Merman (1966)
Lauren Bacall (1967)
Angela Lansbury (1968)
Carol Burnett (1969)
Dionne Warwick (1970)
Carol Channing (1971)
Ruby Keeler (1972)
Liza Minnelli (1973)
Faye Dunaway (1974)
Valerie Harper (1975)
Bette Midler (1976)
Elizabeth Taylor (1977)
Beverly Sills (1978)
Candice Bergen (1979)
Meryl Streep (1980)
Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore (1981)
Ella Fitzgerald (1982)
Julie Andrews (1983)
Joan Rivers (1984)
Sally Field (1986)
Bernadette Peters (1987)
Lucille Ball (1988)
Kathleen Turner (1989)
Glenn Close (1990)
Diane Keaton (1991)
Jodie Foster (1992)
Whoopi Goldberg (1993)
Meg Ryan (1994)
Michelle Pfeiffer (1995)
Susan Sarandon (1996)
Julia Roberts (1997)
Sigourney Weaver (1998)
Goldie Hawn (1999)
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis (2000)
Drew Barrymore (2001)
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker (2002)
Anjelica Huston (2003)
Sandra Bullock (2004)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (2005)
Halle Berry (2006)
Scarlett Johansson (2007)
Charlize Theron (2008)
Renée Zellweger (2009)
Anne Hathaway (2010)
Julianne Moore (2011)
Claire Danes (2012)
Marion Cotillard (2013)
Helen Mirren (2014)
Amy Poehler (2015)
Kerry Washington (2016)
Octavia Spencer (2017)
Mila Kunis (2018)
ISNI: 0000 0001 0854 8546
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