Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Jane Addams

Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois, on September 6, 1860. She attended Rockford Female Seminary and struggled to find a career path afterward, but was inspired on trips to London to start a settlement house, which could serve as a place for education, cultural connection, and social services across classes. Along with her partner from college, Ellen Gates Starr, she co-founded Hull House in Chicago, which was visited by 2,000 people every week at its height. It became a center of academic study, research, and the arts. She was heavily involved in education outside of Hull House as well, teaching at the University of Chicago, serving on the Chicago Board of Education, and co-founding the American Sociological Society. She was also involved in other social causes, including women's suffrage, pacifism, anti-imperialism, prohibition, and eugenics. She died in Chicago on May 21, 1935. For more about Addams and Starr's relationship and activism, visit Profiles of Ten LGBT Activists for Social Justice, 2013/2017, by Rich Wilson.