Jane Addams was born on September 6, 1860, in Illinois. Her mother died when she was only three years old leaving her with only a father and 8 siblings. Her father became her backbone of her life and was responsible for her learning of the harsh conditions that many less fortunate people were forced to live with. He was the first thing that made her want to help others. “She was devoted to and profoundly influenced by her father, an idealist and philanthropist of Quaker tendencies and a state senator of Illinois for16 years” (Gale 54).
Her determination was seen early in her life. Even though many women were advised not to go to college because they were meant for marriage and not education, at the age of 17, Addams enrolled into a woman college called Rockford Seminary. “During her 4 years at Rockford, she took courses in German, Latin, Greek, history, literature, algebra, and trigonometry. She also studied science-geology, chemistry, mineralogy, and astronomy-as well as music, philosophy and Bible history” ( Kittredge 34). On top of taking these difficult courses, she scored nearly perfect in almost every class.
Knowing that her goal in life was to benefit others in some form or another, after graduating from Rockford, she went to the Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, her stay in this college was short-lived because depression and a back surgery caused her to drop out.
Besides being educated in academics, she wanted to learn about people…all types of people. She did this by traveling abroad in Europe for a few years. While in London, she came across a settlement house called Toynbee. Here, she was impress...
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...obel Peace Prize. “Now 71 years old, she had at last received official recognition for her tireless efforts on behalf of peace” (Kittredge 99). Addams was the second woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, however she was not able to accept it in person because she was in the hospital awaiting lung surgery. With her earnings for this honor she divided the money between Hull House and The International League for Peace.
On May 21, 1935, cancer consumed the life of Jane Addams. Many were greatly grieved by the loss. “At Hull House where Addams’s body lay in state a stream of neighbors, friends, and admirers filed past her casket at a rate of 2000 per hour” (Kittredge 105). This showed how powerful this woman was to the lives of many in the American Society.
In conclusion, this woman was a pioneer to the wealthy all over the world. Her message was to reach out and help someone who is in need of your help. Although this happened decades ago, the message is still clear in the world today. Many of us should look at the life of this woman and see how we could apply it to everyday life. If everyone exerted as much compassion as this woman did than the world would be a much better place.
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