Retrobituaries
Retrobituaries
Emperor Norton, San Francisco’s Most Beloved 19th-Century Eccentric
Joshua Norton declared himself "Emperor of These United States"—and San Francisco loved him for it.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Florence Chadwick, the Woman Who Conquered the English Channel
People didn't think a woman could cross the English Channel both ways—until Florence Chadwick came along.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Caresse Crosby, Brazen Inventor of the Brassiere
Changing the shape of the modern woman was just the beginning.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Giuseppe Dosi, Italy's Famed Detective and Master of Disguise
He had at least 17 confirmed disguises, and five fully fleshed-out identities complete with fake identity documents, background stories, and even their own penmanship.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Benjamin Banneker, the African-American Mathematician Who May Have Saved Washington, D.C.
The U.S. capital might have been a very different place if not for the surveying work of Benjamin Banneker.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Native American Writer and Activist Susette La Flesche
Also known as Bright Eyes, she achieved several important firsts for herself and her people.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Zora Neale Hurston, Genius of the Harlem Renaissance
Despite being a star in her day, this iconoclastic writer was almost forgotten.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Nellie Bly, Rabblerouser and Pioneer of Investigative Journalism
Clever, gifted, and fearless, Bly inspired both journalistic and social change in the late 19th century.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Polymath, Mystic, and Saint Hildegard von Bingen
She was a smasher of stained-glass ceilings.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Dan Rice, America’s First Famous Clown
Think Robin Williams at his fastest and Jon Stewart at his most political, and you have Dan Rice.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Charles Fort, Chronicler of Unexplained Phenomena 
His books were the real-life X-files.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Leonora Piper, Turn-of-the-Century Medium 
“If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, it is enough if you prove that one crow is white. My white crow is Mrs. Piper.”... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Virginia Apgar, the Woman Whose Name Saves Newborns
The Apgar test has rescued countless infants, but people are often surprised to discover Virginia Apgar was a real person.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Hypatia, Scholar and Teacher of Ancient Alexandria
She was one of the last great thinkers of ancient Alexandria—before she was brutally murdered.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Raymond Scott, Avant-Garde Creator of Classic Cartoon Music
The man who gave Looney Tunes their sound was an eccentric electronic music pioneer.... READ ON
Retrobituaries
Patrick Manson, the Man Who First Linked Mosquitoes to Disease
He was the first to figure out that irritating buzz could be a danger sign.... READ ON

Talk about bad advice: In 1557, European doctors recommended smoking to combat bad breath and cancer.

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