Woman in History Ella Fitzgerld (queen of jazz)

Ella fitzger had many obstacles to oVercome

Obstacles Faced
"I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt...it was because of her that I played the Moncambo, a very popular nightclub in the '50s. She personally told the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she promised she would take a front table every night. She told him-and it was true, due to Marilyn's superstar status- that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman- and ahead of her time and she didn't know it. "- Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald might not have won her fight against diabetes but her legacy will stand. She gave other people the opportunity to stand up even when she was letting go. Diabetes took her eye sight and her legs but she never gave up.
Ella Fitzgerald suffered a troubled childhood. First, when her parents seperated shortly after her birth. In 1932 her mother died and she was sent to live with her aunt. She started to skip school, but was shortly sent to a special reform school ,which didn't last long. By 1934, Ella was trying to make it on her own and lived on the streets. She still was determined and never gave up.
In 1932 Ella's mother died. She had gotten in a car accident and suffered from her series injuries. Shortly after her stepfather died from a heart attack. Even though it was a hard time for her family Ella kept going with her career.
Shortly after Ella's mother died Ella moved in with her aunt. She soon started skipping school and was sent to a special reform school. It didn't last long. By 1934, at 15, she was trying to live on her own by living on on the streets. She entered in a talent show in 1935, and was discovered by a jazzman Benny Carter, he then introduced her to bandleader Fletcher Henderson as a possible singer for his band.


"It isn't where you came from; it's where you're going that matters." - Ella Fitzgerld

Time Line

  • 1917- Born April 25th
  • 1917- shortly after birth her parents divorced
  • 1923- her half sister (Frances) was born, she started calling Joe her step father
  • 1932- her mother died. She had a hard time at that time
  • 1932- she lived with her aunt/skipped school/was sent to a special reform school
  • 1934- the special reform school didn't last long/ (15) she was trying to live on her own, by living on the streets
  • 1935- she entered a talent/ was found by Benny Carter/ introduced to Hetcher Henderson/ joined a band
  • 1938- player a nursery rhyme/ sold 1 million copies/ #1 on the charts for 17 weeks/ started to become known
  • 1939-After the leader in the band (Webb's) died she lead the band for 3 years until she launched her own career
  • 1941-Married her first husband Benny Kornegay
  • 1943- divorced Benny Kornegay( he was a drug dealer and dockworker)
  • 1946- She fell in love with Ray Brown, and adopted Ray Jr.
  • 1953-Divorced Ray Brown, but still remained good friends
  • 1958- 1st African-American woman to win 2 Grammys awards in one night
  • 1986- underwent quintuple coronary bypass surgery/ lost eyesight
  • 1993- due to diabetes she was forced to amputate both of her legs below her knees
  • 1996- Died June 15th, 1996 in her home in Beverly Hill CA

Significant Contributions

  • Adopted Ray Jr.
  • Opened doors for people wanting to pursue a career in performing arts
  • Women were taken more seriously from her contributions
  • Ella helped prove that women were financially independent
  • She also proved that women don't need a husband to support them

Personal Qualities

  • Queen of Jazz
  • She enjoys music and poetry
  • She has a silvery, sweet, and flexible voice
  • She accomplished amazing things, like setting higher standards for women
  • She is very independent and determined


Ella Fitzgerald is a strong, independent woman who helped show America that women can do more things outside the house chores. She helped prove that women can be independent and can make their own living. She also went through some tough opticals like, racism, mother's death, troubled childhood, and battle against diabetes, but still kept going. Throughout her life she won 13 Grammys, and sold 40 million copies of her own music. She was married and divorced twice ,and adopted Ray Jr. Throughout Ella's career she learned that " Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."


  • answer.com
  • en.m.wikipedia.org
  • biography.com
  • ellafitzgerald.com
  • celebrities-galore.com
  • nytimes.com
  • us-history.com
  • secret confidential.com
  • prezi.com
  • encyclopedia.com
  • world history project.org

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