Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois on September 6, 1860. She graduated from Rockford College in 1882. In 1889, she founded the famous social settlement Hull House on Chicago's Near West Side where she worked to her death in 1935. Through her work at Hull House, her writing, and her international efforts for world peace she became one of the country's most prominent women.

Jane Addams and the residents of Hull House provided kindergartens and daycare faculties for children of working mothers, an employment bureau, an art gallery, libraries, and classes in music and art for the surrounding neighborhood. Later the activities of Hull House broadened to include include the Jane Club (a cooperative residence for working women), the first Little Theater in America, a Labor Museum and a meeting place for trade union groups.

She founded the Chicago Federation of Settlements in 1894 and helped found, the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers in 1911. She was influential in the Consumers League, served as the first woman president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections/National Conference of Social Work. ). She was chairman of the Labor Committee of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, vice-president of the Campfire Girls, on the executive board of the National Playground Association, the National Child Labor Committee and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (founded 1909). In addition, she actively supported the campaign for woman suffrage and the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union (1920).

Jane Addams was also active in the peace movement. She participated in the International Congress of Women at the Hague in 1915. She worked with, and was the first president of, the Women's Peace Party, which became the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. As a result of her work for peace she received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

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