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Famous Adoptees or Adopters

by Beth Rowen

For many people today, adoption is a way to create a family. For others, it's a way to expand an existing family. Indeed, one can't pass through the checkout at a grocery store without seeing pictures of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's growing brood plastered on the cover of tabloids. But millions of people have experienced the joys of adoption long before it became a media event. Follow this slideshow to learn about other historical figures who are either adoptees or adoptive parents.

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louisamayalcott

Louisa May Alcott, American author (1832–1888)


In 1879, Alcott took in her niece and namesake, Louisa May Nieriker or "Lulu," after her sister May died. Lulu was 2 years old at the time.

Alcott first achieved wide fame and wealth with Little Women (1868), one of the most popular children's books ever written. The novel, which recounts the adolescent adventures of the four March sisters, is largely autobiographical, the author herself being represented by the spirited Jo March. Good Wives (1869), Little Men (1871), and Jo's Boys (1886) are sequels. Alcott wrote her last story, Lu Sing (1888), to gently encourage Lulu to improve her behavior and act more like a "proper little Alcott girl.". Excerpted from Columbia Encyclopedia.

Fun Fact: Alcott's first book, Flower Fables (1854), was a collection of tales originally created to amuse Ralph Waldo Emerson's daughter, Ellen.

Photo source: Today in Literature

Next: Josephine Baker, African-American dancer and singer (1906–1975)

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