Emma Goldman in mural by Susan Greene
Emma facing reporters (1 MB mp3)
From Freedom Archives audio archives
Photo: Scott Braley

Emma Goldman

Born in June 27th, 1869 to Jewish parents in Russia, Goldman was known as a rebel, an anarchist, an ardent proponent of birth control and free speech, a feminist, a lecturer and a writer.

Briefly married in 1887, Emma Goldman moved to New York in 1889 where she quickly became active in the anarchist movement. She became one of the most outspoken and well-known of American radicals, lecturing and writing on anarchism, women's rights and other political topics. She also wrote and lectured on "new drama," drawing out the social messages of Ibsen, Strindberg, Shaw, and others.

Emma Goldman served prison and jail terms for such activities as advising the unemployed to take bread if their pleas for food were not answered, for giving information on birth control during a lecture, for opposing military conscription; in 1908 she was deprived of her citizenship.

Without US citizenship, Emma Goldman was prohibited, except for a brief stay in 1934, from entering the United States. She spent her final years aiding the anti-Franco forces in Spain through lecturing and fund-raising. Succumbing to a stroke and its effects, she died in Canada in 1940 and was buried in Chicago, near the graves of the Haymarket anarchists.

Emma Goldman photo

Photo Credit: www.nytimes.com

More: The Emma Goldman Papers