Jane Addams was born in Illinois in 1860. Although from an upper-class family, she became known for her compassionate service to the poor.
In the 1880s, she opened the Hull House in poverty-stricken Chicago, where Addams pioneered the concept of the independent woman, incorporating leadership training.
Addams believed the dominant male values of her time contributed to poverty, urban blight and war – and believed the duty of women was to propose different models for living. Her belief that war was the supreme social evil garnered her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Addams's closest companion was Mary Rozet Smith, who championed the work at the Hull House. Addams considered this 40-year relationship nothing short of a marriage.
This Rainbow Minute is read by Mary Gay Hutcherson.