Portrait of Josephine Baker with "Baby Girl"
and Fifi" by Marianne L'Heureux.
Josephine Baker (1906 –1975) was an entertainer, activist, and French Resistance agent. Her career was centered primarily in her adopted France. During her early career she was renowned as a dancer, and was among the most celebrated performers to headline the revues of the Folies Bergère in Paris. She was celebrated by artists and intellectuals of the era. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she became a French national after her marriage to French industrialist Jean Lion in 1937.
Renown for aiding the French Resistance during World War II she was awarded the Croix de guerre by the French military, and was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by General Charles de Gaulle. Although based in France, Baker supported the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the 1950s. Her reputation as a crusader grew to such an extent that the NAACP had Sunday, May 20, 1951 declared "Josephine Baker Day"
Josephine Baker adopted twelve children raisoing two daughters, French-born Marianne and Moroccan-born Stellina, and ten sons, Korean-born Jeannot (or Janot), Japanese-born Akio, Colombian-born Luis, Finnish-born Jari (now Jarry), French-born Jean-Claude and Noël, Israeli-born Moïse, Algerian-born Brahim, Ivorian-born Koffi, and Venezuelan-born Mara.
Portrait of Josephine Baker with "Chiquita" by Marianne L'Heureux.