Jane Addams (1865-1935)

Portraits of Jane Addams at ages 3, 8, 17, 32 and older

Jane Addams was a social activist who struck at the roots of social injustice through astute, persistent, thoughtful action during the first decades of the twentieth century.  Addams worked tirelessly for reforms in child labor law, sanitation, housing conditions and work conditions for nearly four decades.  Firmly grounded in the Chicago immigrant neighborhood surrounding Hull House–the settlement house she founded with Ellen Gates Starr in 1899–her vision went far beyond its boundaries.

.In 1915, Jane Addams and women pacifists from around the world founded the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She served as its first President.  In 1931, she was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Our gratitude to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and the University of Illinois at Chicago for the use of photographs of Jane Addams. And a very special thanks to the Swarthmore College for their vital work preserving the voices and stories of many tireless, and often invisible women who worked, and some who are working still, for a just and peaceful world.


Hull House circ 1890’s