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Colorful Coloradans Biographies

Biographies of important Coloradans featuring digitized sources from the Western History collection to provide young researchers with high quality, primary source material for their history projects. Ideal for 4th grade and up.

John R. Lawson (1871-1945)

John Lawson was a union organizer during the Colorado Coal Field War.

Judge Benjamin Barr Lindsey (1869-1943)

Judge Benjamin Barr Lindsey was known as the father of juvenile law. He established the first juvenile court in Denver, Colorado, and was known for his advocacy for juvenile rights, women’s rights and workers’ rights.


Henry Lowenstein (1925 - 2014)

The "Father of Denver Theater," Henry Lowenstein survived the Holocaust to become one of Denver's most famous stage producers. 

Portia Lubchenco (1887 - 1978)

Portia Lubchenco was one of the first female chiefs of staff of any hospital in Colorado. "Doctor Portia" survived the Russian Revolution and helped modernize hospitals and medicine throughout Colorado.

Tadaatsu Matsudaira (1851 - 1888)

Tadaatsu Matsudaira was an early Colorado pioneer and engineer who worked in the mining industry in Colorado. He was likely the first Japanese immigrant to come to Colorado.

Burnis McCloud (1908 - 1990)

Photographer who created the largest visual record of Denver's African-American history, with photos of everything from daily events to visits by leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Enos Mills (1870 - 1922)

Writer, speaker, and conservationist best known as "The Father of Rocky Mountain National Park." 

Rachel Noel (1918 - 2008)

A pioneer in education, Rachel Noel helped integrate the Denver Public School system and provide equal opportunities to all Denver students. 

Noguchi Family

Colorado pioneers and women ahead of their time with roots in Japan.

Maurice Pate (1894-1965)

Maurice Pate grew up in Denver, went on to give aid to the victims of WWI and was an important founding member of UNICEF.