Plaque Sponsor

Heartland Alliance

1860 - 1935

"America's future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live."

– Jane Addams

In the 1880’s, while in England, Addams discovered settlement houses – homes located in city slums where social workers “settled” to provide services to the surrounding community – which led to her hypothesis that physical and social landscapes can influence the fate of subcultures. In 1889 she co-founded Hull House in Chicago, one of the first settlement houses in the United States. A leading feminist and suffragette, she called attention to poverty, child labor, public health reform, race relations­­­, adverse working conditions, and prostitution among poor urban women. Addams, a life-long pacifist, was elected president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1915. In 1920 she was instrumental in establishing the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and later published the controversial Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922). In recognition of these efforts and a lifetime dedicated to advancing social justice, Jane Addams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, the second woman in history to receive the honor. A champion of those who lived on the margins, her ideas continue to influence social, political and economic reform in the United States and throughout the world. The love of her life, Mary Rozet Smith, arrived at Hull House in 1889 and supported Addams life and work through a relationship that endured more than 40 years.


Plaque Sponsor

Heartland Alliance

Lesson Plan


Gender Female

Sexual Orientation Lesbian

Gender Identity Cisgender

Ethnicity Caucasian/White

Faith Construct Protestant

Nations Affiliated United States

Era/Epoch Gilded Age (1865-1900) Progressive Era (1890-1920) Victorian Era (1837-1901)

Field(s) of Contribution

Advocacy & Activism


Civics, Government, Politics, & Law



Social Justice

Social Sciences

US History

Commemorations & Honors

Jane Addams Memorial Park Located Near Chicago's Navy Pier

Nobel Peace Prize (1931)

Renamed the Jane Addams College of Social Work at UIC (1965)

Posthumous Hall of Fame for Great Americans Inductee (1965)

Posthumous National Women's Halls of Fame Inductee (1973)

Jane Addams Memorial Park Near Chicago's Navy Pier (1996)

Northwest Tollway Renamed Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (2007)

Annual Jane Addams Day (December 10, 2007)

Posthumous Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame Inductee (2008)

Posthumous Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Inductee (2012)

Google Doodle Commemorating Addams' 153rd Birthday (2013)

Inaugural San Francisco Rainbow Honor Walk Honoree (2014)


Related Videos


Original Biography Author
Victor Salvo
Biography Edited By
Owen Keehnen
Biography Vetted, Edited, and Certified By
Dr. Lillian Faderman
Image Rights Usage Granted By
Courtesy of University of Illinois Archives
Image Source for Bronze Casting
Courtesy of University of Illinois Archives
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell