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Jane Addams (1860–1935) was a social reformer and peace activist, best known for her work at Hull House, a Chicago settlement house, she cofounded in 1889. Addams was a prolific author and speaker, active in many progressive causes, and was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1931. Hull House itself and much of Addams’s own political advocacy work concerned the welfare and education of children.

Addams was a member of the first generation of American women to be college educated, and she pioneered ways for women of her class to be involved in social activism. After spending many years, uncertain of a vocation, Addams was inspired by visiting Toynbee Hall settlement house in an industrial neighborhood of London. She and ...

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