Biography: Louis Armstrong

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Louis Armstrong is a very talented musician, actor, and singer. He has lived a prosperous life with a lot of success and an equal amount of downfalls. Louis Armstrong’s story goes back to over one hundred years ago. Nicknamed Satch, Satchmo, Satchelmouth, Dipper, and Dippermouth Louis Armstrong took over and changed the jazz industry to what we know it as today.

Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, William Armstrong, abandoned the family during Louis’ infant years. Louis Armstrong’s mother, Mayann Armstrong was a prostitute in Louis’ early years. Louis spent the first years of his life living with his paternal grandmother, Josephine Armstrong. After age five, Louis lived in a two room house near Liberty and Perdido Streets with his mother and sister, Beatrice who was nicknamed Mama Lucy. The family lived in stark poverty.

Louis Armstrong started work for a wealthy white family, the Karnofsky’s, collecting used bottles and rags and delivering coal at age seven. In third grade Louis dropped out of school and quit working for the Karnofsky family. All Louis did at this time was roam around the streets of New Orleans this is when he started to gain an interest in jazz. At age twelve Louis fired a pistol in the streets of New Orleans on New Years and was confined in the Colored Waif’s Home for Boys. At the school he learned to play cornet. After being released at age fourteen, Louis Armstrong worked selling papers, unloading boats, and selling coal from a cart. As Louis was working and hanging in the streets he heard a lot of jazz being played at local dancehalls, parties, bars, and balls. Even though Louis didn’t own any instruments he still frequented many clubs to listen to the bands play. He mostly went to the Funky Butt Hall and listened to Joe “King” Oliver. Joe "King" Oliver was his favorite and the older man acted as a father to Louis, even giving him his first real cornet, and instructing him on the...
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