Bob Dylan Impact on Society

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Bob Dylan: An Impact on American Society in the 1960’s

Amy Blanton Professor Porter History 22
April 10, 2001

1 The 1960s was a decade of liberation for music, public opinion, dance, invention, and the binds of racism. From this generation spawned some of the greatest musical artists of all time—one in particular, Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is considered to be the greatest influence on popular culture of all time. However, Bob Dylan was not born an idol—his legacy was a result of his surroundings. Throughout Bob Dylan’s life, starting with his childhood, he has been somehow affected by various historical events, such as the after-shocks of the world wars, improvement of television and radio in society, Kennedy’s assassination, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the civil rights movement; it was these changes in society that influenced Dylan to write music that would in turn evoke changes within that society itself. Robert Allen Zimmerman, later known as Bob Dylan, was born on May 24, 1941 to Abraham Zimmerman and Beatty Stone Zimmerman. He was born in Duluth, Minnesota; however, at the age of seven, he and his family were forced to move to Hibbing, Minnesota. Abraham worked as a department supervisor at the local Standard Oil in Duluth, but after World War II, there was a low demand for Standard Oil products and the family decided to move to Hibbing. Iron ore had been discovered in Hibbing, which caused an economic boom. Abraham got a job at Micka Electric, while Beatty worked at Feldman’s Department Store.1

2 Growing up Jewish in a small town like Hibbing, was no easy task. There were very few Jews there; in fact, Robert was related to just about all of the Jews in town. Because of this, he spent much time around his family.2 At an early age, Robert was already showing signs of natural talent. He had a natural ability for writing poetry; according to his mother, Robert was “a prodigious writer of poetry throughout his youth.”3 Robert’s primary inspiration as a...
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