Actress and singer, Lena Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents were Edna Scottron Horne and Edwin "Teddy" Horne. Since her mother traveled as part of various theater troupes, Horne alternately accompanied her on the road and stayed with family and friends around the country. Lena Horne was the youngest member of the NAACP. Lena's photo appeared in the October 1919 issue of the NAACP Branch Bulletin. Lena's parents divorced, when she was three. Due to her mother traveling, Lena grew up in numerous places like Brooklyn, Bronx, Georgia and Miami. She left school at age 16 to help support her mother and became a dancer at the Cotton Club in Harlem. She was in the "Dance With Your Gods" show on Broadway as the Quadroon Girl. At 16 she also starred in a Charity Show. She played the role of the bride in "Marriage via Contract" with the Junior Theatre Guild. She later sang at Carnegie Hall and appeared in such films as Stormy Weather and The Wiz. She was also known for her work with civil rights groups, and refused to play roles that stereotyped African-American women. At 17, Lena joined the "Noble Sissle Society Orchestra" as a singer and had a tap dance routine. She went by the name Helena Horne.
In 1937, Lena married Louis J. Jones. Exactly 11 months later her daughter Gail was born. Lena later stated that she married Louis to escape the show business life. She was quickly forced to go back to work because of financial problems, Lena landed a leading role in the all black musical "The Duke is Tops". Lena appeared on Broadway in the musical revue Leslie's Blackbirds of 1939. A year later in February she gave birth to her 2nd child Edwin "Teddy". Lena's marriage to Louis Jones ended by the end of 1940. Upon returning to New York after breakup of her marriage, Lena became a vocalist with Charlie Barnet's band. It was a well known white band and Lena toured and made a few of her first recording with them.
Lena went to work at the Cafe...
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