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Paul Robeson

(1898-1976), Singer

Sitter in 3 portraits
The son of a former slave, Robeson graduated at the top of his class from Rutgers University in New Jersey where he studied law. In 1919, he attended Columbia Law School, but turned to the performing arts due to the lack of opportunities for black legal professionals. Robeson's early stage success came with his title role in Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones in New York (1924) and London (1925). Between 1925 and 1942, he appeared in eleven feature films, including Show Boat (1936), Song of Freedom (1936) and The Proud Valley (1940). During the 1950s, Robeson's political activism forced him to leave the United States, and he lived in the UK from 1958 to 1963. Robeson gave song recitals world wide, returning to the US when he retired.

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Paul Robeson, by Madame Yevonde - NPG x29838

Paul Robeson

by Madame Yevonde
bromide print on card mount, circa 1933
NPG x29838

Paul Robeson, by Neil Libbert - NPG x136292

Paul Robeson

by Neil Libbert
bromide print, 1958
NPG x136292

Paul Robeson, published by W.D. & H.O. Wills - NPG D47187

Paul Robeson

published by W.D. & H.O. Wills
colour relief halftone cigarette card, 1934
NPG D47187


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