Profile of the Day: Annie Edson Taylor

Posted October 24, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1838, American school teacher Annie Edson Taylor was born. Taylor is remembered for her death-defying stunt on her 63rd birthday when she became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Profile of the Day: Annie Edson Taylor

Image: Annie Edson Taylor / Library of Congress

Taylor was born in Auburn, New York and was one of eight children. Before marrying at the age of 17, she studied to become a school teacher. After her husband’s death, Taylor struggled financially for years and traveled around the country to find work.

In an effort to secure her future financial stability, Taylor hatched a plan to become the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Taylor believed the stunt would bring her fame and fortune and keep her from the poorhouse in her later years. Thus, on her 63rd birthday, Taylor rode in a specially designed barrel over Niagara Falls. Thousands watched as Taylor became the first person to ride the raging falls and survive with only a few scrapes and bruises. Although she gained some notoriety and money from the stunt, she did not achieve the fortune she had hoped.

She died on April 29, 1921 at the age of 82 and is buried in the “Stunter’s Rest” section of Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, New York.

View Annie Edson Taylor’s Geni Profile


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