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  • Ella May Wiggins (1900 - 1929)
    Ella May Wiggins, textile worker, balladier, and union organizer, was born in the mountains of Cherokee County, near Bryson City, North Carolina, the daughter of James and Elizabeth Maples May. In ...
  • Lucretia Mott (1793 - 1880)
    Lucretia Mott (née Coffin; January 3, 1793 – November 11, 1880) was a U.S. Quaker, abolitionist, women's rights activist, and social reformer. She had formed the idea of reforming the position of women...
  • Florence Moltrop Kelley (1859 - 1932)
    From Wikipedia: Florence Kelley (September 12, 1859 – February 17, 1932) was an American social and political reformer. Her work against sweatshops and for the minimum wage, eight-hour workdays, and ...
  • José Fermín de Sata y Bussy (1779 - 1815)
    José Fermín de Sata y Bussy nació en julio de 1779 en la provincia de Azángaro, del Departamento de Puno de la República del Perú. Hijo de Don Lorenzo de Sata y Zubiría y de Doña Nicolasa Bussy Clairac...
  • Capitan Francisco PIÑANGO, Procer de la Independencia (c.1785 - c.1815)
    Enarbola el momento de gloria de los valientes insurgentes durante la avanzada final realista al Fuerte de Cartagena (Castillo de San Lázaro), cuando este Capitán venezolano Francisco Piñango dice, seg...

What is a "folk hero?"

Here's a definition from American Folk Heroes

Folk heroes and heroines are not born as superstars. In fact they often begin life as everyday people who are transformed into extraordinary people by significant life events, often in response to social injustice, and sometimes in response to natural disasters. In all cases they are individuals who have found a way to apply their particular character strengths, beliefs and values to overcome adversity.

  • All folk heroes represent what is possible for the common person; they offer a road map, so to speak, of how to keep moving in the face of oppression or corruption and are often the people we admire most and often aspire to be like.

Add "the folk hero in your family" to this project from wherever they may be. Collaborators, feel free to add to the lists that get us started, and to the Project photo gallery.

Historically documented only, please.



The Making of a Jewish Folk Hero: The Golem of the Maharal of Prague

The Golem of Prague, a Jewish Folk Tale provides one of the finest examples of this synthesis of history, culture and religion in its hero the Rabbi Judah Ben Loewe, known as the Maharal. For while his association with the golem is fictional, the Maharal himself was a very real person.