Paul Robeson Ê


Paul Robeson

1898- 1976

Singer, Political Activist

Paul Robeson scored his greatest success in the role of Joe, the slave in Show Boat who sings the popular ballad, "Ol' Man River." Robeson, a scholar-athlete at Rutgers University, graduated from Columbia Law School, although he practiced law for only a short time before concentrating on acting.

Though he also found success playing Shakespeare's tragic figure, Othello, as well as performing in a number of Eugene O'Neill's plays with the Provincetown Players, Robeson's career faltered due to his unpopular embrace of leftist causes and his support for the USSR.

From 1958 through 1963 he lived in the Soviet Union, returning eventually to the US, but preferring to live in seclusion.