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 Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 19 Nov 1887 (aged 38)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Ridgewood, Queens County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 10018 · View Source
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Poet. Born one of seven children to Esther Nathan and Moses Lazarus, in New York City. She received a classical education at home, and as a teen began translating the poems of French and German writers. She published a volume of poetry, 'Admetus and Other Poems' (1871); a novel, 'Alide: An Episode in Goethe’s Life' (1874); and a drama, 'The Spagnoletto' (1876), Throughout the 1870's, her poetry was printed in several periodicals including 'Lipincott's Magazine.' She then began to translate medieval Hebrew poetry and by the 1880s, the influx of Jewish immigrants to the US fleeing pogroms inspired 'Songs of a Semite: The Dance to Death and Other Poems' (1882). In 1883, she wrote 'The New Colossus' for an auction which served as a fund raiser for the Pedestal Fund of the as yet incomplete Statue of Liberty. The poem included the iconic lines, “Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." In 1884, her health declined, and by 1885, she hoped travel would be beneficial. She visited Italy for the first time, followed by visits to England and France. Her illness, now believed to have been a form of cancer, worsened, however. She returned to the US in 1887, and succumbed to illness some months later, at age 38. In 1903, her poem, 'The New Colossus,' was engraved on a plaque and affixed to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In 2009, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Bio by: Iola

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Daughter of Moses and Esther Lazarus




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 18 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10018
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Emma Lazarus (22 Jul 1849–19 Nov 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10018, citing Beth Olom Cemetery, Ridgewood, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .