The Artist Birthday Series

Florence Foster Jenkins

Today’s Artist Birthday: Florence Foster Jenkins

Florence Foster Jenkins (July 19, 1868 – November 26, 1944) was an American socialite and amateur operatic soprano who was known and ridiculed for her lack of rhythm, pitch, and tone, her aberrant pronunciation, and her generally poor singing ability.

Nascina Florence Foster was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Mary Jane (née Hoagland; 1851–1930) and Charles Dorrance Foster (1836–1909). She had one sibling, a sister named Lillian, who died at age 8 in 1883. She dropped her first name and went by her middle name, Florence, during her formative years. Her father was a lawyer, and his family was wealthy and owned land near Back Mountain, Pennsylvania.

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