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Susan Engle fell in love with biography as a child, reading through her small library's collection of orange-covered books called "Childhood of Famous Americans." Loving music and theater from an early age, she acted and sang her way through high school and college, earning a BFA in theater arts. After her twins were born, writing for children became an interest, and eventually, she became an associate editor at "Brilliant Star" magazine. After retirement, she circled back to the love of biography and currently has worked on three biographies for Bellwood Press, stories of Baha'is who have made a positive impact on culture.

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie: A Luminous Quality, a Distinguished Life

Dizzy Gillespie (October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993). Photo courtesy of Roland Godefroy, accessed from Wikimedia Commons.

From childhood, John Birks Gillespie—famously nicknamed “Dizzy” in his teens—stood out: in his school, in his family, among his musical colleagues. According to Mrs. Wilson, his third-grade teacher, she would say to him, “John, do you have your lessons?” He would reply, “‘Yeah, I got it, I got it, Mrs. Wilson, I got it.’ And when the time for recitations came, he would know it. How? I don’t know, because he wouldn’t study.” Continue reading