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Robert Sengstacke Abbott’s Former Residence

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Abbott House - Illinois Historic American Buildings Survey

Illinois Historic American Buildings Survey

Robert S. Abbott (1868–1940) founded The Chicago Defender in 1905. It was a weekly newspaper intended to serve the African American reading public, and grew into one of the country’s most important and popular periodicals. The newspaper’s social critiques, regarding such issues as Southern lynchings and Jim Crow laws, gave voice to and started debate over rampant racial injustice. Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Willard Motley…  read more

Robert S. Abbott (1868–1940) founded The Chicago Defender in 1905. It was a weekly newspaper intended to serve the African American reading public, and grew into one of the country’s most important and popular periodicals. The newspaper’s social critiques, regarding such issues as Southern lynchings and Jim Crow laws, gave voice to and started debate over rampant racial injustice. Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Willard Motley were among The Defender’s notable contributors. The Defender reverted to its weekly format (after nearly a half-century as a daily) in 2003, when a new ownership group (including several Sengstacke heirs) took over the newspaper. It continues to be a leading voice in the African American community today. Abbott purchased the house at 4742 South Grand Boulevard (now King Dr.) in 1926 and lived there until his death. The house gained National Historic Landmark status in 1976, and was selected as a Chicago Tribute Marker of Distinction. It is now a private residence.

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Frederick J. Nachman, 2017

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