Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865)
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America until his assassination in 1865.
Childhood: Abraham Lincoln was on Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Kentucky. As a child Lincoln didn't care for hard work, leading some of his family to label him as lazy. As a teenager, he took on more responsibility helping his family with chores especially as an axe man building rail fences. As Lincoln grew older, his relationship with his father waned, partly due to his father's poor academic education. Lincoln himself took classes over the course of a year before turning to self-education by reading many books he got from his village. At the age of 22, Lincoln left his family to canoe the Sangamon River, which led Lincoln to the village of New Salem. Here he found a job taking goods from New Salem to New Orleans by flatboat, however he walked back home once he witnessed slavery in New Orleans.
Political career: Abraham Lincoln's political journey started in the early 1830s as he became a dedicated steadfast Whig where he spoke out against slavery and the Mexican-American war. Lincoln was a skilled and successful lawyer as well as a politician. Using what was left of the old Whig party in 1851, Lincoln helped build the new Republican Party. Lincoln ran for presidency in May 1860 and was successfully elected on November 6th of the same year, making him the first Republican president. Lincoln was an uncompromising leader, aiming to abolish slavery despite other politicians' attempts to sway his idea on the subject. Lincoln achieved his goal by putting into effect The Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st 1863, which declared the freedom of slaves in ten states not then under union control, making the demise of slavery a military objective in the civil war. Lincoln and the North won the war against the Southern states where slavery was still in place, thus eradicating slavery from America.
Death: Following Lincoln's speech advocating voting rights for black people, John Wilkes Booth, who opposed Lincoln's views, shot Lincoln in the back of the head at the Ford's Theatre on April 14th 1865, while he watched the play 'Our American Cousin'.
Religion: While believing in an omnipotent God, Lincoln never aligned himself with a religion. He was private about his believes, and open to others. He used religious language and quoted the bible, however it's unclear whether he truly believed or just used this to appeal to Protestants.
Abraham Lincoln - The collection of calling cards is a fascinating insights into the design, layout and signatures of choice of people who, on the face of it, got this particular self-marketing method somewhat spot-on. - Friday 7th June 2013
In the run-up to the Oscars, the movie industry pays special attention to the smaller awards nominations, for indicators as to what to expect at the big event. So far, it’s looking good for Lincoln, the new Steven Spielberg biopic about President Abraham Lincoln. With the title role played by Daniel Day Lewis and a supporting cast featuring Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon Levitt and James Spader, there has been an ‘Oscars-buzz’ around this movie for some time now. And that buzz just got a little more deafening with the release of the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards nominations.
Unsurprisingly, Daniel Day Lewis is up for best actor, reports Los Angeles Times, with Sally Field getting the nod for best supporting actress and best supporting actor for Tommy Lee Jones. Lincoln is joined by Silver Linings Playbook (starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence) and Les Miserables, which gets a tips for best ensemble, with Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman leading the cast, there.
Dame Maggie Smith is the real star of this year’s announcement, though, landing more nominations than any other actor. She’s been acknowledged not only for her cinematic appearance in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but also for her small screen work on Downton Abbey, the British series that has really made waves in the USA.
As Steven Spielberg's political epic Lincoln enjoys its full U.S release today (Friday, Nov 16), we've decided to round up all the reviews so you can make the trickiest of all the choices: what to see this weekend at the cinema.
The film sees Daniel Day Lewis star as Abraham Lincoln; America's 16th president, and the man instrumental in pushing through legislation to emancipate the slaves. "The phenomenal Daniel Day-Lewis plays Lincoln with immersive, indelible power in Spielberg's brilliant, brawling epic," says Rolling Stone, while over at The New Yorker they were equally doting, saying, "The true tussle of the movie, however, is between the Spielberg who, like a cinematic Sandburg, is drawn aloft toward legend and the Spielberg who is tugged down by Kushner's intricate screenplay toward documentary grit." The Los Angeles Times gave the film 4/5 stars, and wrote, "There is nothing bravura or overly emotional about Spielberg's direction here, but the impeccable filmmaking is no less impressive for being quiet and to the point."
Overall, Lincoln is 'certified fresh' by Rotten Tomatoes, which is nice milestone for any film to receive, considering the site compiles review scores to give an overall picture of the critical response. U.K cinema are also treated to a piece of film artistry this weekend, as Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master finally makes its way across the pond. They'll have to wait until January 25th for Lincoln, though.
There was always going to be some sect of America that would shriek with horror when the news that Steven Spielberg had chosen British actor Daniel Day-Lewis to play beloved US President Abraham Lincoln, and with the new film about the final days of the former President's life about to hit US cinemas those cries have been reignited once more.
Never mind the fact that one of Hollywood's most competent directors was working with one of the most celebrated and successful actors of all time, that still hasn't silenced opposition towards the two time Oscar winner and his depiction of Honest Abe. However, since the film was given it's first screenings, the one thing that US audiences have found to complain about more than Day-Lewis' nationality is his voice - with both audiences and critics commenting that the tone adopted by the actor comes nothing close to what they had in mind for one of their country's most revered orators.
A review in Time magazine, which overall gave a glowing reception to the film and Day-Lewis' performance, commented that his voice in the film is “thin" and "reedy," while one report from CBS News said his tone was “scratchy and not what audiences had come to expect."
If you're wondering how exactly Lincoln is a Clooney ancestor, Ancestry.com can reveal that the actor is the half-first cousin five times removed of the well-praised leader. And if you're struggling to get your head around that, the website has put it in simpler terms; Nancy Hanks, Lincoln's mother, is Clooney's fourth great grandmother's half-sister sharing the same mother.
If you look super, super close, you can even see the resemblance! Well, okay, you can't, but I think it's safe to say that they are/were jolly lovely men. While Lincoln was credited with the abolition of slavery and the successful end to the American Civil War, Clooney has been credited with 'Syriana', 'Good Night, and Good Luck' and 'The Descendants' - less world-defining admittedly, though he has done his fair share of humanitarian work for equal rights for various charities and even got himself arrested in Sudan alongside Martin Luther King III during a protest. So I guess you could say activism runs in the family. On the other hand, political affiliation does not as Lincoln was a republican and Clooney is a strong supporter of democrat President Barack Obama.
So that's where his political integrity comes from! George Clooney, the Oscar winning actor and noted Democrat, is a distant cousin of Abraham Lincoln, considered the greatest president in the history of the United States. According to Ancestry.com, The Descendants star is the half-cousin five times removed from Lincoln.
The genealogy website explains the connection in detail, noting that "half" means two of their ancestors were half siblings. Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks was the half-sister of Clooney's 4th great-grandmother Mary Ann Sparrow. Hanks and Sparrow shared the same mother, Lucy, who was Lincoln's maternal grandmother. Clooney has long been associated with political activism and recently hosted a Democratic Party fundraiser at his Los Angeles home, raising $15 million for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. He was arrested in Washington this year during a protest at the Sudanese Embassy.
Lincoln, a Republican, led his country through the Civil War and is credited with abolishing slavery, which became law following his death in 1865. He is the subject of Steven Spielberg's new biopic, which is likely to win Daniel Day Lewis yet another Oscar. Ahead of the movie's release, ancestry.com is offering free access to more than 20,000 documents showcasing Lincoln's life.
Continue reading: George Clooney confirmed as distant cousin of Abraham Lincoln
Date of birth
12th February, 1809
Date of death
15th April, 1865