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Name:    Baker, Josephine
Profession:  Entertainer
Born/Started:    1906
Died/Ended:    1975
Description:    Josephine Baker, a world famous vaudeville performer and exotic dancer, was born in St. Louis’ Mill Creek Valley. During World War II, she served with the Free French Army as an informant and ambulance driver. She later received the Croix de Guerre, France´s highest military decoration.

Baker was grew up on Gratiot and Bernard Streets. After attending Lincoln Elementary School, she began performing outside the Booker T. Washington Theatre. She gradually worked her way into the family´s vaudeville act and then joined the chorus line of musical shows. She left St. Louis in 1921 and appeared in an all-black musical. Four years later she became famous in Paris as the lead exotic dancer in the Folies Bergere revue. During her life, she adopted 14 children of different nationalities.

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