Katherine Dunham

Grace Krueger

History of Katherine

She was born June22, 1909 in Glen ellyn, Illinois. She grew up, being interested in writing and dancing. She quickly formed a dance group that performed in concert at the Chicago World's Fair in 1934 . Later, they preformed at the Chicago Civic Opera company 1935–1936. She then composed a ballet in 1938, which went on a tour. And that's when her career began

Early Life

Her parents were Albert Millard Dunham, Fanny June Dunham. She had a brother, Albert. They grew up, until her mother died, and she was sent to her aunt in 1913. Although, two years later, they were sent back to there father.


Katherine wrote her first story when she was twelve, called "come back to Arizona"

Career continuing

1940...Katherine then stages and choreographs Tropical Pinafore, a takeoff on the popular Gilbert and Sullivan work. She also did a show "cabin in the sky" which had 156 performances.


Later in 1941, she married one of the costume designers, John Pratt.


The next year Dunham appeared in the Paramount musical film Star Spangled Rhythm. Later she made a dance school, which the initial enrollment was 350 students.

She and Pratt adopted their 4 year old foster kid Marie-Christine Dunham Pratt,


She went to Haiti with her husband several times, for vacations, and to help out.

She lived her life, going on and doing more movies and having another dance studio in St. Louis Missouri.


1992, at age 83, she actually went on a hunger strike because of the U.S. foreign policy against Haitian boat people for 47 days.


She died May 21, 2006, because of natural causes.