Messner Shelf of Biographies
Published by Julian Messner, Inc.
362 Total Books

The editors of Julian Messner, Inc. found that there was a great desire among librarians, parents, teachers, and intelligent readers for really authoritative biographies of characters of interest for this generation. The subject of each title in the Shelf has been carefully chosen to meet this need for modern narrative biographies. All of the books are by well-known authors who have had a special interest in and an enthusiasm for the particular character which has inspired them to recreate his life and meaning.

All the books are well illustrated, printed in legible type, well bound, and with colorful jackets. More titles are in preparation and will be added to the Shelf of Biographies in accordance with its exacting standards.

Most of these titles have indexes, glossaries, opus lists, chronologies, maps and bibliographies. All have been carefully checked by experts in historical background, etc., in order to insure strict accuracy in fact and implication.

From the dust jacket of Road to Alaska: The Story of the Alaska Military Highway

This series is officially called "The Julian Messner Shelf of Biographies". However, because most of us refer to them as "Messner Biographies" we have shortened the official name to "Messner Shelf of Biographies".

Many of the titles in this series were reprinted by Kingston House as well as The Junior Literary Guild.

Note: We did not include any of the biographies of sports heroes in our list, specifically those written by Milton J. Shapiro and Gene Schoor. This decision was made after doing some research into these titles, and reading this article (the article has since been removed from the site so we're linking to the Internet Archive version where you can still read it).

Spines with dust jacket
Spines without dust jacket
Cover with dust jacket
Cover without dust jacket
Kingston reprints with dust jacket
Kingston reprints without dust jacket
Example page

Books in this Series

Abe Lincoln's Other Mother: The Story of Sarah Bush Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Aces, Heroes, and Daredevils of the Air
Admiral Byrd of Antarctica
Adventures with Reptiles: The Story of Ross Allen
The Adventurous Life of Winston Churchill
African Firebrand: Kenyatta of Kenya
Alaska's Railroad Builder: Mike Heney
Albert A. Michelson: America's First Nobel Prize Physicist
Albert Einstein
Alexander Hamilton: Man of Action
The Amazing Alexander Hamilton
Amelia Earhart: Heroine of the Skies
America's First Cowgirl: Lucille Mulhall
America's First Trained Nurse: Linda Richards
America's First Woman Astronomer: Maria Mitchell
America's First Woman Chemist: Ellen Richards
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Jackson
Angel of Appalachia: Martha Berry
Angel of Mercy: The Story of Dorothea Lynde Dix
Angry Abolitionist: William Lloyd Garrison
Annie Oakley
Antonin Dvorak: Composer from Bohemia
Back to the Smoky Sea
Bat Masterson
Battlefield President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Behind the Silken Curtain: The Story of Townsend Harris
Belle Boyd: Secret Agent
Benedict Arnold: Traitor to His Country
Benjamin Bonneville: Soldier-Explorer
Big Foot Wallace of the Texas Rangers
Big Game Hunter: Carl Akeley
Bill Williams: Mountain Man
Black Hawk
Black Patriot and Martyr: Toussaint of Haiti
Booker T. Washington: Educator of Hand, Head and Heart
Bret Harte of the Old West
Brigham Young
Broken-Hand Fitzpatrick: Greatest of Mountain Men
Buffalo Bill
Cameras and Courage: Margaret Bourke-White
Cancer, Cocaine and Courage: The Story of Dr. William Halstead
Captain Thomas Fenlon: Master Mariner
Carlota: American Empress
Chaim Weizmann: Builder of a Nation
Champion of Liberty: Henry Knox
Champion of World Peace: Dag Hammarskjold
Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces
Civil War Nurse: Mary Ann Bickerdyke
Clarence Darrow: Defense Attorney
Cochise: Great Apache Chief
Colossus of Europe: Metternich
Commander of the Flying Tigers: Claire Lee Chennault
Conqueror of Mount McKinley: Hudson Stuck
Conqueror of Smallpox: Dr. Edward Jenner
Contemporary Women Scientists of America
The Courage of Dr. Lister
Cowboy Artist: Charles M. Russell
Curtain Going Up: The Story of Katharine Cornell
Custer: Fighter of the Plains
Dancing Star: The Story of Anna Pavlova
Daring Sea Warrior: Franklin Buchanan
David Farragut: Sea Fighter
Defender of Human Rights: Carl Schurz
Defender of the Constitution: Andrew Johnson
Dick Wootton: Trail Blazer of Raton Pass
Dimond of Alaska: Adventurer in the Far North
The Discoverer of Insulin: Dr. Frederick G. Banting
The Discoverer of Oxygen: Joseph Priestley
Discoverer of X-Rays: Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen
The Doctor Who Dared: William Osler
The Doctor Who Saved Babies: Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis
Dolley Madison
Dr. George Washington Carver: Scientist
Dr. Morton: Pioneer in the Use of Ether
Dynamite Johnny O'Brien: Alaska's Sea Captain
Eagle of the Philippines: President Manuel Quezon
Edith Cavell: Heroic Nurse
Edna St. Vincent Millay: America's Best-Loved Poet
Egypt's Queen: Cleopatra
Electrical Genius: Nikola Tesla
Electronics Pioneer: Lee De Forest
Eloquent Crusader: Ernestine Rose
Emmeline and Her Daughters: The Pankhurst Suffragettes
Empire Builder: Sam Brannan
Empress of All Russia: Catherine the Great
Ernest Thompson Seton: Naturalist
Escape!: The Life of Harry Houdini
Explorer of Sound: Michael Pupin
Explorer with a Dream: John Ledyard
Famous Young Rebels
Fast-Draw Tilghman
Father Cyclone
Father Junipero Serra
Father of Supersonic Flight: Theodor von Karman
Father of the Constitution: James Madison
Fearless Adventurer: Sir Richard Burton
Fighter Against Slavery: Jehudi Ashmun
Fighter for Independence: Jawaharlal Nehru
Fighting Journalist: Horace Greeley
First Lady of the Theatre: Sarah Siddons
First Scientist of Alaska: William Healey Dall
The First Texas Ranger: Jack Hays
First Woman Ambulance Surgeon: Emily Barringer
The First Woman Doctor: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.
First Woman Editor: Sarah J. Hale
First Woman in Congress: Jeannette Rankin
Florence Nightingale
Fossil Feud: The Rivalry of the First American Dinosaur Hunters
Francis Marion: Swamp Fox of the Revolution
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Man of Destiny
Frederick Law Olmsted: Park Designer
Freedom Fighter: Casimir Pulaski
Front Lines and Headlines: The Story of Richard Harding Davis
Front-Line General: Douglas MacArthur
Frontier Hero: Simon Kenton
Frontier Nurse: Mary Breckinridge
Frontier Scientist: Clarence King
Galileo: First Observer of Marvelous Things
The Gay Poet: The Story of Eugene Field
Gene Rhodes: Cowboy
Genius With a Scalpel: Harvey Cushing
George Patton: General in Spurs
George Rogers Clark: Soldier and Hero
Geraldine Ferraro: The Woman Who Changed American Politics
Giant of the Atom: Ernest Rutherford
Gifford Pinchot: The Man Who Saved the Forests
Gilbert and Sullivan: Masters of Mirth and Melody
Girl Soldier and Spy: Sarah Emma Edmundson
Glenn Curtiss: Pioneer of Naval Aviation
Goethals and the Panama Canal
The Great Houdini: Magician Extraordinary
Great Lady of the Theater: Sarah Bernhardt
Great White Eagle: The Story of Dr. John McLoughlin
Hawaii's Queen: Liliuokalani
Haym Salomon: Son of Liberty
He Freed the Minds of Men: Rene Descartes
He Heard America Sing: The Story of Stephen Foster
The Healing Heart: The Story of Ora Ruggles, Pioneer in Occupational Therapy
Henry Bergh: Founder of the A.S.P.C.A
Henry Ford
Hero of Modern Turkey: Atatürk
Heroes of Annapolis
The Honor of Balboa
Ice Pilot: Bob Bartlett
Incredible Man of Science: Irving Langmuir
The Indestructible Commodore Matthew Perry
Industrial Genius: Samuel Slater
Inventive Wizard: George Westinghouse
Iron Chancellor: Otto von Bismarck
Isaac Newton
Israel's Golda Meir: Pioneer to Prime Minister
Ivan the Terrible
J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Story
Jack London: Magnet for Adventure
James Bowie and His Famous Knife
James Fenimore Cooper
James Whitcomb Riley: Hoosier Poet
Jean Baptiste Pointe deSable: Founder of Chicago
Jean Henri Dunant: Founder of the International Red Cross
Jedediah Smith: Fur Trapper of the Old West
Jim Beckwourth: Crow Chief
The Jimmy Carter Story
Joe Meek: Man of the West
Joel Chandler Harris (Uncle Remus): Plantation Story Teller
John Brown
John Charles Fremont: Trail Marker of the Old West
John Eliot: The Man who Loved the Indians
John Muir: Father of Our National Parks
John Sevier: Son of Tennessee
John Wesley Powell: Geologist Explorer
Joseph Brant: Chief of the Six Nations
Joseph Pulitzer: Front Page Pioneer
Julius Caesar
Julius K. Nyerere: Teacher of Africa
Justice Sandra Day O'Conner
King of the Hawaiian Islands: Kamehameha I
The King's Astronomer: William Herschel
Kit Carson: Trailblazer and Scout
Labor's Advocate: Eugene V. Debs
LaSalle and the Grand Enterprise
The Legend of Daniel Williams
Lenin: The Man Who Made a Revolution
Leonardo da Vinci: Who Followed the Sinking Star
Lillian Wald: Angel of Henry Street
The Little Giant: Stephen A. Douglas
The Little Giant: The Story of Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln
The Little Professor of Piney Woods: The Story of Professor Laurence Jones
Lone Star Leader: Sam Houston
Lord Baden-Powell of the Boy Scouts
Louis Braille: Windows for the Blind
Louis Pasteur
Luther Burbank: Plant Magician
Madam Secretary: Frances Perkins
Mahatma Gandhi
Mahmud's Story: The Journal of a Palestinian Refugee
Man Against the Elements: Adolphus W. Greely
Man of Courage: The Story of Dr. Edward L. Trudeau
Man of Steel: Joseph Stalin
The Man Who Dropped from the Sky
The Man Who Transformed the World: James Watt
The Man Who Wouldn't Give Up: Henry Clay
Man With a Microscope: Elie Metchnikoff
The Many Worlds of Herbert Hoover
Marco Polo
Marconi: Pioneer of Radio
Marie Antoinette
Marshal Without a Gun: Tom Smith
Martin Luther King Jr.
Mary Mapes Dodge of St. Nicholas
Master Bridge Builders: The Story of the Roeblings
Master Detective: Allan Pinkerton
Master Surgeon: John Hunter
The Mayos: Pioneers in Medicine
Mendeleyev and His Periodic Table
Michael Faraday: From Errand Boy to Master Physicist
Million-Miler: The Story of an Air Pilot
Miracle Man of Printing: Ottmar Mergenthaler
Mr. Lincoln's Master Spy: Lafayette Baker
Nazi Hunter: Simon Wiesenthal
Nellie Bly: First Woman Reporter
Noah Webster: Father of the Dictionary
Nurse Around the World: Alice Fitzgerald
O. Henry: The Story of William Sydney Porter
Old Rough and Ready: Zachary Taylor
Oliver Cromwell
Osceola and the Seminole Wars
Painter of the Wild West: Frederic Remington
Patriot Doctor: The Story of Benjamin Rush
Patriotic Rebel: John C. Calhoun
Paul Revere: The Man Behind the Legend
Paul Robeson: Citizen of the World
Peter Stuyvesant
Peter the Great
Physician to the Children: Dr. Bela Schick
Physician to the World: Esther Pohl Lovejoy
Pioneer in Blood Plasma: Dr. Charles Richard Drew
Pioneer Oceanographer: Alexander Agassiz
Pioneer Surgeon: Dr. Ephraim McDowell
Plant Detective: David Douglas
Plant Explorer: David Fairchild
President from Missouri: Harry S. Truman
President of the Confederacy: Jefferson Davis
The Presidents in American History
Printer's Devil to Publisher: Adolph S. Ochs of The New York Times
Prophet of Revolution: Karl Marx
Prophet of the Atomic Age: Leo Szilard
Prophet with Honor: Dr. William Henry Welch
Queen of Publishers' Row: Mrs. Frank Leslie
Queen Victoria
Radical of the Revolution: Samuel Adams
Ralph J. Bunche: Fighter for Peace
Raymond L. Ditmars: His Exciting Career with Reptiles, Animals and Insects
The Real Sherlock Holmes: Arthur Conan Doyle
Rebel on Two Continents: Thomas Meagher
Red Rebel: Tito of Yugoslavia
Reluctant Warrior: Ulysses S. Grant
Restoration Carnival: Catherine of Braganza at the Court of Charles II
Richard Nixon: A Political Life
The Ringlings: Wizards of the Circus
Rivals in Parliament: William Pitt and Charles Fox
River Boy: The Story of Mark Twain
Roald Amundsen: A Saga of the Polar Seas
Robert E. Lee
The Rocket Pioneers: On the Road to Space
Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys
Rubber's Goodyear: The Story of a Man's Perseverance
Rudyard Kipling: Son of Empire
The Scandalous Mrs. Blackford
Science Explorer: Roy Chapman Andrews
Scotty Allan: King of the Dog-Team Drivers
Seven Faces West
Shapers of Africa
She Lived for Science: Irene Joliot-Curie
She Was There: Stories of Pioneering Women Journalists
The Sherlock Holmes of Medicine: Dr. Joseph Goldberger
Sigmund Freud
Sitting Bull: Champion of his People
So Much in a Lifetime: The Story of Dr. Isabel Barrows
Sojourner Truth: Slave, Abolitionist, Fighter for Women's Rights
Soldier of the Andes: Jose de San Martin
Soldier, Statesman and Defendant: Aaron Burr
Son of the Smoky Sea
Song of the North: The Story of Edvard Grieg
Song Without Words: The Story of Felix Mendelssohn
South African Statesman: Jan Christiaan Smuts
South America's Yankee Genius: Henry Meiggs
Spain's Golden Queen Isabella
The Speedmakers: Great Race Drivers
Spokesman for the Free World: Adlai E. Stevenson
Spy for the Confederacy: Rose O'Neal Greenhow
Stormy Victory: The Story of Tchaikovsky
The Story of Clara Barton of the Red Cross
The Story of Phillis Wheatley: Poetess of the American Revolution
Strikes, Bombs & Bullets: Big Bill Haywood and the IWW
The Sublime Shepherdess: The Life of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes
The Sun King: Louis XIV of France
Sun Yat-Sen: China's Great Champion
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony: Champion of Women's Rights
Sylvanus Thayer of West Point
The Talking Wire: The Story of Alexander Graham Bell
Teacher of the Blind: Samuel Gridley Howe
Tecumseh: Destiny's Warrior
Thaddeus Lowe: America's One-Man Air Corps
Theodore Roosevelt: Strenuous American
There Was Once a Slave: The Heroic Story of Frederick Douglass
Therese: Saint of a Little Way
This Man Ribbentrop: His Life and Times
Thomas Alva Edison: Builder of Civilization
Thomas Jefferson
Three Conquistadors: Cortés, Coronado, Pizarro
To Heaven on Horseback: The Romantic Story of Narcissa Whitman
To Ride the Wind: A Biography of Glenn L. Martin
The Treasure Hunter: The Story of Robert Louis Stevenson
The Triumph of Discovery: Women Scientists Who Won the Nobel Prize
Trotsky: World Revolutionary
Tutankhamun and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt
Twentieth Century Caesar: Benito Mussolini
Valiant Minstrel: The Story of Sir Harry Lauder
The Valiant Virginian: Stonewall Jackson
Victor Herbert: American Music-Master
Vive de Gaulle: The Story of Charles de Gaulle
The Voice of the People: William Jennings Bryan
Walt Whitman: Builder for America
Walter Reed: Doctor in Uniform
Wanted! Frank & Jesse James: The Real Story
War Correspondent: The Story of Quentin Reynolds
Warrior on Two Continents: Thaddeus Kosciuszko
Wild Bill Hickok
Will Rogers: Immortal Cowboy
William Bent and His Adobe Empire
William Crawford Gorgas: Tropic Fever Fighter
William Shakespeare
Winged Moccasins: The Story of Sacajawea
Wings Over Alaska: The Story of Carl Ben Eielson
Woman Doctor of the West: Bethenia Owens-Adair
Women Astronauts: Aboard the Shuttle
Women Behind Men of Medicine
Women in Congress
Women Who Ruled: Cleopatra to Elizabeth II
World Citizen: Woodrow Wilson
The World Was His Laboratory: The Story of Dr. Willis R. Whitney
Wyatt Earp: Gunfighting Marshal
Yankee in the White House: John Quincy Adams
Yankee Spy: Elizabeth Van Lew
Yankee Thunder: The Legendary Life of Davy Crockett
Young Franklin Roosevelt
Young Ike
Young Man in the White House: John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Your Most Humble Servant: Benjamin Banneker
Zambia's President: Kenneth Kaunda