This Day in Black History: March 19, 1897

Legendary comedian Moms Mabley was born in Brevard, North Carolina.

Posted: 03/19/2013 07:00 AM EDT
Moms Mabley

Legendary comedian Moms Mabley, born Loretta Mabley Aiken, was born on March 19, 1897, in Brevard, North Carolina.

Once dubbed “the funniest woman in the world,” Mabley is remembered for being one of the most successful entertainers on the vaudeville “chitlin circuit.” She began her career performing in minstrel shows and soon began performing her own stand-up comedy routines, with a persona loosely based on her grandmother, who was a slave.

Mabley was the first female comedian to ever perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and during her long career, she recorded two dozen comedy albums and appeared in a  number of films.

She died in 1975 at age 81.


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(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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