East St. Louis
Home of Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Miles Davis and Katherine Dunham
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East St. Louis City Hall, 301 River Park Drive, East St. Louis, Illinois 62203, 618-482-6601
East St. Louis Rebuilds
As one of the more impoverished communities in Illinois, East St. Louis has struggled with a steady decline of industrial activity that has brought about high unemployment.
Today, areas of the city are coming back with new housing developments, shopping areas, MetroLink station, new schools, East St. Louis Library, Casino Queen and the Gateway Geyser.
East St. Louis also has its roster of famous Americans. Track legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee was born and raised in East St. Louis.
Also, current Illinois Senator and Democratic Whip Richard Durbin is a native of East St. Louis.
Jazz legend Miles Davis was born in Alton but grew up in East St. Louis.
Poet-laurate Eugene Redmond is a native of East St. Louis.
Josephine Baker, after surviving the 1917 race riots in East St. Louis, ran away at 13 to dance in vaudeville, on Broadway and eventually with the Folies Bergre in Paris where she became one of the best-known entertainers in Europe. During World War II she gathered intelligence for the French Resistance.
Katherine Dunham, dancer, choreographer, anthropologist and author who introduced U.S. and European audiences to Caribbean- and African-based dance movements.
Lillian Gish, one of the great silent screen stars, was nominated for an Oscar in 1946 for "Duel in the Sun" and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1984.
Reginald Hudlin, screenwriter and director of "House Party" in 1990, director of "Serving Sara" and "The Ladies Man", and TV series "The Bernie Mac Show", and "Everybody Hates Chris" is from East St. Louis.
Grammy-winning R&B singer, Tina Turner, who was born Anna Mae Bullock, met Ike Turner in 1956 at the Club Manhattan in East St. Louis.
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