Born in New Orleans in 1901, Louis Armstrong grew up poor. He earned money to buy his first cornet at age 7. He was raised in an orphanage, getting his first formal music lessons there, until 18 and then started his way in the world as a musician.
He is one of the most influential musicians in history -- helping to develop and popularize jazz and laying the foundation for the Swing Era.
After World War II, he was an ambassador the world over for American culture.