Films: Biographies

Browse the entire American Experience series featuring over 250 films. Watch full films online, download teacher’s guides, go behind the scenes, and learn more about your favorite films.

Edison's Miracle of Light

"The Wizard of Menlo Park," Inventor Thomas Edison, built the first practical light bulb and revolutionized the world.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of America's least understood presidents. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

eleanor roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt supported the President's New Deal and advocated for civil rights, becoming one of the 20th century's most influential women.

Emma Goldman

The story of a Russian immigrant and anarchist who is said to have inspired the assassination of President William McKinley.

American Experience

Eric Sevareid's Not So Wild A Dream : 1 hr

The young CBS reporter changed his pacifist ideals after reporting on the rise of fascism in Europe during World War II.

American Experience

Eudora Welty - One Writer's Beginnings : 1 hr

A writer's childhood and the development of her photography and writing about the American South.

Eugene O'Neill

A great playwright's turbulent story, from childhood through the years of his Nobel Prize-winning career to his lonely, painful death.

American Experience

A Family Gathering : 1 hr

The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family, including their stint in internment camps during World War II.


FDR : 4 hrs

Franklin Roosevelt restored hope after the Great Depression and led the nation during World War II. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

Fidel Castro

Cuba's Communist leader defied the odds, surviving his Soviet benefactors, the wrath of U.S. presidents, two diplomatic crises and assassination attempts.

The Fight

A man who symbolized African American equality fought a proponent of Hitler's Aryan racial theories on the eve of World War II.

Fly Girls

During World War II, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military as WASPS.

George H.W. Bush

George H. W. Bush : 3 hrs

A biography of the 41st U.S. president, from his service in WWII to his days in the Oval Office. Part of the award-winning Presidents Collection.

George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire

The Alabama governor and presidential candidate promised segregation forever.

American Experience

George Washington - The Man Who Wouldn't Be King : 1 hr

Before he became the first U.S. president, service to the colonies would profoundly change George Washington.


Geronimo : 1 hr

The Chiricahua Apache medicine man and warrior who refused to accept white man's 'civilization.' Part of The Wild West collection.

American Experience

God Bless America and Poland Too : 1 hr

A nostalgic and humorous look at how old world Chicago lives side by side with the new.

American Experience

Goin' Back To T-Town : 1 hr

The black residents of Tulsa relive their community's remarkable rise and tragic decline.

Hawaii's Last Queen

The story of Liliu'okalani, the last queen and ruler of the independent Kingdom of Hawaii.

American Experience

Hearts and Hands : 1 hr

Quilting and the intimate clues it yields about the lives of 19th century women.

henry ford

Henry Ford : 2 hrs

The story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century.


The world famous escape artist could escape from everything - except his own mortality.

American Experience

Ida B. Wells - A Passion for Justice : 1 hr

An African American civil rights leader, Ida B. Wells was born into slavery before becoming a journalist in Memphis.

American Experience

Indians, Outlaws, and Angie Debo : 1 hr

In 1936 Angie Debo uncovered the U.S. government's theft of Native Americans' oil rich lands in Indian Territories of Oklahoma.

American Experience

Insanity on Trial : 1 hr

The trial of Charles Julius Guiteau, who assassinated President James A. Garfield, turned into a public battle over the meaning of insanity.

American Experience

Ishi: The Last Yahi Indian : 1 hr

The last surviving member of a California Indian tribe became a sensation in 1911.

Jesse James

Jesse James : 1 hr

America's Robin Hood who robbed not only the rich but the poor and defenseless as well, always saving the treasure for himself. Part of the Wild West collection.

jesse owens

Jesse Owens : 1 hr

His stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Premiering May 1.


JFK : 4 hrs

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin's bullet, Kennedy's presidency long defied objective appraisal. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter : 2 hrs

A peanut farmer who rose to become America's 39th president. Part of the award-winning Presidents Collection.

Producer Picks

Triangle Fire

Triangle Fire : 1 hr

Triangle Fire is one of three AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries to be honored with a win at the 71st Annual Peabody Awards.


JFK : 4 hrs

The latest addition to our Peabody Award-winning Presidents collection, JFK is a four-hour biopic of our 35th president.

Relevant Now


JFK : 4 hrs

The Fall of 2013 will mark the 50th Anniversary of JFK's assassination. No president since Kennedy has earned higher approval ratings.