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.

The Richest Man in the World: Andrew Carnegie

A look at the poor Scottish emigrant boy who built a fortune in telegraphy, railroads and steel, and then began systematically to give it all away.


Ripley: Believe It or Not : 1 hr

Meet the Wizard of Odd. Robert Ripley was a new media star and the most popular man in America.

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee : 90 mins

Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general of the American Civil War, remains a source of fascination and, for some, veneration.

Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente : 1 hr

Clemente was an exceptional baseball player whose career sheds light on larger issues of immigration, civil rights and cultural change.

The Rockefellers

The Rockefellers : 2 hrs

Head of the most powerful family in America, billionaire John D. Rockefeller's vast philanthropy changed his family's reputation.

American Experience

Scandalous Mayor : 1 hr

James Michael Curley and his sophisticated political machine dominated Boston for almost half a century.


Seabiscuit : 1 hr

Thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit was the long shot that captured America's heart during the Depression.

Secrets of a Master Builder

Engineer James Eads tamed the mighty Mississippi, turning New Orleans into the second largest port in the nation.

silicon valley

Silicon Valley : 90 mins

Robert Noyce's invention of the microchip launched the world into the Information Age.

American Experience

Sins of Our Mothers : 1 hr

The legendary tale of Emeline Gurney, who - as the story goes - sold an illegitimate child at the age of 14 only to marry him at a later age.

Sister Aimee

The life story of Aimee Semple McPherson, religious evangelist instrumental in bringing conservative Protestantism into mainstream culture.

American Experience

Sit Down And Fight - Walter Reuther & The UAW : 1 hr

In 1936, GM and Ford could not stop one of the worst battles of the American labor movement.

Stephen Foster

America's first great songwriter, Stephen Foster, wrote 200 songs but died a penniless alcoholic at 37.


Tesla : 1 hr

Meet the genius engineer and inventor whose technology helped create our wireless world.

Theodore Roosevelt

TR, The Story of Theodore Roosevelt

Author, soldier, scientist, outdoorsman and caring father, he was the youngest man to become president. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer

The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer : 2 hrs

A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.

Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern

A personal story of one family's dramatic effort to hold onto their family farm in Iowa as massive foreclosures sweep the nation in the 1990s.

Harry Truman

Truman : 280 mins

Harry Truman was responsible for finding America's place at the start of the Cold War. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

Ulysses S. Grant

U.S. Grant: Warrior : 90 mins

A revealing portrait of one of America's most paradoxical leaders.

walt disney

Walt Disney : 4 hrs

An unprecedented look at the life and legacy of one of America's most enduring and influential storytellers.

Walt Whitman

Today one of the most-recognized figures in American literary history, poet Walt Whitman was denounced by critics in his own time.

The Wizard of Photography

George Eastman introduced the Kodak and Brownie camera systems and transformed photography into something anybody could do.

woodrow wilson

Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson lead America during World War I, created the Federal Reserve, and helped create the League of Nations. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

American Experience

The World That Moses Built : 1 hr

Robert Moses fueled some of the most ambitious -- and controversial -- public works projects ever conceived.

The Wright Stuff

Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright built a flying machine that made its first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp : 1 hr

A central figure in the narrative of how the west was won, Wyatt Earp and his story became an American legend. Part of the Wild West 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.

Relevant Now

freedom summer

Freedom Summer : 2 hrs

2014 is the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer


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.