Here is the first complete biography of a musical icon who is one of the greatest figures in American social and cultural history. Drawing on an extraordinary, previously unexplored archive of writings and recordings, biographer Laurence Bergreen presents an unprecedented, intimate portrait of the legendary Louis Armstrong. In this entertaining and definitive chronicle, the author traces Armstrong's rich and varied life - from poverty and obscurity to the fame that made him one of the 100 most important American figures of the twentieth century, as LIFE magazine declared in 1990. Bergreen also sheds new light on Armstrong's personal life - including his four marriages, his manyromantic entanglements, and his relationships with jazz musicians and other contemporary celebrities. Filled with insights and information gleaned from Armstrong's tape-recorded reminiscences and anecdotes, LOUIS ARMSTRONG brings the founding father of jazz to life as never before.