Guide to the Jeni LeGon Papers
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0829
Creators:
LeGon, Jeni, 1916-
Dates:
1930-2002, undated
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
1 Cubic foot
3 boxes, includes photographs
Repository:
Collection documents the career of Jeni LeGon as a dancer, dance instructor, and actress.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Collection documents LeGon's career as a dancer, dance instructor, and actress. Materials include biographical information, correspondence, photographs, early travel itineraries, schedules, personal calendars, printed advertisements, invitations to dance events, programs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and awards. The collection is arranged into four series: Series 1, Biographical Information and Publicity, 1930s; Series 2, Theatre and Motion Picture Film, 1935-1945, undated; Series 3, Dance Instruction and Performances, 1953-2002, undated; and Series 4: Tributes and Awards, 1979-2002.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into four series:.
Series 1, Biographical Information and Publicity
Series 2, Theatre and Motion Picture Film, 1935-1945
Series 3, Dance Instruction and Performances, 1953-2002, undatred
Series 4, Tributes and Awards, 1979-2002

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Jeni LeGon was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1916. Her long, successful career as an African American dancer and actress began in musical theatre and vaudeville. In the 1930s she traveled across the southern United States performing first with the Whitman Sisters company and then with her half-sister, Willa Mae Lane, as the LeGon and Lane song-and-dance team. By 1935, LeGon was working under contract with Fox Studios, RKO Pictures, and MGM performing with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Waters and Al Jolson, and Fred Astaire. Throughout the years she performed on Broadway and in other theaters and clubs including the Apollo, Cafe de Paris, Howard, Paramount, and Lincoln. Beginning in the 1950s she offered dance instruction in Los Angeles, California at the Jeni LeGon Dance Studio and Drama and Dance Playhouse; and in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she taught tap and pointe. She died on December 7, 2012 at the age of ninety-six.

Administration
Author
Vanessa Broussard-Simmons
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Jeni LeGon in 2002.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Vanessa Broussard- Simmons, archivist, 2002.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Jeni LeGon Papers, 1930s-2002, undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

Related Materials
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program Collection (AC0808)
Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection (AC0491)
Program in African American Culture Collection (AC0408)
Frank Schiffman Apollo Theatre Collection (AC0540)

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century. Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American women entertainers Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American women Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dance in motion pictures, television, etc. Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dance, Black Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dancers Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Actresses Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Programs -- 1930-2000 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Itineraries Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tap dancing Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Advertisements -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robinson, Bill, 1878-1949 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives