Joshua A. Norton Biography
(Proclaimed himself "Norton I., Emperor of the United States")
Birthday: February 4, 1818 (Aquarius)
Born In: London or other parts of England
Joshua A. Norton was an eccentric man who lived in the U.S. and is most famous for calling himself the ‘Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico’. Though he was not born in the U.S., he spent much of his life in the country, specifically in San Francisco, from where he supposedly “reigned” over America for 21 years. He spent his childhood in other countries before sailing to the U.S., where he attained much wealth. But a bad business deal sent him spiralling down the road to bankruptcy and insanity. When he re-emerged, he issued a proclamation calling himself the king of the country. He issued many decrees under this title, most of them against the government, and this battle continued for the rest of his life. But many of his decrees were quite insightful too, such as the construction of a bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland. Thus, the people of San Francisco humored him, honoured him and even celebrated him after his abrupt death on the city streets. He has also inspired many literary characters around the world.