Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: motherless children in fiction and history ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: motherless children in fiction and history
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: j10-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 02 Sep 2003 19:03 PDT
Expires: 02 Oct 2003 19:03 PDT
Question ID: 251613
Who are the most famous children in fiction and history who were
motherless or orphaned?
Subject: Re: motherless children in fiction and history
Answered By: journalist-ga on 02 Sep 2003 21:10 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Greetings J10:

This has been a fascinating subject to research!

FICTION - Motherless or orphaned:

Anne Shirley, of "Anne of Green Gables" 

Oliver Twist, of Charles Dickens story by the same name

David Copperfield, another Dickens book and character

Pip, of Dickens "Great Expectations"

Harry Potter was orphaned when his parents were killed by the evil

Kim, of Rudyard Kipling's story by the same name

Peter Pan (and all the Lost Boys) were motherless.

Jane Eyre, of Charlotte Bronte's book by the same name

Jack Crabb, of the book "Little Big Man" by Thomas Berger

Tom Canty, of "The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Huckleberry Finn, another Twain character

Tom Sawyer, yet another Twain character

Pollyanna, of the book by the same name by Eleanor H. Porter

Pipi Longstocking, from the book by Astrid Lindgren

Rusty, of Rin Tin Tin

Little Orphan Annie, of course.  

Heidi, from the book by Robert Newell

Hawkeye, from "The Last of the Mohicans" by James Fenimore Cooper

Cossette, of "Les Miserables"

Patrick Dennis, of "Auntie Mame" by Patrick Dennis

Hadji, the sidekick of Johnny Quest

Jai, the boy in Tarzan, was an orphan.  So was Tarzan.

Mowgli, of The Jungle Book

Becky Sharp, of Vanity Fair

Homer, of "The Cider House Rules"

Curly Top was an orphan.

Seymour, of "Little Shop of Horrors" 

Simon Templar, of "The Saint" 

Mary Lennox, of "My Secret Garden"


Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Leo Tolstoy

Charlotte Bronte 

Bertrand Russell

Eleanor Roosevelt 

Patrick Dennis (Edward Everett Tanner III)

Babe Ruth

James Michener

To search for films with plots containing the word "orphan" and
"orphaned" visit the Internet Movie Database at 
Choose Search in Plots from the drop-down menu in the top of the left
column and enter the words there.  You'll receive results of all plots
with those words.

Thank you for the opportunity to answer this interesting question!

Best regards,


"famous orphans"
"literary orphans"
"was orphaned"
"was an orphan"

Request for Answer Clarification by j10-ga on 03 Sep 2003 17:08 PDT
are there no presidents, heroes/heroines, inventors etc. in history
who were orphaned at an early age?
thanks for the literary references.  very interesting.

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 04 Sep 2003 09:05 PDT
I was amazed at the number of well-known orphans in literature. 
Thanks for your clarification as it served to focus me on different
occupations.  I have located additional famous orphans in history:

Herbert Hoover

Marilyn Monroe

Spring Byington

Ingrid Bergman

Carol Burnett (abandoned to grandmother by alcoholic mother)

George Washington Carver

Eddie Cantor

Audie Murphy

Edgar Allen Poe

Somerset Maugham

Milos Forman

John Ronald Reuel (JRR) Tolkien 

Ella Fitzgerald 

Bessie Smith

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Johann Sebastian Bach

FICTION (how could I forget these guys!)

Bruce Wayne (Batman) 

Popeye and Sweet Pea

Moses (of the Christian bible) was, in a sense, orphaned.

If you know of other occupations I missed, please post them and I'll
search those as well.  Again, thanks for the new focus on my searches.

Best regards,


president "was orphaned"
actress "was orphaned"
actor "was orphaned"
inventor "was orphaned"
pilot "was orphaned"
singer "was orphaned"
musician "was orphaned"
writer "was orphaned"
composer "was orphaned"
artist "was orphaned
scientist "was orphaned"
doctor "was orphaned"
physician "was orphaned"
nurse "was orphaned"
architect "was orphaned"
Carol Burnett raised by grandmother

Request for Answer Clarification by j10-ga on 04 Sep 2003 11:37 PDT
I would like your name if possible so I can credit your work properly
when I'm finished with my project.  please let me know how to work
with google so you can be acknowledged.  thanks again.

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 04 Sep 2003 12:35 PDT
Thank you so much for your comments, rating and generosity!  Again, I
appreciate the suggestions you made that improved the focus of my

Google Answers Researchers are not allowed to reveal their identities
per our Terms of Service.  However, you may write to the editors at 
and ask for my name as I would gladly have them release it to you. 
Note that it may take them a few weeks for them to respond due to
volume of emails they receive.  You may point to this question
location and clarification as my permission for them to release my
name to you.

If they do not wish to grant permission, you may instead choose to
credit me as "journalist-ga of Google Answers" - also, if you wish to
specifically request my services here, simply place "For journalist-ga
only" in the heading or text of future questions and other Researchers
will honor your request.

Best regards,
j10-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Responsive, focused and instructive search(es).  I'll be back, as I am
only starting to investigate some themes for some writing I am doing.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy