Born in Chicago on March 27, 1899, Gloria May Josephine Swanson was born just six years after Thomas Edison held his first public exhibition of Kinetograph films, and the Pathe-Freres was founded. She matured as the movies matured, but she did not intend on becoming a movie star. Her father was a civilian supply officer with the army, which caused the family to move from Chicago to Florida and even Puerto Rico. In 1914 they returned to Chicago, and by this time, the city’s own Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was a major contender in the film industry. One day, Swanson toured the studio with her aunt. It was this tour that, fellow Essanay star Rod La Rocque later said, inspired her to become a photoplayer.
You can read the entire post over at the Classic Movie Hub by clicking here.