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Emperor Norton (1819-1880)



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Emperor Norton, or Norton I, was the designation given to his own self by Joshua A. Norton. He declared himself "Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico" after losing a considerable financial fortune.

He became a beloved figure in San Francisco, issuing periodic proclamations -- such as the firing of all public officials -- and printing his own currency.

He was accepted with all of his eccentricities, so much so that the city commemorated the 100-year anniversary of Emperor Norton's death.

Read more about Emperor Norton.

Local San Francisco musician Gino Robair performs an improvisational opera about Emperor Norton, entitled I, Norton. Gino Robair is profiled in the film Noisy People.

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