Start your research by consulting these collections of subject encyclopedias. If you have any difficulties at all, please email Ben Tucker for assistance and recommendations.
The subject encyclopedias listed below are especially useful for establishing the context in which your selected person lived.
Start with biographical reference resources to establish the basic outline of and key moments in your person's life. Entries may include a discussion of the historiography on your person, that is, how scholars have debated and interpreted this person's actions and thoughts. Pay very close attention to the bibliographies at the end of each entry, as these will identify for you additional primary and secondary sources!
Everyone should start with American National Biography, and then branch out as needed.