Saturday, May 20, 2006

Today XXXI

Birthdays:

  • Honoré Balssa, aka Honoré de Balzac, novelist, May 20, 1799 – August 18, 1850

  • John Stuart Mill, philosopher and political economist, May 20, 1806 – May 8, 1873

  • Machgielis MAX Euwe, chess player, the fifth player to become World Chess Champion (1935–1937), May 20, 1901 – November 26, 1981

  • James Maitland JIMMY Stewart, Academy Award-winning film and stage actor, and a poet, May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997

  • Gardner Francis Fox, writer, best known for creating numerous comic book characters for DC Comics. He co-created numerous DC characters including The Sandman, Starman, Doctor Fate, The Flash, and Hawkman, and the first superhero team, the Justice Society of America, May 20, 1911 – December 24, 1986

  • William Reddington Hewlett, engineer and co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, May 20, 1913 – January 12, 2001

  • George Leslie Gobel, comedian, May 20, 1919 - February 24, 1991

  • Harold Newhouser, MLB pitcher, the AL MVP in 1944 and 1945, the year in which he won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the American League in wins (25 - 9), ERA (1.81) and strikeouts (212), as well as innings pitched, games started, complete games, and shutouts; in 1992, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, May 20, 1921 - November 10, 1998

  • Anthony Jared Zerbe, film and television actor, studied at the Stella Adler Theater Studio in New York, 1936

  • Sadaharu Oh,former player and manager for the Yomiuri Giants, who retired in 1980 at age 40, having amassed a Japanese baseball record of 2,786 hits, 2,170 RBIs, 868 home runs, and a lifetime batting average of .301; his tenure as a manager has not been without controversy: on three occasions, foreign players have challenged his single-season home run record of 55 (Randy Bass in 1985, 54 HRs; Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes in 2001, 55 HRs; and Alex Cabrera in 2002, 55 HRs); each of these men played against teams managed by Oh late in the season with the record on the line and, in each instance, Oh's pitchers either refused to or were instructed not to throw hittable pitches, in order to safeguard Oh's record, 1940

  • Jill Jackson, singer, half of pop singing duo Paul & Paula, 1942

  • Frederick Earl SHORTY Long, soul singer, songwriter, and record producer for Motown's Soul Records label, May 20, 1940 - June 29, 1969

  • John Robert JOE Cocker, rock/blues singer, 1944

  • Bronson Alcott Pinchot, actor, 1959

  • John Billingsley, actor, 1960

  • David Lee "Boomer" Wells, left-handed MLB starting pitcher; on May 17, 1998, he became the 15th pitcher in major league history to pitch a perfect game when he blanked the Minnesota Twins 4-0; he is the uncle (by marriage) of Vernon Wells, 1963

  • Melinda MINDY Cohn, actress, 1966

  • Ramón Hernández, MLB catcher for the Baltimore Orioles, 1976


RIP:

  • Christopher Columbus, explorer and trader who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached the Americas on October 12, 1492, ca. 1451 – May 20, 1506

  • Sir George-Étienne Cartier, KCMG, PC, statesman and Father of Confederation, September 6, 1814 – May 20, 1873

  • Clara Josephine Wieck Schumann, one of the leading pianists of the Romantic era as well as a composer, wife of composer Robert Schumann, September 13, 1819 – May 20, 1896

  • Gilda Radner, comedian and actress, who wrote a memoir about her life and struggle with cancer, called It's Always Something, in tribute to cancer sufferers everywhere, and she used humor to overcome tragedy and pain; in tribute to Radner, Gilda's Club was founded; it is a place where cancer patients and their families can go to be around other people in the same situation to share support, coping and wellness strategies, and has grown to multiple locations across the country, June 28, 1946 – May 20, 1989

  • John Devon Roland JON Pertwee, actor - the Third Doctor, July 7, 1919 – May 20, 1996

  • Jean-Pierre Rampal, flautist, January 7, 1922 – May 20, 2000

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