Sunday, December 17, 2006



  • Émilie du Châtelet, mathematician, physicist, and author, researched the science of fire - publishing in 1737 a paper which foresaw what is today known as infra-red radiation - and the nature of light, December 17, 1706 – September 10, 1749

  • Domenico Cimarosa, opera composer, December 17, 1749 – January 11, 1801

  • Ludwig van Beethoven, composer and virtuoso pianist, one of the greatest composers in the history of music, and the predominant figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music; Listen to his music!, December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827

  • Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet, FRS, chemist and physicist; he used Volta's electric battery to separate salts by what is now known as electrolysis; he also studied the energies involved in separating these salts, which is now the field of electrochemistry, December 17, 1778 – May 29, 1829

  • Pierre Paul Emile Roux, physician, bacteriologist and immunologist, who was one of the closest collaborators of Louis Pasteur, a co-founder of the Pasteur Institute, and discoverer of the anti-diphtheria serum, December 17, 1853 - November 3, 1933

  • Erwin Friedrich Maximilian Piscator, theatrical director and producer, December 17, 1893 – March 30, 1966

  • Arthur Fiedler, conductor, conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1930 to 1979, December 17, 1894 – July 10, 1979

  • Dame Mary Cartwright DBE, mathematician, December 17, 1900 - April 3, 1998

  • Ray Noble, bandleader, composer, arranger, and actor, who became leader of the HMV Records studio band, known as the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra, in 1929, December 17, 1903 - April 3, 1978

  • Fernando Lopes-Graça, GOSE, GCIH, composer and musicologist, December 17, 1906 - November 27, 1994

  • Willard Frank Libby Ph.D., chemist and educator, famous for his role in the development of radiocarbon dating, a process which revolutionized archaeology; awarde the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for leading the team that developed Carbon-14 dating, December 17, 1908 – September 8, 1980

  • Melvin SY Oliver, jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, December 17, 1910 — May 28, 1988

  • André Claveau, singer, December 17, 1915 - July 4, 2003

  • Kenneth Eugene Iverson Ph.D., computer scientist, who developed the APL programming language in 1957; he received the Turing Award in 1979 for his contributions to mathematical notation and programming language theory, December 17, 1920 - October 19, 2004

  • Raymond Leo RAY Jablonski, MLB third baseman, who played from 1953 to 1960; he was an NL All-Star in 1954, December 17, 1926 - November 25, 1985

  • Richard Long, actor, known for his leading roles on The Big Valley and Nanny and the Professor, and for several appearances as Gentleman Jack Darby on Maverick; he played private detective Rex Randolph as a series lead on both Bourbon Street Beat and 77 Sunset Strip, December 17, 1927 - December 21, 1974

  • Jacqueline Hill, actress best known for her role as Barbara Wright, on Doctor Who, one of the first of The Doctor's companions, 1963 to 1965; she appeared as the priestess Lexa in the 1980 story Meglos, December 17, 1929 – February 18, 1993

  • William L. Safire, author, semi-retired columnist, and former journalist and presidential speechwriter; in 1978, he won a Pulitzer Prize, 1929

  • Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini BOB Guccione, founder and former publisher of Penthouse, 1930

  • Robert Bruce BOB Mathias, decathlete, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and U.S> congressman, November 17, 1930 - September 2, 2006

  • Armin Mueller-Stahl, film actor, 1930

  • Thomas Hicks, aka Tommy Steele OBE, musician, singer and actor, Britain's first pop idol, 1936

  • Carl O'Neil CARLO Little, rock and roll drummer, the first drummer with the Rolling Stones, who taught Keith Moon how to play, December 17, 1938 - August 6, 2005

  • Edward James EDDIE Kendricks, singer and songwriter, one of the lead singers of The Temptations during the 1960's and early 1970's, December 17, 1939 – October 5, 1992

  • Paul Butterfield, blues harmonica player and singer, and one of the earliest white exponents of the Chicago electric blues style, December 17, 1942 – May 4, 1987

  • Ron Geesin, musician and composer, known as the co-author of Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother suite, 1943

  • Jack Laurence Chalker, science fiction author, known for his Well World series of novels; he wrote many other novels - most, but not all, part of series - and at least nine short stories; many of his works involve some physical transformation of the main characters; some of his remains are interred in his family plot, with the remainder distributed off several ferryboats and on H.P. Lovecraft's grave; Chalker was one of my favourite authors, December 17, 1944 - February 11, 2005

  • Ernie Hudson, actor, who played Winston Zeddemore in the 1984 film Ghostbusters, 1945

  • Eugene Levy, actor, television director, producer, and writer, an alumnus of both Second City Toronto and SCTV; he played Jim's dad in the American Pie movie series, 1946

  • Paul Rodgers, singer/songwriter, known as a member of the bands Free and Bad Company, and as a successful solo artist, 1949

  • William BILL Pullman, actor, 1953

  • Michael Edward MIKE Mills, multi-instrumentalist, the bass player for R.E.M., 1958

  • Antonino GIOVANNI Ribisi, actor, 1974

  • Milla (Militza) Jovovich, model, actress, musician, singer, and fashion designer, 1975

  • Sarah Paulson, actress, 1975

  • Zsanett "Sandy" Égerházi, actress, nude model, and talent agent, 1976

  • Chase Cameron Utley, MLB second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, 1978

  • Craig Kielburger, child rights advocate, leadership specialist, award-winning author, and speaker, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times; he founded Free The Children, the world's largest network of children helping children through education and, at age 12, co-founded Leaders Today, a youth leadership training organization, 1982


  • Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Ponte Palacios y Blanco, aka Simon Bolivar, known as "El Libertador," South American independentist leader, credited with leading the fight for independence in what are now the countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Bolivia; President of Bolivia from 1825 to 1826, July 24, 1783 - December 17, 1830

  • William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, GCVO, OM, PC, PRS, mathematical physicist and engineer, working in the mathematical analysis of electricity and thermodynamics; enjoyed a second career as a telegraph engineer and inventor; created the absolute temperature scale, the units of which are known as degrees Kelvin, June 26, 1824 – December 17, 1907

  • Frank Alvin Gotch, professional wrestler, the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion from 1908 to 1913, April 27, 1878 – December 17, 1917

  • Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama, February 12, 1876 - December 17, 1933

  • Alicia Boole Stott, mathematician, the third daughter of George Boole, known for coining the term polytope to refer to a convex solid in four dimensions, and having an impressive grasp of four-dimensional geometry from a very early age; she found that there are exactly six regular polytopes on four dimensions, June 8, 1860 - December 17, 1940

  • Thomas Mitchell, motion picture character actor, who won Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Awards, July 11, 1892 – December 17, 1962

  • Linda Wong, actress, September 13, 1951 - December 17, 1987

  • Victor Francis Hess, physicist, shared the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics with Carl David Anderson for the discovery of cosmic rays, June 24, 1883 – December 17, 1964

  • Don Ellis, jazz trumpeter, drummer, composer, and leader of big bands, who consistently explored the area of unusual time signatures; he also worked as a film composer, creating a brilliant score to 1971's The French Connection, among other works, July 25, 1934 - December 17, 1978

  • Dana Andrews, actor, January 1, 1909 - December 17, 1992

  • Grover Washington, Jr., jazz-funk saxophonist, one of the founders of the smooth jazz genre, December 12, 1943 – December 17, 1999

  • Rex Elvie Allen, actor, singer, and songwriter, December 31, 1920 – December 17, 1999


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