Monday, December 11, 2006



  • Manuel Cardoso, composer and organist, baptized December 11, 1566 – November 24, 1650

  • Emanuele d'Astorga, composer, December 11, 1681 - August 21, 1736

  • Gian Domenico Romagnosi, philosopher, economist, and jurist, believed to be the first person to publish an account suggesting a relationship between electricity and magnetism, about two decades before Hans Christian Ørsted's 1820 discovery of the same relationship, December 11, 1761 – June 8, 1835

  • Sir David Brewster, scientist, inventor, and writer, December 11, 1781 – February 10, 1868

  • Hector Louis Berlioz, Romantic composer, known for the Symphonie fantastique, the Grande Messe des Morts (Requiem), and about 50 songs for voice and piano, December 11, 1803 – March 8, 1869

  • John Labatt, businessman and brewer, the son of John Kinder Labatt, the founder of the Labatt Brewing Company, December 11, 1838 – April 27, 1915

  • Heinrich Hermann ROBERT Koch, physician, one of the founders of bacteriology; he became famous for the discovery of the anthrax bacillus, the tuberculosis bacillus, and the cholera vibrio; he was awarded the 1905 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his tuberculosis findings, December 11, 1843 – May 27, 1910

  • Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko, theatre director, writer, pedagogue, and playwright, who co-founded the Moscow Art Theatre with Konstantin Stanislavsky in 1898, December 11, 1858 - April 25, 1943

  • Annie Jump Cannon, astronomer, whose cataloguing work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification, December 11, 1863 – April 13, 1941

  • Josip Plemelj, mathematician, December 11, 1873 - May 22, 1967

  • Max Born, mathematician and physicist, who shared the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics with Walther Wilhelm Georg Bothe, December 11, 1882 – January 5, 1970

  • Fiorello Enrico [Henry] LaGuardia, mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945l; LaGuardia Airport was named after him; the Laguardia Commission was the first in-depth study into the effects of smoking marijuana - it systematically debunked claims made by the U.S. Treasury Department that smoking marijuana would result in insanity - the report was prepared by the New York Academy of Medicine, on behalf of a commission appointed in 1939 by Mayor LaGuardia, December 11, 1882 – September 20, 1947

  • Victor McLaglen, boxer, wrestler, and actor; in films, he became a popular character actor, with a particular knack for playing drunks; he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1935 for his role in The Informer; near the end of his career, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Quiet Man; he was especially popular with director John Ford, who frequently included McLaglen in his films; toward the end of his career, he made several guest appearances on television, particularly in Western series such as Have Gun, Will Travel and Rawhide, December 10, 1886 - November 7, 1959

  • Walter Marvin Knott, farmer, who created the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park, December 11, 1889 – December 3, 1981

  • Carlos Gardel, baritone tango singer, composer, and actor, December 11, 1887 – June 24, 1935

  • Luis Antonio Damaso de Alonso, aka Gilbert Roland, actor, December 11, 1905 – May 15, 1994

  • Elliott Cook Carter, Jr., composer of classical music, 1908

  • Naguib Mahfouz, novelist, awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature, December 11, 1911 – August 30, 2006

  • Valmond Maurice Grossmann, aka Val Guest, film director, best known for his science-fiction films for Hammer Film Productions in the 1950's, part of his long and varied career in the film industry from the early 1930's until the early 1980's, December 11, 1911 – May 10, 2006

  • Carlo Ponti, film producer, the husband of Sophia Loren, 1912

  • Jean-Alfred Villain-Marais , aka Jean Marais, actor, December 11, 1913 – November 8, 1998

  • Dámaso Pérez Prado, bandleader and composer, studied classical piano in his early childhood, and later played organ and piano in local clubs, specialiing in mambos, an upbeat adaptation of the Cuban danzón; also appeared in films in the United States and Europe as well as in Mexican cinema; today, the mambo, reinvigorated under the name salsa, is still the signature dance of Latin popular music, and Pérez Prado, Jr., continues to direct the Pérez Prado Orchestra in Mexico City, December 11, 1916 - September 14, 1989

  • Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, novelist, dramatist, and historian, awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature, 1918

  • Emily Bertelson, aka Marie Windsor, actress, sometimes called Queen of the B's because she appeared in so many films noirs and b-movies, such as Cat-Women of the Moon; after her acting career, she became a painter and sculptor, December 11, 1919 - December 10, 2000

  • Elizabeth Winifred Boger, aka Betsy Blair, character actress; she played Marty's girlfriend in Marty, for which she received prizes from Cannes and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actres; her Hollywood career was damaged during the McCarthy era, and she found work in New York, 1923

  • Paul Greengard, neuroscientist, known for his work on the molecular and cellular function of neurons, whose research has focused on events inside the neuron caused by neurotransmitters; he shared the 2000 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Arvid Carlsson and Eric Kandel, 1925

  • Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, blues singer, whose introduction to music started in the Baptist church, where she and her six siblings began to sing at a very early age; while still a child, she taught herself to play the drums and harmonica and, by the age of 14, she had run away from home to make her career in secular music, December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984

  • Jean-Louis Trintignant, actor, 1930

  • Rosita Dolores Alverío, aka Rita Moreno, actress, one of only nine people to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award; in 1961, she appeared as Anita in the Broadway musical West Side Story, for which she gained fame and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, 1931

  • Alfred McCoy Tyner, jazz pianist, known for his work with the John Coltrane Quartet, 1938

  • David Gates, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead singer of Bread, 1939

  • Donna Jean Miller, aka Donna Mills, actress, 1942

  • John Forbes Kerry, politician, Democratic presidential nominee in the 2004 U. S. presidential election, 1943

  • Teri Garr, actress and comedian, who appeared in the Star Trek episode Assignment: Earth in 1968 with Robert Lansing; one of her most famous roles was in Tootsie, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress, 1944 or 1947

  • Brenda Mae Tarpley, aka Brenda Lee, pop singer, known for the hit song Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, 1944

  • Bess Armstrong, film and television actress, 1953

  • Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson, guitar player, mathematician, inventor, practising polytechnic engineer, lecturer, and the author of several scientific papers, 1954

  • Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr., aka Nikki Sixx, bassist and songwriter for Mötley Crüe, 1958

  • Ben Browder, film and television actor, known for his roles on Farscape and Stargate SG-1, 1962

  • Cosy Sheridan, folk singer/songwriter, 1964

  • Viswanathan Anand, chess Grandmaster and former FIDE World Champion, 1969

  • Murugan [Thirumurugan] Thiruchelvam, chess player, England's youngest player ever to gain an international rating - 2020 at the age of nine, 1988


  • Oliver Fisher Winchester, businessman and politician; he manufactured and marketed the Winchester repeating rifle, which was a much re-designed descendant of the [Smith & Wesson] Volcanic rifle of some years earlier, November 30, 1810 - December 11, 1880

  • Christian Lous Lange, shared the 1921 Nobel Peace Prize with Hjalmar Branting, September 17, 1869 – December 11, 1938

  • Charles Émile Picard, mathematician, who was concerned with the training of mathematics, physics, and engineering students; he wrote a classic textbook on analysis, which is still considered a standard reference, and one of the first textbooks on the theory of relativity, July 24, 1856 - December 11, 1941

  • Leslie John Comrie, astronomer and a pioneer in mechanical computation, August 15, 1893 – December 11, 1950

  • Jeanne Roques, aka Musidora, silent film actress, author, screenwriter, and film director, remembered for her vamp persona in the roles of Irma Vep and Diana Monti in the early motion picture crime serials Les Vampires and Judex, February 23, 1889 - December 11, 1957

  • James Leroy JIM Bottomley, MLB first baseman and player-manager, who had over 100 RBIs in each season from 1924 to 1929; his best season was in 1928, when he hit .325 with 31 home runs and 136 RBIs, and won the NL Most Valuable Player Award; he set the MLB record for RBIs in a single game, with 12, on September 16, 1924; he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1974, April 23, 1900 - December 11, 1959

  • Sam Cooke, gospel, R&B, soul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964

  • Percy Kilbride, character actor, July 16, 1888 - December 11, 1964

  • Vincent du Vigneaud, biochemist, awarded the 1955 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, May 18, 1901 – December 11, 1978

  • André Lichnerowicz, mathematical physicist and educator, January 21, 1915 - December 11, 1998


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