Born Today in History ›
Getty Images / Photo by Martin Mills
Published: 9 months ago
Dick Martin was one-half of Rowan and Martin, the comedy duo that socked it to America with Laugh-In. The absurd roller coaster was a breakout hit, becoming the No. 1 TV show in America within two months of its debut. Martin was a veteran comedy writer and performer, having toured nightclubs for years with Dan Rowan and appeared together frequently on The Colgate Comedy Hour. After Laugh-In's amazing five-year run, Martin appeared on game shows throughout the 1970s, hosting two of his own. During the 1980s, he was the chief director for the sitcom Newhart. We remember Martin's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1957: Payne Stewart, U.S. professional golfer who won the U.S. Open in 1991 and 1999, is born in Springfield, Missouri.
1947: Steve Marriott, English singer and guitarist who was frontman for the bands Humble Pie and Small Faces, is born in Manor Park, England.
1935: Richard Brautigan, U.S. novelist and poet known best for his 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America, is born in Tacoma, Washington.
1925: Douglas Engelbart, U.S. computer scientist who invented the pointing device known as the mouse, is born in Portland, Oregon.
He said his work was all about "augmenting human intellect," but it boiled down to making computers easy to use. One of the biggest advances was the mouse, which he developed in the 1960s and patented in 1970. At the time, it was a wooden shell covering two metal wheels: an "X-Y position indicator for a display system." The notion of operating the inside of a computer with a tool on the outside was way ahead of its time. The mouse wasn't commercially available until 1984, with Apple's new Macintosh. Read more
1924: Lloyd Alexander, U.S. author of fantasy works for young adults, including the Chronicles of Prydian series, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1922: Dick Martin, U.S. comedian and director known best as a host of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, is born in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Laugh-In, which debuted in January 1968, was unlike any comedy-variety show before it. Rather than relying on a series of tightly scripted song-and-dance segments, it offered up a steady, almost stream-of-consciousness run of nonsequitur jokes, political satire and madhouse antics from a cast of talented young actors and comedians that also included Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, Henry Gibson, Jo Anne Worley and announcer Gary Owens. Presiding over it all were Rowan and Martin, the veteran nightclub comics whose stand-up banter put their own distinct spin on the show. Read more
1920: Delbert Mann, U.S. film director who won an Academy Award for Marty, is born in Lawrence, Kansas.
1914: David Wayne, U.S. actor with notable roles in Adam's Rib and The Tender Trap, is born in Traverse City, Michigan.
1911: Roy Eldridge, U.S. jazz trumpeter who influenced Dizzy Gillespie and the bebop style, is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1882: Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. politician who was the 32nd president of the United States, winning a record four elections and serving from 1933 to 1945, is born in Hyde Park, New York.