Born Today in History ›
Published: 10 months ago
From crime-fighting superhero to crusader for spinal cord injuries, Christopher Reeve packed a lot into his too-short life. Before a horse-riding accident left him paralyzed, Reeve starred in blockbuster films such as "Superman," as well as critically acclaimed stage plays. His other films include "Somewhere in Time," "The Aviator," and the TV adaptation of "Rear Window," for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. After his accident, Reeve founded the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which supports research toward cures for paralysis. We remember Reeve's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1952: Christopher Reeve, U.S. actor and activist known best for starring in "Superman" and three sequels, is born in New York, New York.
After his legendary performance in "Superman," he found that he was being offered action movie after action movie – "Romancing the Stone," "Lethal Weapon," "The Bounty." It's not surprising that producers wanted to capitalize on his newfound image as the world's greatest superhero, but Reeve wasn't interested. A classically trained actor, he commented, "I found most of the scripts of that genre poorly constructed, and I felt the starring roles could easily be played by anyone with a strong physique." Read more
1949: Steve Mackay, U.S. saxophonist who played with the Stooges and the Violent Femmes, is born in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1946: Brian MacLean, U.S. singer-songwriter and guitarist who was a member of the band Love and wrote the group's well-known song, "Alone Again Or," is born in Los Angeles, California.
1942: Dee Dee Warwick, U.S. soul singer who was the sister of Dionne Warwick and had hits including "I Want To Be With You," is born in Newark, New Jersey.
Her family was prominent in the gospel community: Her father, Mancel Warrick, was a gospel promoter for Chess Records while her mother, Lee Drinkard Warrick, managed gospel group the Drinkard Singers, which included Lee's sister Cissy Houston. The Warrick sisters and their Aunt Cissy sang together in the church choir before forming the Gospelaires, a trio that performed in church and on gospel recording sessions. Read more
1936: Ken Forsse, U.S. inventor who created the toy Teddy Ruxpin, is born in Bellwood, Nebraska.
1933: Erik Darling, U.S. folk singer who was a member of the Weavers, is born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Darling was known best perhaps for his hit "Walk Right In" and for his arrangement of the iconic Southern true-crime ballad "Tom Dooley," which inspired the Kingston Trio's recording of the song that topped the charts in 1958. He was a member of the Tarriers, known for their version of "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" – the signature tune of Harry Belafonte. Read more
1932: Glenn Gould, Canadian pianist known best for his interpretations of Bach's piano music, is born in Toronto, Ontario.
1930: Shel Silverstein, U.S. poet and writer known for children's books including "The Giving Tree" and "Where the Sidewalk Ends," is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1917: Phil Rizzuto, U.S. professional baseball player who was a seven-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
At 5-foot-6, Rizzuto was a flashy player who could always be counted on for a perfect bunt, a nice slide, or a diving catch in a lineup better known for its cornerstone sluggers. He played 13 seasons alongside the likes of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle in a career interrupted by Navy service in World War II. "Phil was a gem, one of the greatest people I ever knew – a dear friend and great teammate," said Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who frequently visited Rizzuto in his later years. Read more
1915: Ethel Rosenberg, U.S. spy who was convicted of providing the Soviet Union with information about the atomic bomb, is born in New York, New York.
1906: Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian composer known for symphonies and music composed for films, is born in St. Petersburg, Russia.
1903: Mark Rothko, Latvian-American painter well-known for his abstract expressionist works, is born in Dvinsk, Russian Empire.
1897: William Faulkner, U.S. author of classic novels including "The Sound and the Fury" and "As I Lay Dying," is born in New Albany, Mississippi.