Died Today in History ›
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Published: 10 months ago
Dr. Seuss was one of the best-loved and most prolific children's authors of all time. Born Theodor Seuss Geisel, he started his career drawing for adults – comic strips, advertisements, and political cartoons. But it was as a writer and illustrator of children's books that he gained worldwide fame, delighting young and old alike with deceptively silly books such as "The Cat in the Hat," "Horton Hears a Who," and "The Lorax." He was honored with a Pulitzer Prize, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and many other awards. His writing and drawing styles are instantly recognizable to anyone who's ever enjoyed his world-famous work. We remember Dr. Seuss' life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2016: Stanley Dural Jr. (Buckwheat Zydeco), U.S. accordian player who led the popular Zydeco band Buckwheat Zydeco, dies at 68.
An accomplished accordion player, Dural performed under the name Buckwheat Zydeco. He helped popularize the music of the French Creole speakers of Louisiana, known as Zydeco. The dance music prominently features accordion and washboard and blends influences from Creole, Cajun, and African-American musical traditions. Read more
2016: Bill Nunn, U.S. character actor who appeared in multiple Spike Lee films, dies at 62.
2010: Olga Nardone, U.S. actress who played a munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz," dies at 89.
2008: Mickey Vernon, U.S. Major League Baseball first baseman who was a seven-time All-Star and won one World Series title, dies at 90.
Vernon played from 1939-43 and 1946-60 with Washington, Cleveland, the Boston Red Sox, the Milwaukee Braves, and Pittsburgh, winning batting titles in 1946 and 1953. He went on to become the first manager of the expansion Senators in 1961, after the original team moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. He was a career .286 hitter and finished with 2,495 hits in 2,409 games, including 490 doubles and 120 triples. He had 172 homers and 1,311 RBIs. Read more
2005: Tommy Bond, U.S. actor known best for playing Butch on "The Little Rascals," dies at 79.
2003: Lyle Bettger, U.S. character actor who may be remembered best for his role as the elephant handler Klaus in the movie "The Greatest Show on Earth," dies at 88.
2003: Rosalie Allen, U.S. country music singer and disc jockey who was the first woman inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame, dies at 79.
2002: Mike Webster, U.S. Pro Football Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers who was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and won four Super Bowl championships, dies of a heart attack at 50. He also had a degenerative brain condition caused by his many years of football.
1998: Jeff Moss, U.S. composer, lyricist, and writer who worked for years for the children's show "Sesame Street" and who wrote the song "Rubber Duckie," dies at 56.
Shortly before he died, Moss wrote "The Song Goes On," which was a centerpiece of the Triangle Club's revue in celebration of Princeton's 250th anniversary and has become a staple in the club's canon. Read more
1996: Mark Frankel, English actor who had a regular role as Simon Bolt on the television series "Sisters," dies in a motorcycle accident at 34.
1991: Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, U.S. writer who was well-known for his classic children's books, including "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" and "The Cat in the Hat," dies at 87.
In all, Geisel would publish 44 books during his lifetime, the last being "Oh, the Places You'll Go." A popular gift during graduation season, the book sells more than 300,000 copies a year. In a 2000 list of the top-selling children's books, Dr. Seuss occupied 16 of the top-100 slots, with his best-selling work being "Green Eggs and Ham." Read more
1991: Mary Lawrence, U.S. actress who had recurring roles on the TV series "Casey Jones" and "The Bob Cummings Show," dies at 73.
1984: Neil Hamilton, U.S. actor known best for his role as Commissioner Gordon on the television series "Batman," dies at 85.
1981: Patsy Kelly, U.S. actress who played the sidekick to Thelma Todd in a popular series of short films in the 1930s and appeared on many television series, including "The Dick Van Dyke Show," dies at 71.
1962: Charles Reisner, U.S. actor and director who starred alongside Charlie Chaplin in the movie "The Kid," dies at 75.
1948: Warren William, U.S. actor who was popular during the 1930s, appearing in such movies as "Cleopatra," dies at 53.
1939: Carl Laemmle, German movie executive who was a pioneer of American filmmaking and a co-founder of Universal Studios, dies at 72.
Of the early Hollywood film moguls (Laemmle, Zukor, Fox, and Loew) Laemmle was considered the warmest and most easygoing. He endeared himself to actors by being among the first to give them credit on screen and is often said to have created the first named movie star – Florence Lawrence, previously known only as the Biograph Girl. His was the only studio that allowed tourists to visit – a practice that has evolved into a $100 million annual business with Universal Theme Parks in Los Angeles, California; Orlando, Florida; and Osaka, Japan. Read more