Born April 25
By: Legacy Staff
29 days ago
Ella Fitzgerald's voice spanned three octaves, and her popularity was even more wide-ranging. She spent nearly 60 years as a recording artist, releasing more than 70 albums and picking up 14 Grammy awards in the process. She was twice-honored by U.S. presidents, and over the years she sold more than 40 million records, making her one of the all-time best-selling jazz artists. In addition to her musical career, Fitzgerald was also a fixture in film and on television for decades as a guest star and frequent guest on evening talk shows. We remember Fitzgerald's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1965: John Henson, U.S. puppeteer who performed with the Muppets and was the son of Jim Henson, is born in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Henson followed in his famous father's footsteps as a puppeteer, performing as Sweetums the ogre in several films, including "Muppet Treasure Island" and "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie." He was also a shareholder and board member of the Jim Henson Co. Read more
1963: Joy Covey, U.S. businesswoman who was the first chief financial officer of Amazon.com, is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
Covey joined Amazon in 1996, serving as its CFO, then chief strategy officer, in the early days of Internet retailing. The company went public May 14, 1997, with an initial public offering price of $18. Shares closed Sept. 18, 2013, at a record $312.06. After leaving Amazon in 2000, Covey became an independent investor and consultant and focused on environmental causes. She established the Beagle Foundation and worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Read more
1949: Michael Brown, U.S. keyboardist and songwriter known best as the principal songwriter in his band, the Left Banke, is born in New York, New York.
Born Michael Lookofsky, Brown grew up in Brooklyn. A keyboardist and songwriter for the band the Left Banke, he co-wrote the 1966 hit "Walk Away Renee." The Left Banke's biggest hit, it rose to No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Read more
1947: Johan Cruyff, Dutch soccer (football) player who is considered one of the greatest players in soccer history, is born in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1933: Jerry Leiber, U.S. songwriter whose compositions with writing partner Mike Stoller include "Hound Dog," "Kansas City," and "Stand by Me," is born in Baltimore, Maryland.
With Leiber as lyricist and Stoller as composer, the duo channeled their blues and jazz backgrounds into pop songs performed by such artists as Elvis Presley, Dion and the Belmonts, the Coasters, the Drifters, and Ben E. King in a way that would help create a joyous new musical style. From their breakout hit, blues great Big Mama Thornton's 1953 rendition of "Hound Dog," until their songwriting took a more serious turn in 1969 with Peggy Lee's recording of "Is That All There Is?", the pair remained one of the most successful teams in pop music history. Read more
1932: Meadowlark Lemon, U.S. basketball player who was one of the most popular members of the Harlem Globetrotters, is born in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Lemon dreamed of becoming a Harlem Globetrotter when he was a boy. He was named to the team in 1955 after he attended Florida A&M University and served in the U.S. Army during the early 1950s. He played with the Globetrotters until 1980, when he left to join a Globetrotters knock-off team, the Bucketeers. He also played with another team, the Shooting Stars, in the '80s before forming his own Globetrotters-like team, Meadowlark Lemon’s Harlem All Stars. The Globetrotters was his first love, however, and he rejoined the team for their 1994 touring season. Read more
1930: Paul Mazursky, U.S. film director and screenwriter whose movies include "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" and "An Unmarried Woman," is born in Brooklyn, New York.
As a talented writer, actor, and producer as well as director, Mazursky racked up five Oscar nominations, mostly for writing such films as "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" and "Enemies, A Love Story." He also created memorable roles for the likes of Art Carney, Jill Clayburgh, and Natalie Wood. Later in life, Mazursky acted on such TV series as "The Sopranos," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "Once and Again." Read more
1928: Cy Twombly, U.S. artist whose paintings are exhibited at the Louvre and New York's Museum of Modern Art, is born in Lexington, Virginia.
Twombly is known for his abstract paintings combining painting and drawing techniques, repetitive lines, and the use of graffiti, letters, and words. He is often linked to the legendary American artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. In 2010, he painted a ceiling of the Louvre museum in Paris, the first artist given the honor since Georges Braque in the 1950s. For that work, he chose something simple: a deep blue background punctuated with floating disks and emblazoned with the names of sculptors from ancient Greece, apt for a gallery of bronzes. Read more
1928: Vassar Clements, U.S. jazz and bluegrass fiddler who was a member of the bluegrass supergroup Old and in the Way with Jerry Garcia and others, is born in Kinard, Florida.
1923: Albert King, U.S. blues guitarist and singer who was highly influential, is born in Indianola, Mississippi.
1920: Robert Q. Lewis, U.S. game show host who hosted "The Name's the Same" and was a frequent panelist on "What's My Line?", is born in New York, New York.
1917: Ella Fitzgerald, U.S. jazz singer known as the First Lady of Song for her decades of iconic recordings and performances, is born in Newport News, Virginia.
"I know I'm no glamour girl, and it's not easy for me to get up in front of a crowd of people. It used to bother me a lot, but now I've got it figured out that God gave me this talent to use, so I just stand there and sing." – Ella Fitzgerald Read more
In London, Murrow took to the air as a reporter for the first time and developed his signature opening, "This … is London." Even as bombs fell around him during the Blitz, he remained calm. "Mr. Murrow, never fevered or high-blown, had the gift of dramatizing whatever he reported," his obituary in The New York Times said. "He did so by understatement and by a calm, terse, highly descriptive radio style. Sometimes there was a sort of metallic poetry in his words." Read more
1892: Maud Hart Lovelace, U.S. author of children's books who is known best for her "Betsy-Tacy" series, is born in Mankato, Minnesota.