Born August 24

He wrote the bestselling "People's History of the United States." We remember Howard Zinn's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including singer Louis Prima.

1951: Oscar Hijuelos, U.S. author who became the first Hispanic writer to win a Pulitzer Prize, for his novel "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," is born in New York, New York.

Oscar Hijuelos (Associated Press)"The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" became a best-seller and earned him international acclaim. He won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1990, making him the first Hispanic writer to receive that honor. The novel tells the story of two Cuban brothers who journey from Havana to New York to start an orchestra. At one point in the story, the brothers appear on the television comedy "I Love Lucy," which starred Lucille Ball and her Cuban bandleader husband, Desi Arnaz. The book was eventually turned into a movie starring Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas. Read more




1949: Charles Rocket, U.S. actor known for performances on "Saturday Night Live" and in the movie "Dumb and Dumber," is born in Bangor, Maine.

1944: Gregory Jarvis, U.S. NASA astronaut who was a crew member on Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded, is born in Detroit, Michigan.

Greg Jarvis (Photo: NASA)He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1969 and was assigned to work on satellite communications technology. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1973, Jarvis entered the private sector where he continued working in the field of satellite technology and was involved in the development and launch of several spacecraft. In 1984, he was chosen as a candidate for the space shuttle program. Read more




1943: John Cipollina, U.S. guitarist with Quicksilver Messenger Service, is born in Berkeley, California.

1934: Kenny Baker, British actor known best for playing R2-D2 in the "Star Wars" movies, is born in Birmingham, England.

1922: Howard Zinn, U.S. author known best for his best-selling book "A People's History of the United States," is born in Brooklyn, New York.

Howard Zinn (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images/Entertainment)Published in 1980 with little promotion and a first printing of 5,000, "A People's History" was – fittingly – a people's best-seller, attracting a wide audience through word-of-mouth and reaching 1 million sales in 2003. Although Zinn was writing for a general readership, his book was taught in high schools and colleges throughout the country, and numerous companion editions were published, including "Voices of a People's History," a volume for young people, and a graphic novel. Read more



1917: Dennis James, U.S. game show host and perpetual TV personality who presided over what is considered to be the first TV game show, "Cash and Carry," is born in Jersey City, New Jersey.

1916: Hal Smith, U.S. actor who played town drunk Otis Campbell on "The Andy Griffith Show" and voiced animated characters including Owl from "Winnie the Pooh," is born in Petoskey, Michigan.

1911: Durward Kirby, U.S. TV host and announcer who co-hosted "Candid Camera" with Allen Funt, is born in Covington, Kentucky.

1899: Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine author who helped develop the magical realism genre, is born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1890: Jean Rhys, Dominican author known best for her novel "Wide Sargasso Sea," is born in Roseau, Dominica.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including singer Louis Prima.