Born December 12
By: Legacy Staff
10 months ago
One of the greatest stars of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra charmed us for decades with his talents. He sang in an effortlessly rich voice that made hits like "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Strangers in the Night" enduring classics. He acted, earning an Academy Award for his performance in "From Here to Eternity" and delighting fans with lighter fare including musicals and comedies. He was feted with John F. Kennedy Center honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a Congressional Gold Medal, among numerous other awards and recognitions for his unmatched career. We remember Sinatra's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1972: Brandon Teena, U.S. transsexual whose story was the subject of the movie "Boys Don't Cry," is born in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Not many transgender people made the news in the early 1990s. Then Teena, who was born female but identified and lived as a male, was raped and murdered in a small Nebraska town in December 1993. The incident made national news, in part because it seemed unusual and was easily exploited. An individual who had been born female but was living as a male, complete with a girlfriend? And this person was attractive and seemingly "normal"? Read more
1945: Tony Williams, U.S. jazz drummer who was at one time a member of Miles Davis' band and is considered one of the most influential jazz drummers to come out of the 1960s, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1944: Rob Tyner, U.S. rock vocalist known best as the lead singer of the band MC5, is born in Detroit, Michigan.
1943: Grover Washington Jr., U.S. saxophonist from New York whose albums include "Inner City Blues," "Time out of Mind," and "The Best Is Yet To Come," is born in Buffalo, New York.
1941: Tim Hauser, U.S. singer who co-founded the Manhattan Transfer vocal group, is born in Troy, New York.
Hauser co-founded Manhattan Transfer, who released their debut album in the early 1970s and launched hits such as "Operator" and "The Boy From New York City," according to his October 2014 obituary by The Associated Press. The band went on to win multiple pop and jazz Grammys. Their critically acclaimed album, 1985's "Vocalese," earned a whopping 12 Grammy nominations. Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, and Cheryl Bentyne – who joined in 1978 and replaced Laurel Masse – rounded out the foursome. Read more
1924: Ed Koch, U.S. congressman and the mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, is born in the Bronx, New York.
The larger-than-life Koch, who breezed through the streets of New York flashing his signature thumbs-up sign, won a national reputation with his feisty style. "How'm I doing?" was his trademark question to constituents, although the answer mattered little to Koch. The mayor always thought he was doing wonderfully, according to his 2013 obituary by The Associated Press. Read more
1918: Joe Williams, jazz singer who was the vocalist for Count Basie's band in the 1950s, is born in Cordele, Georgia.
1917: James Wall, U.S. actor known best for playing Mr. Baxter on "Captain Kangaroo," is born in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The former vaudevillian joined the popular children's show in 1962 as a stage manager before persuading the show's producers to create its first black character in 1968, according to his 2010 obituary by The Associated Press. He played Baxter and another recurring role on the show until 1978. Wall was a stage manager for many CBS broadcasts over the years, including "60 Minutes," "Face the Nation," and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Read more
1915: Frank Sinatra, U.S. singer and actor who is considered one of the greatest vocalists of all time and whose acting career included an Academy Award for his role in "From Here to Eternity," is born in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Sinatra, who died in 1998, became an icon of cool in postwar America. He sold millions of records during a career spanning seven decades, and he continues to sell records nearly 20 years after his retirement in 1995. He also sang, danced, and acted his way through a string of classic film musicals like "Pal Joey," "Guys and Dolls," and "On the Town." Sinatra became legendary for his wild bachelor lifestyle, along with his friends in the so-called Rat Pack, and even made a heist movie with the rest of the Pack. Read more
1909: Karen Morley, U.S. actress who appeared in many movies in the 1930s including "Mata Hari" and was blacklisted in Hollywood when she refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, is born in Ottumwa, Iowa.
1900: Sammy Davis Sr., U.S. dancer who was the father of Sammy Davis Jr. and danced with his son in the Will Mastin Trio, is born in Wilmington, North Carolina.
1893: Edward G. Robinson, Romanian-American actor who was a Hollywood star and appeared in movies such as "Little Caesar" and "Double Indemnity," is born in Bucharest, Romania.
1881: Harry Warner, Polish-born U.S. studio executive who founded Warner Bros. pictures along with his three brothers, is born in Krasnosielc, Poland.
1821: Gustave Flaubert, French author who wrote the classic "Madame Bovary," is born in Rouen, France.
1745: John Jay, U.S. politician who was the first chief justice of the United States and then the governor of New York, is born in New York, New York.