Born February 22
By: Legacy Staff
11 months ago
"Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin brought the world's wildlife to audiences around the globe through his television series, documentaries and numerous TV appearances. He was famous for his charming exuberance, his catchphrase "Crikey!" and his love for all creatures great and small, particularly crocodiles (he grew up with crocs at his parents' zoo in Brisbane, Australia). Irwin was a tireless champion for animals and environmental protections, using his fame to act as a spokesman on behalf of various charities. He also appeared in Hollywood movies such as Happy Feet, which was dedicated to his memory when it was released after his death. Irwin's name lives on, not only with his children, but also in a species of turtle discovered and named by Irwin in 1997: Elseya irwini, aka "Irwin's Turtle." We remember Irwin's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1968: Bradley Nowell, U.S. singer and guitarist for the band Sublime, is born in Long Beach, California.
1962: Steve Irwin, Australian zoologist known best as the host of the TV series The Crocodile Hunter, is born in Essendon, Victoria.
Irwin grew up around crocs in his family's Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park. At 6, he had a 12-foot python as a pet, and by 9 he was handling – and wrestling – crocodiles. Is it any surprise, then, that on his honeymoon, he and his new bride, Terri Raines Irwin, skipped the romantic week in Paris or Hawaii in favor of trapping crocodiles? Much of Irwin's life was spent with the reptiles that so fascinated him – and his delight with crocodiles was contagious. Read more
1945: Oliver, U.S. pop singer who had a hit song in the 1970s with "Good Morning Starshine," is born in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
1944: Jonathan Demme, The director who won an Academy Award for “The Silence of the Lambs" is born in Baldwin, New York.
1944: Robert Kardashian, U.S. lawyer who defended O.J. Simpson in his murder trial, and the father of Kim, Kourtney, Khloe and Rob Kardashian, is born in Los Angeles, California.
When Kardashian died, he was known best for his role as a defense attorney in one of the most controversial criminal trials in U.S. history. Now, a decade after his death, he is more widely known than ever thanks to his posthumous role as patriarch of one of television's most famous families. Since the 2007 debut of the reality TV series Keeping Up With the Kardashians, America has kept up with Robert Kardashian's four children, following them through the ups and downs of newfound fame. Read more
1936: Ernie K-Doe, nee Ernest Kador Jr., U.S. R&B singer known best for his hit single "Mother-in-Law," is born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
After his musical success in the 1960s, Ernie K-Doe moved on to new frontiers – working as a radio disc jockey and becoming a favorite eccentric of the New Orleans community. He wore a cape and crown around town, putting on ever more elaborate shows (like the time when he sang "Mother-in-Law" seven times in a row in front of the Aquarium of the Americas shark tank). He became a local legend for his costumes, catchphrases and energetic dancing, and his talent and antics won him a place in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Read more
1934: Sparky Anderson, U.S. Major League Baseball player and manager who was the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues, with the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers, is born in Bridgewater, South Dakota.
George "Sparky" Anderson got his nickname in the minor leagues because of his spirited play. He made it to the majors for only one season, batting .218 for the Phillies in 1959. Anderson learned to control a temper that nearly scuttled his fledgling career as a manager in the minors, and went on to become one of baseball's best at running a team. His Reds teams that won crowns in 1975 and 1976 rank among the most powerful of all time. Read more
1932: Ted Kennedy, U.S. politician who represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate from 1962 to 2009, and the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. His only run for the White House ended in defeat in 1980. More than a quarter-century later, he handed then-Sen. Barack Obama an endorsement at a critical point in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, explicitly likening the young contender to President Kennedy. Read more
1930: Marni Nixon, U.S. singer who ghost sang for many leading actress's, is born in Altadena, California.
1925: Edward Gorey, U.S. writer and illustrator known best for macabre works including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
It was a mix the publishing industry didn't know quite what to do with. Were Gorey's books meant for children? Surely some parents would be squeamish about reading them to their children lest they induce nightmares of being smothered by rugs, trapped in ice or slipping down the drain. Was it then a morose, meant-for-adults parody of sunny, didactic children's literature? And just how do you market that sort of book? Read more
1918: Don Pardo, U.S. radio and TV announcer known best for introducing Saturday Night Live from 1975 until 2014, is born in Westfield, Massachusetts.
The prolific announcer was the voice of Saturday Night Live for its first 39 years (minus the forgettable 1981 - 1982 season). His golden tones welcomed viewers to the iconic sketch comedy program as well as to game shows such as The Price Is Right and Jeopardy! At one point in his long career, Pardo also performed announcing duties for the NBC Nightly News. Read more
1907: Robert Young, U.S. actor whose starring roles included Jim Anderson in Father Knows Best and the title character in Marcus Welby, M.D., is born in Chicago, Illinois.
Young made his TV debut in 1954 on Father Knows Best, having already starred in the show's radio version for five years. Playing Jim Anderson, father to Betty, Bud and Kathy, Young was the classic 1950s TV father – a working man (in this case, an insurance agent) who found time to be a gentle father and dispense good advice. Read more
1892: Edna St. Vincent Millay, U.S. poet and playwright who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1923, is born in Rockland, Maine.
1819: James Russell Lowell, U.S. poet who was among the first generation of American poets to become as successful as their British counterparts, is born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1810: Frederic Chopin, Polish composer renowned for his compositions for the piano, is born in Zelazowa Wola, Poland.
1788: Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher who influenced Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and many other great thinkers, is born in Gdansk, Poland.
1732: George Washington, U.S. politician who was the first president of the United States, serving from 1789 to 1797, is born in Westmoreland, Virginia.