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Born February 28

Brian Jones was the driving force behind the Rolling Stones in their early years. He founded the band and came up with their name, and his proficiency with a variety of instruments such as the sitar and dulcimer, in addition to guitar, keyboards and harmonica, helped shape the band's sound as they evolved throughout the 1960s. His stunning multi-instrumental talent can be heard on the Stones' classics including "Paint It, Black" (sitar), "Under My Thumb" (marimba), "Let's Spend the Night Together" (organ) and many more. But the life of a rock star included, for Jones, hard partying and drugs, and he was just 27 at the time of his "death by misadventure," as the coroner put it – the first of many rock stars to join the "27 Club." We remember Jones' 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 Hollywood legend Jane Russell.

1948: Geoff Nichols, longtime keyboardist for the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, is born in Birmingham, England.

1945: Bubba Smith, U.S. football player and actor who was a two-time Pro Bowl honoree and went on to portray Moses Hightower in six installments of the "Police Academy" series, is born in Orange, Texas.

Bubba Smith (AP Photo)Smith was part of two of the most famous football games ever played, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. In 1966, he was at Michigan State when the Spartans and Notre Dame, both undefeated, played to a 10-10 tie. Michigan State finished second behind the top-ranked Fighting Irish that season. In 1965 and '66, Smith helped Michigan State go 19-1-1 and win consecutive Big Ten titles. Read more




1942: Brian Jones, English guitarist and multi-instrumentalist with the Rolling Stones, is born in Cheltenham, England.

Jones, a founding member of the Stones, contributed unique instrumentation that helped the band's sound grow and evolve. From the early days of the band's career, Jones played harmonica on a variety of tracks, and he soon branched out to include more unusual instruments – traditional and ethnic instruments like sitar and dulcimer; keyboards like organ, accordion, and harpsichord; woodwinds like saxophone and oboe; and more. Read more




1940: Joe South, U.S. singer-songwriter known for his Grammy-winning hit, "Games People Play," is born in Atlanta, Georgia.

Joe South (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images )South's song "Down in the Boondocks" was a 1965 hit for singer Billy Joe Royal. South worked as a session guitar player on recordings such as Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools," and on albums such as Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" and LPs by Eddy Arnold and Marty Robbins. South also had a solo singing career producing hits such as the late '60s-song "Games People Play," which won him two Grammys for best contemporary song and song of the year. The song, which was released on South's debut album, "Introspect," spoke against hate, hypocrisy, and inhumanity, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Read more



1939: The Missing Link, born Byron Robertson, Canadian professional wrestler with World Class Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation, is born in Kitchener, Ontario.

1939: John Fahey, U.S. guitarist known for his finger-picking solo work, is born in Washington, D.C.

1931: Dean Smith, U.S. college basketball coaching legend at the University of North Carolina, is born in Emporia, Kansas.

He led the Tar Heels to 13 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships, 11 Final Four appearances, five national title games, and NCAA championships in 1982 and 1993. North Carolina won at least 20 games in each of his final 27 seasons, and his teams made 23 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament. Along the way, more than 95 percent of Smith's lettermen graduated from one of the nation's premier public universities. Read more




1923: Charles Durning, U.S. actor with notable roles in "The Sting" and "Dog Day Afternoon," is born in Highland Falls, New York.

Charles Durning (Associated Press Photo)Although he portrayed everyone from blustery public officials to comic foils to put-upon everymen, Durning may be best remembered by movie audiences for his Oscar-nominated, over-the-top role as a comically corrupt governor in 1982's "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," according to his obituary by The Associated Press. Many critics marveled that such a heavyset man could be so nimble in the film's show-stopping song-and-dance number, not realizing Durning had been a dance instructor early in his career. Indeed, he had met his first wife, Carol, when both worked at a dance studio. Read more



1915: Zero Mostel, U.S. actor and comedian who played Max Bialystock in the original film version of "The Producers," is born in Brooklyn, New York.

His first passion was art, and as a young boy he would go daily to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and copy its masterpieces. Crowds would gather to watch him work, impressed by his skill – his first audiences may have given him a taste for the spotlight. But neither his audience nor his later class-clown status at City College of New York dissuaded him from studying art. He continued to paint and, after graduation, began teaching art and giving gallery talks at New York art museums. With that gig, his future career became clear. Lecture audiences loved the humor he sprinkled in, and he began receiving invitations to perform as a comedian. Read more



1908: Billie Bird, U.S. actress known for roles in movies including "Sixteen Candles" and "Home Alone," is born in Pocatello, Idaho.

Bird's career – like her life – was long. She began performing in vaudeville as a child, and continued on the stage and in night clubs. In the 1950s, the talented and versatile Bird made the leap to film and later television. Though her career never slowed, she found new recognition in the '80s. Perhaps you remember her as the short-and-feisty grandma from "16 Candles." … Or maybe you noticed her in another '80s (cult) classic, like "Ernest Saves Christmas" or "Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol." Read more

1903: Vincente Minnelli, U.S. director of movie musicals including "Gigi" and "Meet Me in St. Louis," and the husband of Judy Garland and father of Liza Minnelli, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1901: Linus Pauling, U.S. chemist who is one of only two people to be awarded Nobel Prize accolades in two categories – chemistry and peace – is born in Portland, Oregon.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including Hollywood legend Jane Russell.