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Born January 16

The singer, dancer and actress Aaliyah was just 14 when she recorded her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, a smash hit that went double platinum and launched a career that just kept rising. Her subsequent albums were also chart favorites, and her hit singles included "If Your Girl Only Knew" and "Try Again." She starred in the movies Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned, and she was poised for further stardom when she died in a plane crash at 22. We remember Aaliyah'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 Hollywood legend Carole Lombard.

1979: Aaliyah, U.S. singer and actress whose hits included "Try Again" and "Back & Forth," who starred in Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned, is born in Brooklyn, New York.

She went gold with her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, when she was just 14 in 1994 and benefited from working closely with hip-hop producer R. Kelly. Her final album, Aaliyah, featured regular Aaliyah contributors Timbaland and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. She took on the issue of domestic violence in the slow tune "Never No More" and experimented with jazz rhythms in "I Care 4 U." Read more

 

 

 

1961: Paul Raven, English bassist with post-punk band Killing Joke, is born in Wolverhampton, England.

1950: Robert Schimmel, U.S. comedian known for appearances on HBO and The Howard Stern Show, is born in the Bronx, New York.

A frRobert Schimmel (Getty Images)equent guest on The Howard Stern Show, Schimmel also was known for his battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In 2008, he published Cancer on Five Dollars a Day* (*chemo not included): How Humor Got Me Through the Toughest Journey of My Life, which chronicled his experience fighting the disease. He also incorporated cancer stories into his act. Read more

 

 

 

 

1942: Rene Angelil, Canadian producer and manager who was the manager and husband of singer Celine Dion, is born in Montreal, Quebec.

1938: Michael Pataki, U.S. character actor known for roles on TV's Star Trek and Happy Days, is born in Youngstown, Ohio.

1933: Susan Sontag, U.S. author of works including On Photography and the essay "Notes on 'Camp'," is born in New York, New York.

The 1964 piece "Notes on 'Camp'," which established her as a major new writer, popularized the "so bad it's good" attitude toward popular culture, applicable to everything from "Swan Lake" to feather boas. In "Against Interpretation," this most analytical of writers worried that critical analysis interfered with art's "incantatory, magical" power. Read more

 

 

 

 

1937: Francis George, U.S. Cardinal who was the archbishop of Chicago from 1997 to 2014, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1932: Dian Fossey, U.S. primatologist whose work with gorillas in Rwanda, Africa, became well-known after the publication of her book, Gorillas in the Mist, and the movie adapted from it, is born in San Francisco, California.

Fossey's international reputation wasn't gained just by unlocking the secrets of the gorilla. She was just as well-known for her conservation efforts and her fight against poachers. Fossey found that when it came to protecting gorillas, playing nice didn't work – so she mirrored the dirty tactics of the poachers by destroying their traps, capturing and humiliating the poachers, even setting fire to their camps. Read more

 

 

 

1925: Harold Switzer, U.S. child actor who appeared in several of the Our Gang films, is born in Paris, Illinois.

1924: Katy Jurado, Mexican actress who was the first Latin American actress to win a Golden Globe, for her performance in High Noon, is born in Guadalajara, Mexico.

1918: Stirling Silliphant, U.S. screenwriter who wrote screenplays including The Towering Inferno and In the Heat of the Night, is born in Detroit, Michigan.

1917: Carl Karcher, U.S. businessman who founded the Carl's Jr. hamburger chain, is born in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

1910: Jay "Dizzy" Dean, U.S. Major League Baseball pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Browns, is born in Lucas, Arkansas.

1908: Ethel Merman, U.S. singer and actress known for her starring roles in musical comedies on Broadway and in the movies, is born in Queens, New York.

That big voice didn't come from years of lessons, working and studying to increase her range and power. No, it was all natural – Merman never had a singing lesson in her life. And yet her powerful voice could reach every corner of a Broadway theater, right to the back row, without amplification. And her enunciation was so crystal clear that every word could be heard and understood by the folks in that back row. Composer George Gershwin was so impressed that he begged her never to work with a vocal teacher. Read more

 

 

 

1901: Frank Zamboni, U.S. inventor who invented the ice resurfacing machine known by his surname, is born in Eureka, Ohio.

1900: Edith Frank, German woman who was the mother of Anne Frank, is born in Aachen, Germany.

1891: Ruth Rose, U.S. screenwriter known best for her work on 1933's King Kong, is born in Somerville, Massachusetts.

1878: Harry Carey, U.S. actor who was a top star of silent films, is born in the Bronx, New York.

1853: Andre Michelin, French businessman who co-founded the Michelin Tyre Co. and published the first Michelin Guide, is born in Paris, France.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including Hollywood legend Carole Lombard.