Born July 12

Andrew Wyeth was one of the best-known American artists of the 20th century. Wyeth often said, "I paint my life." He was known for painting the people and land around him in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. One of his most famous paintings is "Christina's World," which he painted in 1948. The painting depicts his neighbor Christina sprawled on a field looking at her house in Maine. We remember Wyeth'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 Minnie Riperton.

1959: Charlie Murphy, the comedian worked on "Chappelle's Show" and was Eddie Murphy's brother, is born in Brooklyn, New York. 

1957: Rick Husband, U.S. astronaut who was the commander of space shuttle Columbia, is born in Amarillo, Texas.

The 45-year-old Air Force colonel, a test pilot before he was selected as an astronaut in 1994, was on his second spaceflight. He piloted the Discovery shuttle for 10 days in 1999 on a mission that involved the crew's first docking aboard an international space station. Husband told his father he wanted to be an astronaut at age 5. "It's been pretty much a lifelong dream and just a thrill to be able to get to actually live it out," Husband said in an interview. Read more

 

 

1955: Jimmy LaFave, Americana singer-songwriter known for the “Red Dirt” sound, is born in Wills Point, Texas. 

1950: Eric Carr, U.S. musician who was the drummer for Kiss from 1980 to 1991, is born in Brooklyn, New York.

1944: Pat Woodell, U.S. actress and singer known best for her role as Bobbie Jo Bradley on the sitcom "Petticoat Junction," is born in Winthrop, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

 

 

1941: Benny Parsons, U.S. NASCAR driver and announcer who won the Winston Cup in 1973, is born in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

He won 21 races, including the 1975 Daytona 500, and 20 poles. He was also the first Cup competitor to qualify for a race faster than 200 mph when he posted a lap at 200.176 mph at the 1982 Winston 500 at Talladega (Alabama) Superspeedway. Parsons ended his career with 283 top-10 finishes, led at least one lap in 192 races and finished no lower than fifth in the points from 1972 to 1980 while earning more than $4 million. He also won back-to-back ARCA titles in 1968-69 when he lived in Detroit, before getting his shot at NASCAR. Read more

 

1934: Van Cliburn, U.S. pianist who became well-known after winning Russia's International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in 1958, during the Cold War, is born in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The adulation usually reserved for stars along the lines of Elvis Presley and the Beatles was heaped on Cliburn when he made his triumphant 1958 return from the Soviet Union at age 23 after winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, a Cold War-era competition intended to showcase the superiority of the host country. When the judges named Cliburn the victor – after checking with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to make sure it was OK for an American to win – they made him a superstar. Read more

 

 

 

1930: Glenn Yarbrough, U.S. musician who was a founding member of the folk music vocal trio the Limeliters, is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1925: Roger Smith, U.S. businessman who was the CEO of the General Motors Corp. and the subject of Michael Moore's documentary "Roger & Me," is born in Columbus, Ohio.

1920: Beah Richards, U.S. actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?", is born in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1917: Andrew Wyeth, U.S. artist well-known for paintings including "Christina's World," is born in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

A Wyeth retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2006 drew more than 175,000 visitors in 15½ weeks, the highest-ever attendance at the museum for a living artist. The Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, a converted 19th-century grist mill, includes hundreds of works by three generations of Wyeths. Wyeth even made Peanuts, in a November 1966 comic strip: After a fire in his dog house destroys his Van Gogh, Snoopy replaces it with an Andrew Wyeth. Read more

 

 

 

1909: Joe "Curly Joe" DeRita, U.S. actor and comedian who was a member of the Three Stooges, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1908: Milton Berle, U.S. actor and television personality who was a popular TV host and was known as Mr. Television, is born in New York, New York.

1904: Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and politician known for work including "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair," is born in Parral, Chile.

1895: Oscar Hammerstein II, U.S. librettist whose popular collaborations with Richard Rodgers include "The Sound of Music," "Carousel," and "South Pacific," is born in New York, New York.

1895: Buckminster Fuller, U.S. architect known for designs including the Montreal Biosphere, is born in Milton, Massachusetts.

1880: Tod Browning, U.S. film director known best for "Dracula" and "Freaks," is born in Louisville, Kentucky.

1854: George Eastman, U.S. businessman who founded Eastman Kodak, is born in Waterville, New York.

1817: Henry David Thoreau, U.S. transcendentalist author known for works including "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" and "Walden," is born in Concord, Massachusetts.

100 B.C.: Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman who expanded the Roman Empire and became a dictator, is born in Rome, Italy.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including singer Minnie Riperton.