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Born July 15

Ian Curtis is well-remembered by his fans as the lead singer and songwriter of the post-punk band Joy Division. The band was one of the first signed to Manchester's Factory Records. Their best-known song is "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Curtis was known for his unique dance movements onstage that were similar to the seizures he would have from epilepsy. Curtis died by suicide on the eve of the band's first North American tour. The rest of the band members continued on as New Order, becoming one of the most influential new-wave dance bands of the '80s. We remember Curtis' 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 actor and game show host Bert Convy.

1970: Chi Cheng, U.S. bassist with the Deftones, is born in Stockton, California.

Chi Cheng (Getty Images / WireImage / Shirlaine Forrest)Cheng and his bandmates won a best metal performance Grammy in 2001. He was a "powerful bassist who was larger than life onstage," the Recording Academy, the industry organization that presents the Grammys, said in a statement in reaction to his death. "Although the group's early years were more heavy metal-based," the statement read, "they were one of the first bands to incorporate a more alternative and ethereal sound into their thunderous and visceral music, blazing a trail that newer bands continue to follow today." Read more




1956: Ian Curtis, English singer-songwriter who was the frontman for the post-punk band Joy Division, is born in Stretford, England.

The members of Joy Division carried on after Ian Curtis' death, though, in a nod to their frontman's importance, under a new name, New Order. Their 1985 album, "Low-Life," featured "Elegia," dedicated to Curtis and as an instrumental, emphasizing his absence. Many heard the song in the movie "Pretty in Pink," having no idea that it paid tribute to Curtis. Read more





1952: Johnny Thunders, U.S. singer-songwriter and guitarist with the New York Dolls as well as Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, is born in Queens, New York.

1938: Ernie Barnes, U.S. professional football player and artist who played with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos, then painted works including "Sugar Shack," which was used on the TV show "Good Times" and on a Marvin Gaye album cover, is born in Durham, North Carolina.

1936: George Voinovich, U.S. Senator from Ohio who was the Governor of Ohio before joining the Senate, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.

1935: Alex Karras, U.S. football player with the Detroit Lions and actor with notable roles in "Blazing Saddles" and on TV's "Webster," is born in Gary, Indiana.

Alex Karras (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)Karras was one of the NFL's most ferocious – and best – defensive tackles for the Detroit Lions from 1958-70, bulling past offensive lineman and hounding quarterbacks. The charismatic bruiser went into acting after his football career, and in his signature scene dropped a horse with a punch as the soft-hearted outlaw Mongo in the 1974 comedy "Blazing Saddles." He also portrayed the father on the 1980s sitcom "Webster," along with his actress-wife Susan Clark, and was in the "Monday Night Football" broadcast booth along the way. Read more




1930: Jacques Derrida, Algerian-French philosopher who developed deconstruction theory, is born in El Biar, Algeria.

1919: Iris Murdoch, Irish author of novels including "Under the Net," is born in Dublin, Ireland.

1913: Cowboy Copas, U.S. country music singer who was killed in the plane crash that also took Patsy Cline's life, is born in Blue Creek, Ohio.

1905: Dorothy Fields, U.S. songwriter who penned tunes for musicals including "Swing Time" and "Annie Get Your Gun," is born in Allenhurst, New Jersey.

1606: Rembrandt, Dutch painter well-known for his portraits and biblical scenes, is born in Leiden, Dutch Republic.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including actor and game show host Bert Convy.