Born July 7

At 42, Satchel Paige was the oldest rookie in Major League Baseball history, making his debut in 1948 after spending decades as a star in the Negro Leagues. Paige was one of the first black players in the MLB, following the official end of the "color barrier" in baseball. Before joining the Cleveland Indians, Paige played for teams in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and all around the United States, honing his skills as an intimidatingly powerful pitcher. As an MLB player, Paige was renowned for his technical prowess and athleticism, as well as his infectious spirit and obvious love of the game. In 1971, he became the first Negro Leagues player ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. We remember Paige's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including Hollywood femme fatale Veronica Lake.

1943: Joel Siegel, U.S. journalist who was the longtime film critic for "Good Morning America," is born in Los Angeles, California.

He landed in New York City in 1972 and worked as a reporter for WCBS-TV. He also hosted "Joel Siegel's New York" on WCBS Radio. Four years later, he jumped to WABC-TV, cementing his reputation as a film critic over the next three decades. In 1981, he joined "Good Morning America" and became a regular as the network's entertainment editor, easily recognizable by his thick mustache and glasses. In addition to Emmy awards, he also received a public service award from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, and the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association Award for general excellence in individual reporting. Read more

 

 

1932: Joe Zawinul, Austrian jazz keyboardist who played with Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderly and co-founded the jazz fusion band Weather Report, is born in Vienna, Austria.

Zawinul won widespread acclaim for his keyboard work on chart-topping Davis albums such as "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew," and was a leading force behind the so-called Electric Jazz movement. In 1970, Zawinul founded the band Weather Report and produced a series of albums including "Heavy Weather," "Black Market," and "I Sing the Body Electric." After that band's breakup, he founded the Zawinul Syndicate in 1987. Zawinul, who was born in the Austrian capital, Vienna, and immigrated to the United States in 1959, is credited with bringing the electric piano and synthesizer into the jazz mainstream. Read more

 

 

1931: David Eddings, U.S. author who wrote epic fantasy novel series including "The Belgariad," is born in Spokane, Washington.

1927: Charlie Louvin, U.S. singer-songwriter who formed the Louvin Brothers with his brother, Ira, and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry, is born in Henagar, Alabama.

Their tempestuous relationship as brothers and as bandmates – and Ira's occasional bad behavior – brought their partnership to an end in 1963, when Charlie started a solo career. But the songs they created together tell a story of collaboration. Their tight harmonies are distinctive, and their instruments weave perfect accompaniments. Read more

 

 

 

1924: Mary Ford, U.S. singer and guitarist known best for her recordings with her husband, guitarist Les Paul, is born in El Monte, California.

Mary FordThe professional relationship soon blossomed into romance, and Paul and Ford were married in 1949. Not long after, they appeared together on "The Les Paul Show" radio broadcast. At this time, Paul and Ford were experimenting with multitrack recording, which allowed Ford to harmonize with her own voice, a completely new idea at the time. Placing the microphone much closer to the singer's mouth (the studio standard in the 1940s had been 6 inches at a minimum) allowed for warmer, more relaxed, less brassy vocals. Read more

 

 

 

1919: Jon Pertwee, English actor who played the third doctor on "Doctor Who," is born in London, England.

1915: Margaret Walker, U.S. author and poet known best for her poetry collection "For My People," is born in Birmingham, Alabama.

1913: Pinetop Perkins, U.S. blues pianist who was the oldest-ever winner of a Grammy Award, winning at 97 for his album with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, "Joined at the Hip," is born in Belzoni, Mississippi.

Pinetop Perkins (AP Photo)In an 80-year career, he played at juke joints, nightclubs, and festivals. He didn't start recording in his own name until he was in his 70s and released more than 15 solo records since 1992. That drive to keep playing the blues is what kept him alive, said his agent, Hugh Southard. Smith said Perkins once told him he was happiest when he was playing music. Perkins also loved fast food and was a smoker until the day he died. "Two cheeseburgers, apple pie, a cigarette, and a pretty girl was all he wanted," Southard said. Read more

 

 

 

1907: Robert A. Heinlein, U.S. author of classic science fiction novels including "Starship Troopers" and "Stranger in a Strange Land," is born in Butler, Missouri.

1906: Satchel Paige, U.S. professional baseball player who was one of the first African-Americans to play Major League Baseball, is born in Mobile, Alabama.

1899: George Cukor, U.S. film director whose notable movies include "The Philadelphia Story," "Adam's Rib," and "A Star Is Born," is born in Manhattan, New York.

1860: Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer of the late romantic period, is born in Kalischt, Austrian Empire.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including Hollywood femme fatale Veronica Lake.