Born November 9
By: Legacy Staff
8 months ago
Carl Sagan is one of the best-known scientists in history, thanks in large part to his friendly, appealing approach to educating the public about science. As host of the award-winning Public Broadcasting Service series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," he brought difficult subjects down to earth and inspired a love of learning in his viewers. Sagan also wrote popular science books, promoted the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and taught astronomy at Cornell University. Almost two decades after his death, his legacy continues with Neil deGrasse Tyson's 2014 reboot of "Cosmos," which harkens back to Sagan's teaching methods while offering updated scientific information to a new generation. We remember Sagan's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1981: Eyedea, U.S. rapper and songwriter who was a freestyle battle champion, is born in St. Paul, Minnesota.
1974: Joe C., U.S. rapper known best as the hype man and comic relief for Kid Rock, is born in Taylor, Michigan.
1941: Tom Fogerty, U.S. guitarist known best as the rhythm guitarist for the popular 1960s band Creedence Clearwater Revival that featured his brother, singer-songwriter John Fogerty, is born in Berkeley, California.
"Walking on the Water" was the only Tom-penned song that Creedence recorded, though the elder Fogerty wrote plenty. In early incarnations of the band, Tom sang lead vocals. But by 1968, the lineup had changed: John had become the lead vocalist and lead songwriter. Perhaps because of this lack of recognition of his writing and singing, Tom left the band not long after. Read more
In a soft but strong voice, Travers called for social change. The type of change could differ based on the audience, as she herself once noted in The New York Times about "Blowin' in the Wind," the Bob Dylan song her trio first made famous. Travers also sang the song at the 1963 March on Washington. Read more
1936: Teddy Infuhr, U.S. child actor who appeared in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and in the "Rusty" canine adventure series, is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
1934: Carl Sagan, U.S. astronomer and author from New York who popularized science in books and appearances on television, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Sagan's most widely known legacy is perhaps his work to make science accessible to and popular with the masses, best demonstrated by his TV show, "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage." Originally broadcast in 1980, the show was – and still is – beloved for presenting complex scientific concepts in a way that made them graspable. Sagan's friendly and approachable personality was a big part of this. Instead of lecturing viewers on scientific theories, he sat down and chatted with them about how interesting science is. His sense of wonder was always present on the show, and it was contagious. Read more
1933: Jim Perry, U.S. television game show host who was the host on "Card Sharks," is born in Camden, New Jersey.
1929: Imre Kertesz, Hungarian author who won a Nobel Prize and was a Holocaust survivor, is born in Budapest, Hungary.
1928: Anne Sexton, U.S. poet who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967, is born in Newton, Massachusetts.
1923: Alice Coachman, U.S. high jumper who was the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal, is born in Albany, Georgia.
Davis was the only American woman to win a gold medal at the 1948 games. According to Olympic historian David Wallechinsky, Coachman was honored with a 175-mile motorcade in Georgia when she returned from London. However, the black and white audiences were segregated at her official ceremony in Albany. Recollecting her career in the 2004 interview, Davis speculated that she could have won even more Olympic medals, but the Olympics weren't held in 1940 or 1944 because of World War II. Read more
1922: Dorothy Dandridge, U.S. actress, singer, and dancer who was the first African-American nominated for an Academy Award, for her performance in the 1954 film "Carmen Jones," is born in Cleveland, Ohio.
1914: Hedy Lamarr, Austrian actress who was one of MGM's contract stars, and who later invented an early version of frequency hopping that eventually led to wireless technologies, is born in Vienna, Austria.
U.S. Patent 2,292,387 was issued to George Antheil and Lamarr for their frequency-hopping "secret communications system." Using a piano roll, the device was able to switch between 88 radio frequencies, an ability its creators hoped would make radio-guided Allied torpedoes more difficult for Axis powers to detect during World War II. Read more
1894: Mae Marsh, U.S. film actress who was a star during the silent era and had a major role in "Birth of a Nation," is born in Madrid, New Mexico.
1886: Ed Wynn, U.S. actor who hosted a popular radio show in the 1930s and played Uncle Albert in the movie "Mary Poppins," is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1868: Marie Dressler, Canadian-born U.S. film actress who was a star during the silent era and played the title role in the first full-length screen comedy, "Tillie's Punctured Romance," opposite Charlie Chaplin, is born in Cobourg, Ontario.