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Born October 13

Comedian Lenny Bruce was ahead of his time. He was a pioneer of edgy comedy by discussing subjects such as politics, religion, and sex. He was a major influence on comics such as George Carlin and Richard Pryor. He was known for using obscene words in his performances, something that was rarely done at the time. He was arrested for obscenity, and his trial was a landmark in freedom of speech rights. He was later pardoned posthumously by Gov. George Pataki. We remember his 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 TV personality Ed Sullivan.

1934: Jack Colvin, U.S. actor known best for his role as reporter Jack McGee on the TV series "The Incredible Hulk," is born in Lyndon, Kansas.

1931: Eddie Mathews, U.S. Hall of Fame baseball player who ranks second all-time among third basemen in home runs and RBIs, is born in Texarkana, Texas.

1931: Raymond Kopa, French soccer star who was a legend playing for Real Madrid, is born in Noeux-les-Mines, France.

1930: Bruce Geller, U.S. writer and television producer known best as the creator of the TV series "Mission: Impossible," is born in New York, New York.

1926: Killer Kowalski, Canadian professional wrestler who won the World Wide Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship with Big John Studd, is born in Windsor, Ontario.

Kowalski began his professional career in 1947 as "Tarzan" Kowalski. His hulking 6-foot-7, 275-pound frame and a brutal wrestling style soon earned him the nickname "Killer." Kowalski began to be known as a villain after hurting Yukon Eric during a match in Montreal in 1954, according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He visited his opponent in the hospital after the match to check up on him and "the two men began laughing at how silly Eric's bandages looked. The reporter incorrectly printed that Killer was laughing at his victim and soon after, Killer quickly became wrestling's most renowned 'heel' or 'villain,'" according to an obituary of Kowalski posted on a funeral home website. Read more



1926: Ray Brown, U.S. jazz double bassist who was a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio and also worked with Sarah Vaughan, is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1925: Margaret Thatcher, English politician who was the prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 until 1990, is born in Grantham, England.

Margaret Thatcher (Associated Press)The Iron Lady who ruled for 11 remarkable years imposed her will on a fractious, rundown nation – breaking the unions, triumphing in a far-off war, and selling off state industries at a record pace, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. She left behind a leaner government and more prosperous nation by the time a mutiny ousted her from No. 10 Downing Street. Read more




1925: Lenny Bruce, U.S. comedian and social critic whose outspoken routines on religion, politics, and sexuality were ahead of their time and greatly influenced such comedians as George Carlin, Bill Cosby, and Richard Pryor, is born in Mineola, New York.

Lenny Bruce"If you could be in the audience when he came up with that 45 minutes to an hour's worth of genius, you knew you had been blessed. America has produced three comedic geniuses – Mark Twain, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Pryor – and what Lenny was doing back then frightened people." – Dick Gregory Read more




1921: Yves Montand, Italian-born French actor and singer, whose films include "Sanctuary" and "Grand Prix," is born in Monsummano Alta, Italy.

1920: Laraine Day, U.S. actress who starred in seven of the "Dr. Kildare" movies, is born in Roosevelt, Utah.

Day starred opposite Joel McRea in 1940's "Foreign Correspondent" and also appeared in such films as "Mr. Lucky," "I Take This Woman," "The Story of Dr. Wassell," "My Dear Secretary," and "The High and the Mighty." She appeared in her last movie, "The Third Voice," in l960, the year she married Michel M. Grilikhes, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. During a break in her film career, Day co-starred on a national theater tour with Gregory Peck in "Angel Street," and also took the stage in "Lost Horizon," "The Women," and "Time of the Cuckoo." In 1951, Day became one of U.S. television's first female talk show hosts on "The Laraine Day Show." Read more



1918: Robert Walker, U.S. actor known best for his starring role in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller "Strangers on a Train," is born in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1917: Burr Tillstrom, U.S. puppeteer and creator of the TV puppet show "Kukla, Fran & Ollie," is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1912: Cornel Wilde, Hungarian actor and director who starred in "A Song To Remember," is born in Prievidza, Hungary.

1909: Art Tatum, U.S. jazz pianist who is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, is born in Toledo, Ohio.

1909: Herblock, U.S. editorial cartoonist who won three Pulitzer prizes, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1902: Arna Bontemps, U.S. poet and novelist who was a noted member of the Harlem Renaissance, is born in Alexandria, Louisiana.

1891: Irene Rich, U.S. film actress who was most popular during the silent era, is born in Buffalo, New York.

1914: Rube Waddell, U.S. Hall of Fame pitcher who had almost 200 wins and more than 2,000 strikeouts in his career, is born in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

1853: Lillie Langtry, English actress and socialite, is born in Jersey, United Kingdom.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including TV personality Ed Sullivan.