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Born October 18

Chuck Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) may not have single-handedly invented Rock and Roll but we wouldn't have it without him. Berry combined  rhythm and blues with his love of country music to become one of the pioneers of rock. Berry brought showmanship to the stage with tight guitar solos and signature moves like his duckwalk. Berry was also one of the first great storytellers of rock, writing songs about teenage life. The Beatles covered his songs "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Rock and Roll Music."  John Lennon said, "if you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."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 singer Dee Dee Warwick.

1973: James Foley, U.S. journalist who was kidnapped and murdered by members of the Islamic State group, is born in Evanston, Illinois.

Foley was kidnapped in November 2012 while covering the Syrian civil war for The Global Post. On Aug. 19, 2014, a video was posted online that purported to show his execution by the militant group ISIS.





1950: Wendy Wasserstein, U.S. playwright known for writing "The Heidi Chronicles" and the screenplay for the movie "The Object of My Affection," is born in Brooklyn, New York.

Wasserstein was first noticed with "Uncommon Women and Others," written as a Yale School of Drama graduate thesis, according to her obituary by The Associated Press. The one-act play was expanded and done off-Broadway in 1977 with Glenn Close, Jill Eikenberry, and Swoosie Kurtz in the cast. A year later, this satire about the anxieties of female college graduates was filmed for public television with Meryl Streep replacing Close. Read more





1949: Gary Richrath, U.S. guitarist who was a longtime member of REO Speedwagon, is born in Peoria, Illinois.

Richrath continued to write and co-write popular songs for the band, including 1973's "Ridin' the Storm Out" and 1981's "Take It on the Run," a No. 5 Billboard single that was one of the first videos played on MTV. Richrath remained one of the band's principal songwriters, penning multiple tracks on each of their albums for the nearly 20 years he was a member. He left the band in 1989 after a dispute over the band's direction.




1948: Ntozake Shange, pioneering black feminist poet and playwright who wrote "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf," is born in Trenton, New Jersey. 

1947: Laura Nyro, U.S. singer, songwriter, and pianist whose songs recorded by other artists included "Wedding Bell Blues" by the Fifth Dimension and "Eli's Comin'" by Three Dog Night, is born in the Bronx, New York.

1945: Huell Howser, U.S. television host of the popular travel program "California's Gold," is born in Gallatin, Tennessee.

For years, "California's Gold" took viewers to many parts of the Golden State, with Howser doing folksy, highly enthusiastic interviews and narration in a distinctive twang he brought with him from his native Tennessee. Howser also appeared in such other series about California as "Visiting With Huell Howser" and "Road Trip With Huell Howser." 




1939: Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper whom the Warren Commission fingered as the sole assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1935: Peter Boyle, U.S. actor known for his role as Frank Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond," is born in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Just two years after "The Candidate" came one of Boyle's signature performances, an inspired Frankenstein's monster. As he said of his interpretation, "The Frankenstein monster I play is a baby. He's big and ugly and scary, but he's just been born, remember, and it's been traumatic, and to him the whole world is a brand new alien environment. That's how I'm playing it." Read more




1934: Inger Stevens, Swedish-born U.S. actress who starred on the 1960s sitcom "The Farmer's Daughter" and had roles in movies including "Madigan" with Henry Fonda, is born in Stockholm, Sweden.

1934: Calvin Lockhart, Bahamian actor known best for his role as Biggie Smalls in the 1975 film "Let's Do It Again," which starred Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby, is born in Nassau, Bahamas.

1928: Keith Jackson, legendary college football announcer, is born in Roopville, Georgia. 

1927: George C. Scott, U.S. actor who starred in the films "Patton" and "Dr. Strangelove" and refused the Oscar that he won for "Patton," citing philosophical reasons, is born in Wise, Virginia.

1923: Jessie Mae Hemphill, U.S. guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist specializing in country blues music who won three W.C. Handy awards for best traditional female blues artist and best acoustic album, is born in Como, Mississippi.

1921: Jesse Helms, U.S. politician and five-term Republican U.S. senator from North Carolina, is born in Monroe, North Carolina.

Early on, his habit of blocking nominations and legislation won him a nickname of "Senator No," according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He delighted in forcing roll-call votes that required Democrats to take politically difficult votes on federal funding for art he deemed pornographic, school busing, flag burning, and other cultural issues. Read more




1919: Camilla Williams, U.S. operatic soprano who was the first African-American to receive a regular contract with the New York City Opera, is born in Danville, Virginia.

Camilla Williams (Associated Press Photo)In her City Opera debut, Williams sang what would become her signature role, Cio-Cio-San, in Puccini's "Madama Butterfly," according to her obituary by The Associated Press. She displayed "a vividness and subtlety unmatched by any other artist who has assayed the part here in many a year," according to a New York Times review of the performance. She also appeared with the City Opera that season as Nedda, in Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci." The following year she performed the role of Mimi, in Puccini's "La Boheme," and in 1948, she sang the title role of Verdi's "Aida." Read more



1919: Anita O'Day, U.S. singer known as the Jezebel of Jazz, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

Leaving home at just 14 years old to find fame, O'Day started her career touring the country as a dance marathon contestant. Within a few years, she turned to singing and eventually landed a gig at popular Chicago club The Off-Beat, where she was discovered by legendary drummer Gene Krupa. Read more




1918: Bobby Troup, U.S. musician and actor who wrote the song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" and starred on the TV series "Emergency!" opposite his real-life wife, Julie London, is born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

1915: Victor Sen Yung, U.S. character actor who played cook Hop Sing on the TV series "Bonanza," is born in San Francisco, California.

1902: Miriam Hopkins, U.S. actress who starred in "Becky Sharp," "The Richest Girl in the World," and other 1930s and '40s films, is born in Savannah, Georgia.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including Dee Dee Warwick.