We remember beloved “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1958: David Von Erich, U.S. professional wrestler who was a member of the Von Erich family, is born in Dallas, Texas.
1941: Estelle Bennett, U.S. singer with the Ronettes, is born in New York, New York.
“They could sing all their way right through a wall of sound,” the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards said at the Ronettes’ induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. (The Stones opened for the Ronettes on a 1964 British tour.) “They didn’t need anything. They touched my heart right there and then and they touch it still,” Richards said. The group’s other hits included “Baby I Love You” (1963), “Walkin’ in the Rain” (1964), and two top-100 hits from 1965: “Born To Be Together” and “Is This What I Get for Loving You.” Read more
1941: Vaughn Bode, U.S. illustrator known for his Cheech Wizard character, is born in Utica, New York.
1940: Alex Trebek, Trebek became the host of “Jeopardy!” in 1984, reviving the show after it had been off the air since 1979. The answer-and-question game show became an entertainment institution, watched daily by millions of fans around the world. Trebek set the Guinness World Record for most episodes hosted by the same presenter in 2014. Read more
His specialty was elaborate, embroidered eveningwear. First ladies Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton both wore de la Renta gowns to inaugural balls, and actresses Penelope Cruz and Sandra Bullock wore his work on the red carpet. De la Renta catered mostly to his socialite friends and neighbors, but eyed more mass appeal with several fragrances and accessories licenses. Read more
1924: Margaret Whiting, U.S. singer whose well-known recordings include “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Johnny Mercer and “A Tree in the Meadow,” is born in Detroit, Michigan.
It was Mercer who had coached the teenage Whiting through her first recording, of her father’s “My Ideal,” and although Maurice Chevalier and Frank Sinatra had already recorded the tune, her version sold well. She followed it with a remarkable procession of million-sellers: “That Old Black Magic,” “It Might as Well Be Spring,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and her biggest seller and signature song, “Moonlight in Vermont.” Read more
1932: The Fabulous Moolah, born Mary Lillian Ellison, U.S. professional wrestler who was a pioneer of women’s wrestling, is born in Kershaw County, South Carolina.
From her debut in 1949 to her record-breaking World Wrestling Entertainment women’s championship win in 1999 at age 76, she was at the top of her game. Not just a wrestler, she also trained female wrestlers, served as valet to male wrestlers, and acted as a wrestling promoter. Read more
1908: Amy Vanderbilt, U.S. author and etiquette guru whose popular books include “Amy Vanderbilt’s Etiquette,” is born in Staten Island, New York.
1898: Alexander Calder, U.S. sculptor known for his mobiles and wire figures, is born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania.
1890: Rose Kennedy, U.S. philanthropist and socialite who was the matriarch of the Kennedy family, is born in Boston, Massachusetts.
1882: Edward Hopper, U.S. painter whose best-known painting is the popular “Nighthawks,” is born in Upper Nyack, New York.
1849: Emma Lazarus, U.S. poet who wrote “The New Colossus,” the verse printed on the Statue of Liberty, is born in New York, New York.