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Naomi Sims

Born March 30

by Legacy Staff

Naomi Sims blazed a trail in the world of high fashion – she was the first African-American supermodel and the first African-American model to appear on the covers of Ladies’ Home Journal and Life. We remember Sims’ life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Naomi Sims blazed a trail in the world of high fashion – she was the first African-American supermodel and the first African-American model to appear on the covers of Ladies’ Home Journal and Life. In the years after her modeling career, she became a successful businesswoman, starting by offering a wig collection and expanding to produce a multimillion-dollar line of beauty products. Sims was an author as well, writing a number of books on modeling, health, and beauty. We remember Sims’ 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 legendary soul singer Bill Withers.


1973: Adam Goldstein, aka DJ AM, U.S. disc jockey and remixer who worked with Papa Roach, Will Smith, Travis Barker of Blink-182 and others, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Goldstein, 36, was a DJ for hire who performed at Hollywood’s most exclusive parties and was admired by music aficionados. He also was famous for past relationships with the reality TV star Nicole Richie, the daughter of singer Lionel Richie, and with actress-singer Mandy Moore. Read more

1967: Christopher Bowman, U.S. figure skater who competed in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Winter Games, is born in Los Angeles, California.

Bowman, a former child actor, was one of figure skating’s bigger personalities in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Immensely talented, with a gift for performance that few others could match, he won the U.S. men’s figure skating titles in 1989 and 1992, and was runner-up in 1987 and 1991. He also won a silver medal at the 1989 world championships, and a bronze the next year. He skated in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics, finishing seventh in 1988 and fourth in 1992. Read more

1960: Bill Johnson, U.S. Downhill skier who was the first American male to win an Olympic gold medal in alpine skiing, is born in Los Angeles, California.

Johnson made history in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Downhill skiing events had long been all but guaranteed to Olympians from France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland – countries that actually had alps. But when the brash westerner showed up, a native of California who learned to ski growing up in Boise, Idaho – he predicted he’d beat them all. Read more

1955: Randy VanWarmer, U.S. singer-songwriter who had a hit with “Just When I Needed You Most” in 1979, is born in Indian Hills, Colorado.

1948: Naomi Sims, U.S. model and businesswoman who is considered the first black supermodel, is born in Oxford, Mississippi.

As the first black supermodel, she shattered boundaries and made a name for herself in a fashion world that was still quite prejudiced in the 1960s and ’70s. She went on to become an author and entrepreneur with a multimillion-dollar beauty empire. Her own beauty and poise were remarkable. Read more

1943: Ken Forssi, U.S. bassist with Love and the Surfaris, is born in Cleveland, Ohio.

1934: Paul Crouch, U.S. Christian broadcaster who founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network, is born in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Paul Crouch (Associated Press photo)Crouch began his broadcasting career while studying theology at Central Bible Institute and Seminary in his native Missouri by helping build the campus’ radio station. He moved to California in the early 1960s to manage the movie and television unit of the Assemblies of God before founding Trinity Broadcast Network in 1973 with his wife, Jan. They grew the network into an international Christian empire that beams prosperity gospel programming to every continent but Antarctica around the clock. Read more

1929: Richard Dysart, U.S. actor known best for his role as Leland McKenzie on the TV legal drama “L.A. Law,” is born in Boston, Massachusetts.

1922: Turhan Bey, Austrian-American actor who was very popular in the 1940s and called the Turkish Delight by his fans, is born in Vienna, Austria.

Turhan Bey (Associated Press/Chris Pizzello)Born in Austria as Gilbert Selahettin Schultavey, the son of a Turkish diplomat, Bey assumed his stage name shortly after moving to the United States with his Jewish Czech mother from Vienna to escape the Nazis and being discovered by talent scouts from Warner Bros. studios. His popular name was Turkish Delight — a reference to his suave good looks that made him an ideal partner to exotics like Maria Montez in escapist Technicolor adventure fantasies set in faraway places. Read more

1913: Frankie Laine, U.S. singer and actor whose well-known songs include “Rawhide” and “That’s My Desire,” is born in Chicago, Illinois.

Laine’s 1961 album, “Hell Bent for Leather,” was a compendium of western classics, sung in his signature style. The pairing was so successful that Laine was asked to sing the theme songs to a number of cowboy TV shows, eventually becoming closely associated with the genre. In fact, the association was so strong that when Mel Brooks made the movie “Blazing Saddles” in 1974, Laine was the obvious choice to sing the theme song. When he made the recording, Laine wasn’t aware that the movie would be a comedy – and he sang with all the serious intensity he would give to any other good cowboy song. The result was absolutely perfect. Read more

1902: Brooke Astor, U.S. philanthropist and author who was the chairwoman of the Vincent Astor Foundation, is born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

In 2002 Astor had a gala 100th birthday celebration at the Rockefeller estate attended by notables ranging from Henry Kissinger and Kofi Annan to Barbara Walters and Peter Jennings. Although she’d been given a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease about two years earlier, Astor gave a speech that moved listeners, according to an account in The New York Times. “My mother used to say to me, ‘Brooke, don’t get beyond yourself,'” Mrs. Astor said. “I feel that I must have gotten very beyond myself tonight … to have all these nice people saying nice things about me.” Read more

1853: Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch painter very well-known for paintings of flowers, landscapes, self-portraits, and more, is born in Zundert, Netherlands.

1820: Anna Sewell, English author known best for her novel “Black Beauty,” is born in Great Yarmouth, England.

1746: Francisco Goya, Spanish painter who is considered the last of the old masters, is born in Fuendetodos, Spain.

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