Bobby Fischer was considered the greatest chess player of all time. We remember Fischer’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Bobby Fischer was considered the greatest chess player of all time. He became a grandmaster at 15 and was the 11th world chess champion. He became a recluse and played an unsanctioned match against Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia in 1992, which violated a United Nations embargo and a U.S. executive order. The government then issued a warrant to collect taxes on his winnings, but Fischer never returned to the U.S. He was known for his anti-American and anti-Semitic public comments. We remember Fischer’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1946: Warren Skaaren, U.S. screenwriter and producer whose movies include “Batman” and “Beetlejuice,” is born in Rochester, Minnesota.
1943: Bobby Fischer, U.S. chess prodigy who is widely considered the best chess player of all time, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
By age 13, Fischer was U.S. champion. He soon dropped out of high school. Boris Spassky had become an international master at age 16. Spassky entered the match as reigning world champion, having defeated fellow Russian Tigran Petrosian in 1969. Fischer had never previously beaten Spassky. He nevertheless entered as a pre-competition favorite, having demolished top grandmasters in his last 20 games while earning the undisputed right to challenge Spassky. Read more
1941: Ernesto Miranda, U.S. laborer whose criminal case led to the establishment of the Miranda warning, is born in Mesa, Arizona.
1940: Raul Julia, Puerto Rican actor known for films including “The Addams Family” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” is born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
For his portrayal of Brazilian environmental activist Chico Mendes in “The Burning Season,” Julia posthumously won the Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG awards. In the two decades since his death, Julia continues to be remembered and honored for his humanitarian work with The Hunger Project and numerous other organizations, as well as his fine acting. Read more
1936: Marty Ingels, U.S. actor and comedian who co-starred on the TV series “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster,” is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1934: Yuri Gagarin, Russian cosmonaut who was the first human to travel to outer space, is born in Klushino, Russia.
1930: Ornette Coleman, U.S. jazz saxophonist who was one of the major innovators of the free jazz movement, is born in Fort Worth, Texas.
Coleman is regarded as one of the greatest innovators in jazz history along with Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. In the late 1950s, he originated “free jazz,” challenging the bebop establishment by abandoning the conventional song form and liberating musicians to freely improvise off of the melody rather than the underlying chord changes. Read more
1926: Joe Franklin, U.S. talk show host popular in the New York City area, is born in the Bronx, New York.
1921: Carl Betz, U.S. actor known best for playing Donna Reed‘s TV husband on “The Donna Reed Show,” is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1918: Mickey Spillane, U.S. author of popular crime novels featuring the detective Mike Hammer, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1902: Will Geer, U.S. actor known best for playing Grandpa Walton on the TV series “The Waltons,” is born in Frankfort, Indiana.
1892: Vita Sackville-West, English author whose novels include “The Edwardians” and “All Passion Spent,” is born in Kent, England.
1454: Amerigo Vespucci, Italian explorer and map maker after whom North and South America were named – as he was the first to demonstrate that the Americas were a separate landmass unattached to Asia – is born in Florence, Italy.