We remember legendary NBA coach Red Auerbach’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
Hall of Fame basketball coach Red Auerbach loved to smoke cigars. When his Boston Celtics would win an NBA championship, coach Auerbach would light up a cigar to celebrate. And they celebrated often, winning nine NBA titles. After his coaching career, Auerbach became the Celtics general manager, winning another 7 titles. He coached Hall of Fame players such as Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and Larry Bird. He was a pioneer, drafting the first African-American player in 1950. Auerbach introduced the first African-American starting five in 1964, and hired Bill Russell in 1966, the first African-American head coach in North American sports. We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1948: John Panozzo, U.S. drummer with the rock band Styx, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1947: Steve Gerber, U.S. comic book writer who co-created Howard the Duck, is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
1935: Jim Taylor, legendary Packers fullback, is born in Baton Rogue, Louisiana.
1934: Jeff Morris, U.S. actor whose movies included “The Blues Brothers” and “Kelly’s Heroes,” is born in St. Joseph, Missouri.
1929: Anne Meara, U.S. actress and comedian who was one-half of the Stiller and Meara comedy team with her husband, Jerry Stiller, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Meara was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for her supporting role on “Archie Bunker’s Place,” along with two other Emmy nods, most recently in 1997 for her guest-starring role on “Homicide.” She won a Writers Guild Award for co-writing the 1983 TV movie “The Other Woman.” She also appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, including a longtime role on “All My Children” and appearances on “Rhoda,” “Alf,” and “The King of Queens.” She shared the screen with her son in 2006’s “Night at the Museum.” Read more
1925: Bobby Nunn, U.S. singer with the Coasters and the Robins, is born in Birmingham, Alabama.
1921: Chico Hamilton, U.S. jazz drummer and bandleader, is born in Los Angeles, California.
He worked as a sideman in the 1940s with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, and others. He toured with singer Lena Horne from 1948-55, and between tours did studio work and played with bands in Los Angeles. That’s where he hooked up with baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan in 1952. Hamilton’s subtle, creative drum playing was a key component of Mulligan’s groundbreaking pianoless quartet featuring trumpeter Chet Baker that was pivotal in the creation of the mellower, more lyrical West Coast cool jazz sound. Hamilton’s understated, seductive approach to the drums contrasted with the driving, hard-bop style typified by East Coast drummer Art Blakey. Read more
1917: Clarice Taylor, U.S. actress who had roles on “The Cosby Show,” “Sesame Street,” and “Sanford and Son,” is born in Buckingham County, Virginia.
During a career that spanned five decades, Taylor performed on radio and TV, in film and onstage, including in the original Broadway cast of the musical “The Wiz.” Her films included the 1971 Clint Eastwood thriller “Play Misty for Me” and, besides “The Cosby Show,” she had another recurring TV role on “Sesame Street,” where she was grandmother to the character David. Both Taylor and Earle Hyman, who played her husband on “The Cosby Show,” received Emmy nominations in 1986 for their roles as Anna and Russell Huxtable, parents of Bill Cosby’s character and grandparents of the Huxtable youngsters. Read more
1917: Red Auerbach, U.S. basketball coach who coached the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships in 10 years, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Auerbach’s 938 victories made him the winningest coach in NBA history until Lenny Wilkens overtook him during the 1994-95 season. “Beyond his incomparable achievements, Red had come to be our basketball soul and our basketball conscience,” NBA commissioner David Stern said. “The void left by his death will never be filled.” Auerbach’s nine titles as a coach came in the 1950s and 1960s – including eight straight from 1959 through 1966 – and then through shrewd deals and foresight he became the architect of Celtics teams that won seven more championships in the 1970s and 1980s. Read more
1878: Upton Sinclair, U.S. journalist and author known best for his muckraking novel “The Jungle,” is born in Baltimore, Maryland.