Paul McCartney said, “If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian.” We remember his life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
Brian Epstein was managing the NEMS record store in LIverpool, which was owned by his father. The store was popular, and the Beatles would often go there to buy records. Epstein knew of the Beatles and went to see them at the Cavern Club. He was impressed, telling his friend after the performance, “I think they’re tremendous!” Epstein started managing the Beatles in January 1962. He talked them into exchanging leather jackets for suits and added professionalism to their stage presence. Epstein was a sounding board for the band, and many feel the Beatles started to fall apart after Epstein’s death in 1967 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates. In 1997, Paul McCartney said, “If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian.” We remember Epstein’s life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2015: Daryl Dawkins, U.S. NBA center known for his rim-shattering slam dunks, dies at 58.
Darryl Dawkins was once summoned in the Philadelphia 76ers’ locker room to come meet a celebrity who wanted to meet the man known for dunking with backboard-breaking force. The guest was Grammy Award-winner Stevie Wonder. The entertainer is blind, yet even he could tell there was something very unique about Dawkins’ game. Read more
2012: Russell Scott, U.S. entertainer known as Blinky the Clown, who starred in a Denver children’s television show called “Blinky’s Fun Club” and holds the record as the longest-running clown on television at 41 years, dies at 91.
1997: Brandon Tartikoff, U.S. television executive who was the president of NBC Entertainment whose successes included “The Cosby Show,” “Seinfeld,” and “Cheers,” dies of Hodgkin lymphoma at 48.
1996: Greg Morris, U.S. actor known best for his regular role as electronics expert Barney Collier on the television series “Mission: Impossible,” dies of cancer at 62.
Vaughan was raised in the Oak Cliff community of Dallas, Texas, and remained fiercely proud of the area throughout his life. When battling cocaine and alcohol addictions in 1986, he returned to his hometown to escape temptations. The lyrics to Vaughan’s song “Tick Tock” are engraved on a train station in the area. Oak Cliff also boasted the first 7-Eleven store, was the city where Bonnie and Clyde first met, and includes among its famous former residents Edie Brickell, Dennis Rodman, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Read more
1990: Raymond St. Jacques, U.S. actor who was the first African-American to appear in a regular role on a Western series, playing Simon Blake on “Rawhide,” dies of lymphatic cancer at 60.
1987: Scott La Rock, U.S. disc jockey who was the original disc jockey of the hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions that also featured rapper KRS-One, dies of a gunshot wound at 25.
1980: Douglas Kenney, U.S. writer and actor who co-founded the National Lampoon humor magazine and co-wrote the screenplays for the movies “Animal House” and “Caddyshack,” dies after accidentally falling off a cliff in Hawaii at 33.
1971: Margaret Bourke-White, U.S. photographer who was the first woman permitted to work in war combat zones and the first female photographer for Life magazine, dies at 67.
1969: Claire Whitney, U.S. film actress who appeared in many movies during the silent era, dies at 79.
Epstein is generally credited with smoothing some of the Beatles’ rough edges during those early years – he convinced them to wear suits instead of jeans and leather jackets, and warned them off drinking and smoking onstage. He also got them an all-important recording audition at EMI, after Decca Records rejected them with the now-infamous statements that “guitar groups are on the way out” and the Beatles “have no future in show business.” At EMI, they were first produced by George Martin, and though he wasn’t particularly impressed in the beginning, he would go on to work with them on every album except “Let It Be.” Read more
1964: Gracie Allen, U.S. comedian who became famous as the zany partner of her husband, George Burns, and starred on their television series, dies of a heart attack at 69.
1963: W.E.B. Du Bois, U.S. sociologist and civil rights activist who co-founded the NAACP in 1909, dies at 95.
1948: Charles Evans Hughes, U.S. lawyer who was the 11th chief justice of the United States, dies at 86.